The Right Honourable Hubert Alexander Ingraham
Former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
The Right Honourable Hubert Alexander Ingraham was sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister of The Bahamas by His Excellency the Hon. Arthur D. Hanna Governor-General on 4 May 2007, following the May 2 general election in which the Free National Movement (FNM) party triumphed over the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). Prime Minister Ingraham is also Minister of Finance.
Prior to the 2012 election, he was the FNM's Party Leader and was the Member of Parliament for the North Abaco constituency. He served as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly from 2005 to 2007.
Early life and education
Hubert Ingraham was born in Pine Ridge, Grand Bahama, on 4 August 1947. He grew up in Abaco and attended Cooper’s Town Public School Cooper’ Town. He later attended the Southern Senior School and the Government High School Evening Institute in Nassau. Following brief periods of employment in the accounting departments of Owens-Illinois Sugar Mill Company in Abaco, The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) and the Chase Manhattan Bank in Nassau, Prime Minister Ingraham became an articled law clerk and was called to The Bahamas Bar in December 1972.
He entered private practice and became the senior partner in the firm of Christie, Ingraham & Co.
An active member and officer in the Nassau and Bahamas Jaycees, he entered front-line politics in 1975 when he was elected to the National General Council of the PLP. He became party chairman in 1976.
Ingraham was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1977 as the representative for his hometown constituency of Cooper’s Town, North Abaco. He has been re-elected on six consecutive occasions as the representative for that constituency.
He has served as a member of the House Standing Committee on Privilege and Public Accounts, as chairman of a Select Committee on Influence Peddling and Political Contributions and as chairman of The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation. He has also served as a member of the Air Transport Licensing Authority and chairman of the Real Property Tax Tribunal.
In 1982, Ingraham was appointed Minister responsible for Housing and National Insurance. He held the post for only two years. His public criticism of the then government’s inaction in the face of damaging revelations of corruption in high places by the 1984 Commission of Inquiry resulted in his dismissal from the Cabinet and in 1986, his expulsion from the PLP.
His strong personal political support in his constituency permitted him to continue to speak out against corruption in the government and to call for radical changes in the political culture of patronage and nepotism. His re-election to Parliament as an Independent in 1987 made him a political force to be reckoned with.
Ingraham joined the then Official Opposition Party, the Free National Movement, in 1990. In May of the same year he was elected leader of the party and appointed Leader of the Official Opposition.
He imprinted his style on the FNM. He made his belief in and calls for honest, open transparent and accountable government, a fundamental tenet of his new party and energized its various factions to pull off a stunning victory over the ruling party in a by-election in the Marco City constituency in Grand Bahama in June, 1990.
A child of working-class parents, Prime Minister Ingraham has a strong social conscience, which influenced the policies of his party and government. However, he is a pragmatic politician and notwithstanding his strong identification with and ties to the grassroots of society, he has cultivated important relationships with the business community of The Bahamas.
His first term in government was marked by a deliberate reduction in the size of government, reducing government’s direct intervention in the economy and promoting fresh private investment, both domestic and international. He and his government have been credited with the revitalization of The Bahamas economy since 1992, most particularly of its tourism sector, which has enjoyed massive international capital infusions over the past seven years and its financial services sector, which restored confidence in The Bahamas as a clean financial jurisdiction spurred increased international banking and trust businesses in recent years.
As a result of his government's defeat in the Bahamian general election, 2012, Ingraham announced his resignation as FNM leader and as an MP, his resignation will take effect on 26 May 2012. On 9 May 2012, Hubert Minnis was elected by the members of the FNM to succeed Ingraham as Leader of the Opposition.
Honours and awards
In 1993, he was made a member of Her Majesty’s most honourable Privy Council.
On 3 March 2000, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Buckingham, England.
He is married to the former Delores Miller of Long Island, a public high school principal. The couple had five children.