NASSAU, Bahamas, May 14, CMC – Former prime minister Hubert Ingraham says he will resign as leader of the main opposition Free National Movement (FNM) on May 26, when the party holds a special convention to formally elect a new leader.
Speaking at a “Thank You” meeting over the weekend, Ingraham, who led his FNM into defeat in the May 7 general elections, said that he has spent more than half of his 64 years in politics.
“ I ran again this time to head the government for a fourth time; the Bahamian public rejected my message and denied my request. I accept their determination and in the Westminster tradition of electoral democracy which we adhere to, I have determined to end my public life which has spanned more than half my own lifetime.
When I was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1977 we had 5 polling divisions; 1,292 people voted and I received 892 or 69 per cent of the votes cast. Fast forward to today, there are 12 polling divisions in North Abaco and 4,130 persons voted. I received 2, 235 or 54 per cent of the votes cast.
“I will resign as Leader of the Free National Movement on the 26th May when we hold a special convention to formally elect a new Leader of the Party. I have led the FNM for 19 years, and for 15 of those years I also served as Prime Minister. I will resign from the House of Assembly on the anniversary of my first election – the 19th July – two weeks before my 65th birthday, the mandatory retirement age for civil servants,” he told party supporters.
Ingraham told the party faithful that he hopes they would “accept my determination to retire from public life and to return your seat to you”.
He said he would be supportive of whoever emerges as the party leader, adding “I leave with my reputation in tack; I gave you decent, honourable and incorruptible service. I did my best for you and I leave you now much, much better off than when we began”.
Ingraham said he was leaving office having done his best to improve the lives of all Bhamaians including members of his constituency.
“I leave a number of projects in train for you: new subdivisions for community expansion in Crown Haven, Fox Town, Cooper’s Town, Green Turtle Cay, Dundas and Murphy Town; the new port at Conch Rock and the Angle Creek Fish Bridge and asphalt paving of the Treasure Cay Airport.
The new terminal at Marsh Harbour Airport is nearing completion. The new Administrative Complex is complete and the Central Abaco Hospital is under construction,” he said, adding that apart from returning to his law office, he would be spending much time fishing.