chapter
Bahamas
Pages 3

The opposition NPLP won all four, increasing its representation to nine of the 33 seats available. 23 February 1961: The House of Assembly approved a bill granting women the right to vote and to seek election to public office. 1-20 May 1963: A Constitutional Congress in the British capital, London, agreed that the House of Assembly would be expanded, while the Legislative Council would be renamed the Senate. 7 January 1964: The Bahamas was granted full internal self-government. The leader of the United Bahamian Party (UBP), Sir Roland Symonette, became the country’s first Premier. The United Kingdom retained responsibility for foreign relations, defence and internal security. 10 January 1967: The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the UBP each won 18 seats at elections to the 38-member House of Assembly. The PLP leader, Lynden (later Sir Lynden) Pindling, formed a Government after winning the support of an independent member. 1972: A general election was won by the PLP and Pindling was reappointed Prime Minister (as his office had been restyled in 1968). 10 July 1973: The Bahamas achieved full independence from the United Kingdom as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Islands. Pindling became the country’s first Prime Minister. 19 July 1977: The PLP obtained 55% of the votes cast at a general election; Pindling was reappointed Prime Minister. 10 June 1982: The PLP retained power after winning 32 seats in the newly enlarged 43member House of Assembly. Pindling was reappointed Prime Minister, leading a virtually unchanged Cabinet. 8 October 1984: Two ministers resigned from the Cabinet, following their implication in financial irregularities and drugs-trafficking by a Royal Commission into government corruption. Pindling refused to resign, despite evidence that he had received several large gifts and loans from business executives. 19 June 1987: At legislative elections the PLP secured 31 of the 49 seats in the House of Assembly and Pindling was returned to power, despite opposition accusations of electoral malpractice. 19 August 1992: The opposition Free National Movement (FNM) won 33 of 49 seats at the general election, ending the PLP’s record of five consecutive victories. The leader of the FNM, Hubert Ingraham, was appointed Prime Minister. 9 January 1995: The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Orville Turnquest, was appointed Governor-General (the local representative of the nominal head of state, the British monarch), prompting a cabinet reshuffle. 14 March 1997: The FNM won a decisive victory at early legislative elections, obtaining 34 of the 40 seats in a reduced House of Assembly; the PLP secured the remaining six seats. Ingraham was reappointed Prime Minister. Following the announcement of the result, Pindling resigned as leader of the PLP; he was replaced by Perry Christie.