Hubert Alexander Ingraham (born 1947) is the Prime Minister of the Bahamas. He served from 1992 until 2002 and became Prime Minister again in 2007. He is a member of the Free National Movement Party (FNM). The Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Igraham now heads the FNM as Party Leader and is a Member of Parliament for the North Abaco constituency; he also served as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly from 2005 to 2007.
Ingraham served as Prime Minister of The Bahamas from August 1992 until May 2002. In the historic election of August 1992 when the FNM unseated the Progressive Liberal Party, Ingraham succeeded the late Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, who had headed the PLP government since January 1967. Following his party's victory in the May 2007 election, he became prime minister again.
Ingraham studied law in Nassau, was called to the Bahamas Bar in December 1972, and eventually became senior partner in the law firm of Christie, Ingraham and Co. He entered front-line politics in 1975, when he was elected to the National General Council of the then ruling Progressive Liberal Party. He had previously served as a member of the Air Transport Licensing Authority and Chairman of the Real Property Tax Tribunal.
Following brief periods of employment in the accounting departments of Owens-Illinois Sugar Mill Company in Abaco, The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation and the Chase Manhattan Bank in Nassau, Ingraham became an articled law clerk in the Chambers of McKinney Bancroft and Hughes.
In 1976, Ingraham was elected National Chairman of the PLP and a member of that party's National Executive Committee. In 1977, still Chairman of the PLP, he was elected to the House of Assembly.
In Parliament, Ingraham served as a member of the Standing Committee on Privilege and Public Accounts, and as Chairman of an investigative Select Committee on Influence Peddling and Political Contributions.
He was re-elected to Parliament in the general election of June 1982, and appointed Minister of Housing, National Insurance and Social Service. In 1982, he also became Chairman of The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, an institution established to secure and guarantee housing financing for Bahamians in need of that service.
Ingraham offered as an independent candidate in the 1987 general election, and was one of only two Members of Parliament to have been expelled from the ruling PLP to have gone on to immediate independent re-election.
Ingraham joined the Official Opposition in April 1990, and was immediately appointed Parliamentary Leader. When the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, died in May 1990, Ingraham was unanimously elected Leader of the Free National Movement and was appointed Leader of the Official Opposition on 18 May 1990, by the Governor-General.
In June 1990, as freshman Leader of The Free National Movement, he led his party to a Marco City, Grand Bahama by-election victory over the governing party.
On 19 August 1992, Ingraham led the Free National Movement to a stunning 32-17 victory over the Progressive liberal Party and ended the 25- year hold on power of former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling.
The new Prime Minister had Cabinet responsibility for the Ministry of Finance. Later, in a streamlined Cabinet, he took on responsibility for trade and industry, and quickly established a one-stop Investment Authority promoted fresh investment in The Bahamas.
In July 1993, Prime Minister Ingraham was made a Member of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council. Again on 14 March 1997, Ingraham led the FNM to an even greater election victory.
Prime Minister Ingraham, known for his aggressive leadership style as well as for micro-management, was not afraid to deal with issues directly as well as shuffle Cabinet members, as he saw change was necessary to bring fresh outlooks and perspectives to the Ministries.
Ingraham's having pledged earlier that he would serve no longer than two terms or 10 years as Head of Government, the FNM in 2001 held special elections for Leader-Designate and Deputy Leader-Designate of the Party, with Sen. Tommy Turnquest emerging as the victor who would assume leadership of the FNM on the night of the next general elections.
He is credited for allowing the Atlantis Paradise Island project to develop, making the Bahamas truly a major tourism Mecca.
He administered a dis-engagement of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company in the mid-90's. Severing ties with hundreds of BTC's employee's, although handing out severance packages for those who opted for the exit packages. The true value of the impact of the dis-engagement is debatable.
Through his first term, he guided the Bahamas through a tumultuous period in the financial services sector, which ushered in sweeping changes to be made and imposed upon the Bahamas by international organizations such as the OECD and the FATF. Sweeping legislation, was seen as necessary by the then administration, but such drastic and immediate measures, were up to debate by observers and economists of the time. Subsequently, the market fears spread and resulted in massive job losses in the sector.
By the end of his first term, he was sitting on a Bahamian economy, which was going into recession, brought on by a global downturn in productivity, sparked by the dot.com bubble bust and the attacks of 9-11- exacerbated by massive exits of foreign capital, due to new banking regulations set in place by his administration.
