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Perry Christie

Secretary Rice meets with Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie in Nassau, Bahamas March 21, 2006.

In office
May 3, 2002 – May 4, 2007
Deputy The Hon. Cynthia A. Pratt
Preceded by Hubert Ingraham
Succeeded by Hubert Ingraham

Born August 21, 1944 (1944-08-21) (age 65)
Nassau, Bahamas
Political party Progressive Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Bernadette Christie

Perry Gladstone Christie (born August 21, 1944) is a Bahamian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of the Bahamas from 2002 to 2007. He is also a former athlete.

The Right Honourable Perry Gladstone Christie was sworn in as the third Prime Minister of an independent Bahamas on May 3, 2002, following his Progressive Liberal Party's triumph over the Free National Movement in a general election a day earlier. Official returns gave the former Opposition Leader's party 29 of the 40 House of Assembly seats that were at stake. The FNM, which had governed The Bahamas for nearly a decade under Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, won seven seats.

Christie characterizes his party as "a PLP that will not only build new hospitals, schools, bridges and roads, but a PLP that will build up patriotism, pride, optimism and hope. These values must be brought to full flowering; otherwise, we labour in vain." Victorious in the newly created Farm Road constituency in the general election, he was appointed Leader of the Opposition by the Governor-General on April 7, 1997. He had been elected leader of the PLP at a special convention on April 5 1997. Christie thus succeeded the late Rt. Hon. Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, M.P., who had led the PLP since 1956 as both Leader of the Opposition and leader of the party.

Christie, who was re-elected to the House of Assembly in the March 14, 1997, general election, defeated Dr. Bernard J. Nottage and Mr. Philip C. Galanis, both former M.P.s, in a poll for party leader. Born in Nassau August 21, 1943, Christie is the eldest son of cab driver Gladstone L. Christie and Nurse Naomi Christie, both of whom are deceased. He attended the Eastern Senior School in New Providence, Tampa Technical Institute of Technology and Laura's School of Fashion and Design, from which he graduated with honours in 1969.

Christie, an attorney-at-law, is believed to have been the youngest Bahamian ever appointed to the Senate at the young age of seventeen. Named Senator by Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling in November, 1974, Christie served in that capacity until June, 1977. In January of the latter year he was appointed chairman of the Gaming Board, which regulates casinos in The Bahamas. Receiving the PLP's nomination for the Centreville constituency in the 1977 general election, Christie was elected Member of Parliament for that constituency, and shortly after appointed Minister of Health and National Insurance. During the June, 1982, general election, he was re-elected Member of Parliament for Centreville, and was once again appointed to the Prime Minister's Cabinet, but as Minister of Tourism. Christie moved tourism in The Bahamas to new heights. In 1984, however, he was dismissed from the Cabinet for acts of an exhibitionism, and during the 1987 general election ran as an independent candidate. He retained his seat in the Centreville constituency. Three years later - in March, 1990 - Christie returned to the fold of the Progressive Liberal Party, and was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Trade and Industry by the Prime Minister. Christie's ministerial responsibilities included the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Industry; mining, geological surveys, petroleum, fuel, oils and petrochemicals, industries encouragement, manufacturing, relations with The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, relations with The Bahamas National Trust, Andros, Bahamas reef and blue holes, and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Co-operatives.

In January, 1993, following the PLP's defeat in the August, 1992, general election, Christie was elected Co-deputy leader of the PLP with responsibility for party activities outside parliament. He is a founding member of the Valley Boys, an organisation noted for its entries in the annual Bahamian Junkanoo parades, and of the Pioneers Sporting Club. Christie's athletic skills developed as a member of the Pioneers, and led to his representing The Bahamas at the 1960 West Indies Federation Games in Kingston, Jamaica, and at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Kingston in 1962, when he won a bronze medal in the triple jump.

An Anglican, Christie is married to the former Bernadette Joan Hanna, chartered accountant and attorney-at-law. They have two sons, Steffan and Adam, and a daughter, Alexandra.

His bold initiative for urban renewal and development within the Bahamas has received international acclaim, winning both the Association of Caribbean Commissioners Community Policing Award in May 2003 and the International Association of Chiefs of Police and ITT Community Policing Award in 2004.

Economically, Christie's instituted schema focuses on Anchor Developments for the Remote Family Islands--as was charted in his 2002 general election campaign. Hallmarks of this economic initiative include major hotel and resort developments, which serve to progress the country's top industry, "tourism". His planning for investment -with assistance from key Cabinet Ministers - (along with creating the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments) has done much to change the dynamics of the countries investment policy, and has created serious intellectual debate amongst true economists and local businessmen alike. The new ministry has been consistent with finding new strategic alternatives for the Bahamian and international investor, in spite of coming off of the heels of a major financial crisis in 2000, precipitated by tougher banking policies handed down from the OECD.

The Anchor Development policy was severely criticized by several out-island groups, including the inhabitants of Great Guana Cay, Bimini Bay and other Family Islands, who criticized the policy on environmental, cultural and economic grounds.

Regardless of these achievements, Prime Minister Christie's administration suffered severe scandals. The most notable of these originate from rape charges pressed against one of his top level Cabinet ministers to victimization and abuse of power charges alleged against a lower level Cabinet minister. No formal reprimand or removal of any official came as a result of these allegations. This with rumors of his poor health and him suffering a mild stroke in mid 2005 that left him unable to fulfill his duties in full capacity for several weeks.

The PLP was defeated in the May 2007 general election, taking 18 seats against 23 for the FNM, and Christie conceded defeat in a phone call to FNM leader Ingraham.[1] After the new FNM government was sworn in, Christie was sworn in as leader of the Official Opposition.[2]

Christie is currently the longest serving member of the Bahamian Parliament, having been re-elected in every election he has entered after his ascension from the Bahamian Senate, where he started his political career. [citation needed]

References

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