|Ingraham touts achievements 20 years after historic win|
Guardian News Editor
Published: Aug 20, 2012
Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday joined FNMs in observing the 20th anniversary of the Free National Movement’s historic 1992 victory.
While doing so, Ingraham paid tribute to party Chairman Charles Maynard, who died during a campaign trip to North Abaco last week.
“Charlie Maynard represented the youthful and dedicated energy that has made the Free National Movement a wonderful reflection of the Bahamian spirit,” said Ingraham, whose resignation from the House of Assembly takes effect on August 31.
“Even as I salute the FNM, I also salute Charlie, and I acknowledge with deep gratitude all that he did for our party, my government and our country. It should not be lost on any of us that Charlie died on the job taking care of FNM business.”
The anniversary was observed as the FNM continues to rebuild after a disappointing and crushing defeat at the polls on May 7.
Maynard was elected chairman and Killarney MP Dr. Hubert Minnis was elected FNM leader not long after that defeat.
Ingraham said he was especially proud that because of the FNM’s victory in 1992 “we were able to dismantle the culture of political intimidation and victimization so prolific in The Bahamas prior to 1992”.
“Twenty years ago, the FNM asked the Bahamian people to use the power of their vote to make Election Day August 19, 1992, a day of rebirth and deliverance for our beloved Bahamaland,” said Ingraham in a statement.
“We promised we would provide responsive, accountable government in the sunshine. We promised that together the government and people of The Bahamas would pursue a people’s agenda to make life ‘Better in The Bahamas for all Bahamians’.
“The Bahamian people responded, making us the government of our country for 15 of the past 20 years. The FNM is forever grateful to the good people of The Bahamas for the trust they placed in us. We worked hard and did our best to deliver on the promises and commitments set out in each of our election manifestos.”
Ingraham said that whether in office or in opposition, the Free National Movement stands for strong democratic institutions and respect for and protection of the personal rights and freedoms of citizens. “Core tenets of our party include fair play and the fundamental right of citizens to access economic and social opportunity, education, adequate health care for all and support for the aged and disadvantaged,” he said.
“The FNM fosters respect for our history and culture and responsible stewardship of our resources.”
Ingraham highlighted achievements under his leadership since 1992.
“The FNM restored the reputation of The Bahamas internationally and raised our profile in regional and international agencies and organizations, ratifying our accession to international conventions and treaties concerning human rights, children’s rights, human trafficking, protection of the environment, control of the illicit trade in drugs, chemicals and psychotropic substances and weapons.”
He also said his government strengthened the financial services sector; created the Securities Commission and the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX); expanded the country’s education and health plants; introduced the National Drug Plan; upgraded infrastructure across the country and extended electricity services, among other things.
Ingraham announced his retirement from politics on the night of the May 7 general election.