Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham Monday night conceded defeat in the general election and has said he will be resigning as leader of the Free National Movement (FNM).
Ingraham won his North Abaco seat but the main opposition Progressive Liberal party (PLP) appears heading for a landslide victory in the 38-seat parliament. “Today, the Bahamas once again demonstrated the vitality and endurance of our proud democratic heritage,” Ingraham told supporters at the party’s headquarters.
“I would like to congratulate the leader of the party and his candidates. I should like to thank the FNM for making me their leader,” said Ingraham. “I shall not go on to lead this party as the opposition.
I shall not set my feet in the House of Assembly, and I shall return to private life from whence I came,” he added. PLP leader Perry Christie, who served as Prime Minister from 2002 to 2007, said while he did want to declare victory until all the ballots were counted, he has “a great feeling of satisfaction that he ran a campaign that clearly people understood and they determined that the country needs a change of direction”.
The PLP, which dominated Bahamian politics for decades under the leadership of Sir Lynden Pindling, the country’s first-ever Prime Minister, has so far won 16 of the 20 seats declared, according to the unofficial preliminary results.