Ingraham, Hubert (The Bahamas)

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Hubert Ingraham became prime minister for the second time on 4 May 2007, having secured a narrow victory for his Free National Movement (FNM) in the general election. The outgoing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), led by Perry Christie, contested the result in several districts. Ingraham pledged to make government more accountable. Following the defeat of the FNM at the 2012 elections, Ingraham resigned as the party leader and Perry Christie returned for a second time as prime minister.

Early Life

Hubert Alexander Ingraham was born on 4 Aug. 1947 in Grand Bahama, then part of the British West Indies. He grew up in Cooper’s Town on the island of Abaco and was educated in Nassau. After studying law, Ingraham was employed first by the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation and then Chase Manhattan Bank. He was called to the Bahamas Bar in 1972 and worked in a private law practice.

Ingraham was elected to the national general council in the elections of 1977, representing the then ruling PLP. He served as a member of the standing committee on privilege and public accounts. Re-elected in 1982, he became minister of housing, national insurance and social service.

In 1984 Ingraham was dismissed from the Cabinet after an inquiry into drug-trafficking and alleged government corruption. He was expelled from the PLP in 1985, attributed in his official biography to his anti-corruption stance. Re-elected to parliament in 1987 as an independent, Ingraham joined the conservative FNM and became its leader in 1990. He led the party to an emphatic victory in the general election of Aug. 1992, ending Prime Minister Lynden Pindling’s 25-year rule.

Career Peak

In 1993 Ingraham signed an agreement to establish an industrial park at Freeport for international high-tech companies. He led the FNM to victory in the March 1997 general election but was defeated by the PLP in May 2002. Ingraham nonetheless retained his North Abaco seat. During the party’s Nov. 2005 convention, he was again elected FNM leader. In the run-up to the May 2007 parliamentary elections, he campaigned on issues of trust, criticizing the PLP for their involvement in a series of scandals. The FNM emerged victorious on 2 May 2007 with 23 of 41 available seats, although the PLP leader, Perry Christie, initially challenged the results. Ingraham pledged to improve the efficiency and transparency of government, to improve education and to tackle crime. In the general election held on 7 May 2012 the PLP won a majority of seats, defeating the FNM, and Christie once again succeeded Ingraham as prime minister. In the wake of the defeat Ingraham announced his resignation as FNM leader.

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