NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

Masks are required as the campus is at red status.

26. The Bahamas (1973-present)

 

Pre-Crisis (July 10, 1973-present):  The Commonwealth of the Bahamas achieved its independence from Britain on July 10, 1973.  Sir Lynden Pindling of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) served as the country’s first prime minister.  Sir Milo Butler was appointed as Governor-General on August 1, 1973.  Parliamentary elections were held on July 19, 1977, and the PLP won 30 out of 38 seats in the House of the Assembly.  The Bahamian Democratic Party (BDP) won six seats in the House of the Assembly.  Governor-General Milo Butler died on January 22, 1979, and Sir Gerald Cash was appointed as Governor-General.  Parliamentary elections were held on June 10, 1982, and the PLP won 32 out of 43 seats in the House of the Assembly.  In September 1983, NBC-TV aired a report on drug trafficking in the Bahamas, which alleged that the government was receiving $100,000 a month in payoffs from drug traffickers.  In November 1983, Prime Minister Lynden Pindling appointed a three-member Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate drug trafficking and government corruption in the Bahamas.  Some 1,000 protesters led by opposition politicians demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Lynden Pindling in Nassau on July 18, 1984.  On October 10, 1984, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur D. Hanna, Youth Minister Kendall W. Nottage, and Agriculture Minister George Smith resigned, and Tourism Minister Perry G. Christie and Housing Minister Hubert A. Ingraham were dismissed following a report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry linking the government to drug trafficking.  The commission of inquiry reported that, while Prime Minister Lynden Pindling deposited in his bank accounts some $3.5 million more than he earned as prime minister from 1977 to 1983, “none of the known sources of funds….appear to have been drug-related.”

On April 5, 1985, the Bahamian government, along with the U.S. government, launched Operation Blue Lightning against drug traffickers in the Bahamas.  The operation resulted in the seizure of 5,500 pounds of cocaine and 34,000 pounds of marijuana, the arrests of 58 individuals, and the confiscation of 25 boats.  The Free National Movement (FNM) won eleven seats in the House of the Assembly.  Former Housing Minister Hubert A. Ingraham accused Prime Minister Lynden Pindling of corruption, and he was dismissed from the PLP in October 1986.  On May 12, 1987, Prime Minister Lynden Pindling dissolved the House of Assembly and called for parliamentary elections.  Parliamentary elections were held on June 19, 1987, and the PLP won 31 out of 49 seats in the House of the Assembly.  The FNM won 16 seats in the House of the Assembly.  Governor-General Gerald Cash resigned on June 25, 1988, and Sir Henry Milton Taylor was appointed as Governor-General on June 26, 1988.  Parliamentary elections were held on August 19, 1992, and the FNM won 33 out of 49 seats in the House of the Assembly.  The PLP won 16 seats in the House of the Assembly.  Governor-General Henry Milton Taylor resigned on January 1, 1992, and Sir Clifford Darling was appointed as Governor-General on January 2, 1992.  Hubert Ingraham of the FNM was sworn in as prime minister by Governor-General Clifford Darling on August 21, 1992.  Governor-General Clifford Darling resigned on January 2, 1995, and Sir Orville Turnquest was appointed as Governor-General on January 3, 1995.  Parliamentary elections were held on March 14, 1997, and the FNM won 35 out of 40 seats in the House of the Assembly.  The PLP won five seats in the House of the Assembly.  Sir Lynden Pingling, prime minister from 1973 to 1992, died at his home in Nassau on August 26, 2000.  Governor-General Orville Turnquest resigned on November 13, 2001, and he was replaced by Dame Ivy Dumont.  Some 66 percent of voters rejected a constitutional amendment to remove gender discrimination from the constitution on February 27, 2002.  Parliamentary elections were held on May 2, 2002, and the PLP won 29 out of 40 seats in the House of the Assembly.  The FNM won seven seats in the House of the Assembly.  Perry Christie of the PLP was appointed as prime minister on May 3, 2002.  Paul Adderley was appointed as Acting Governor-General on December 1, 2005, and Arthur Dion Hanna was appointed as Governor-General on February 1, 2006.  Parliamentary elections were held on May 2, 2007, and the FNM won 23 out of 41 seats in the House of Assembly.  The PLP won 18 seats in the House of Assembly.  Hubert Ingraham of the FNM was appointed as prime minister on May 4, 2007.  Sir Arthur Foulkes was appointed as Governor-General on April 14, 2010.  On April 10, 2012, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham dissolved the House of Assembly and called for parliamentary elections.  Parliamentary elections were held on May 7, 2012, and the PLP won 29 out of 38 seats in the House of Assembly.  The FNM won nine seats in the House of Assembly.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent twelve observers from ten countries led by Alfonso Quinonez of Guatemala to monitor the elections from May 2 to May 8, 2012.  The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) sent ten observers led  by Orrette Fisher of Jamaica to monitor the elections from May 2 to May 8, 2012.  Perry Christie of the PLP was sworn in as prime minister by Governor-General Arthur Foulkes on May 8, 2012.  Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham resigned as a member of parliament on July 19, 2012.  The PLP won the seat in the House of Assembly formerly held by Hubert Igraham in a by-election held on the island of Abaco on October 15, 2012.  Some 60 percent of voters rejected legalizing “web shops” (illegal gambling establishments) and the establishment of a national lottery in a referendum held on January 28, 2013.

[Source: Associated Press (AP), May 12, 1987, May 8, 2012; Bahamas Information Service (BIS), May 3, 2012, May 8, 2012; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), May 3, 2007, May 8, 2012; Caribbean Journal, May 2, 2012, May 7, 2012; Chicago Tribune, February 1, 1985, December 26, 1986, April 10, 2012; Jamaica Observer, October 16, 2012; Los Angeles Times (LAT), January 6, 1985, May 11, 1986, March 5, 1989, August 27, 2000; Miami Sun-Sentinel, April 20, 1985, June 20, 1987; New York Times (NYT), July 19, 1984, October 10, 1984, December 17, 1984, January 14, 1988, August 21, 1991, August 27, 2000; Organization of American States (OAS) press release, May 3, 2012, May 8, 2012; Orlando Sentinel, September 19, 1985, June 21, 1987; Reuters, May 3, 2007, May 8, 2012; The Bahama Journal, September 19, 2012; The Bahamas Weekly, January 30, 2013.]