In addition to cries of the mis-handling controversial financial services reform, which some said was indicative of his leadership style of force fed policies. Another controversial issue proposed by his administration, was the now failed referendum on social policy, which many observers now say led to the resounding defeat at the polls for the FNM in 2002, with a 29-7 overwhelming margin of victory for the incoming Progressive Liberal Party.
The then Prime Minister Ingraham was quoted in saying;"whoever wins the referendum, will win the election."
In the 2002 general elections, Mr. Ingraham stepped aside and allowed a younger and more vibrant leader, The Hon O.A.T. ("Tommy") Turnquest, to be party leader for the general election.
Ingraham retained his North Abaco seat, even though his party suffered a resounding defeat at the polls, with his leader designate and deputy designate, not winning their seat in parliament.
Mr Ingraham, did not act as leader of the opposition or leader of house business until his notification of his wanting to return as party leader, for the upcoming 2007 general elections.
During the Party's November 2005 convention, he was again elected FNM Leader, amongst harsh criticisms' for the lack of due process in his ability, through the FNM party's platform, to make himself eligible for party nomination. This, was also seen as a repudiation of his former position, where he claimed to only wanting to serve two terms as Prime Minister.
Nonetheless, he was returned to party leadership.
At the time Mr. Ingraham said that it boiled down to a matter of trust. "The country needs and deserves reform no matter what, because the loss of trust in government has been so great." And he maintained that the FNM had developed an agenda to renew the people's trust in government.
He says national leadership by the Free National Movement will once again bring the interests of Bahamians into focus and to the forefront of government's social and economic policies, remove influence peddling from the halls of government, restore integrity and honesty to public life, and reintroduce initiatives to achieve efficient and effective government left in abeyance during the last four and a half years.
In the General Election held on 2 May 2007, the FNM won a majority of seats, defeating the PLP, and Ingraham was sworn in as prime minister on 4 May. He also became Minister of Finance in the new government.
The Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham is married to the former Delores Miller of Long Island, and they have five children.
He came to national prominence because of his strong opposition to a culture of privilege and dishonesty that had come to infest Bahamian political life by the mid-1980s; a time marked by allegations of drug corruption in high places, declining public sector investment, crumbling public infrastructure, dwindling private sector investment, and spiralling unemployment.
Ingraham believes unreservedly that the foremost responsibility of leadership is the creation of opportunities to enhance the quality of life of citizens.
He has a natural affinity with the less fortunate in society and has a strong social conscience. Hence his overriding concern to ensure improved education and skills training programmes for young people; his commitment to enhanced health care for the poor ;his promotion of home-ownership among low and middle-income families; and his focus on the economic empowerment of Bahamians through employment and by increased ownership in the economy.
Notwithstanding his strong identification with and ties to the working class, Ingraham has tremendous respect for the business community. He cultivated and maintains important relationships with the Bahamian and international business and investment communities.
The FNM Leader believes that government economic policies ought to facilitate expansion in the private sector while ensuring effective and efficient regulation.
No friend to waste, his tenure in Government was marked by the reduction in the size of Government, cutting the number of seats in Parliament from 49 to 40, reducing Government's direct intervention in the economy and promoting new private investment, both domestic and international.
He and his government have been credited with the revitalisation of The Bahamas economy from negative to positive growth. Massive international capital investments particularly in the tourism and financial services sectors began to return to The Bahamas during Mr. Ingraham's tenure in office. The restored confidence in The Bahamas as a good jurisdiction in which to conduct business continues today to attract high net worth individuals and investors to the country.
Ingraham believes that the deepening of democracy, the end to government monopoly of the airwaves, the introduction of elected local government, the expanded Bahamian ownership in the economy and the fostering of environmental awareness are among the most significant of his government's achievements in office.
He believes that further advances in local government are critical to meeting the interests and demands of Bahamians to be more effectively involved in the decision-making processes that shape their lives and their environment.
He looks forward to once again providing the kind of leadership required to achieve improved efficiencies in government; to tackle the challenges confronting the public education system; to furthering initiatives to link other productive sectors of the economy to the tourism engine, and to addressing crime and the fear of crime in the country.
Ingraham is married to the former Delores Miller of Long Island, Bahamas, a high school principal in the government operated school system. The couple has five children and two grandsons.
Ingraham's FNM re-elected. (Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham; Free National Movement Party)(Brief Article)
Apr 07, 1997; Ingram's FNM Re-Elected: Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham casts his ballot at the polling station at H.O. Nash School in...
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