Bahamas sets elections for May 2
Ingraham was first elected prime minister in 1992 and was re-elected to
five-year term in 1997 but had vowed he would not serve more than two terms.
His successor to lead the independent Commonwealth nation of 302,000 people
be either Tourism Minister Tommy Turnquest, the leader-designate of the
incumbent Free National Movement, or Perry Christie, leader of the main opposition
Progressive Liberal party.
Bahamian voters, who must register by April 2, will elect 40 representatives
serve terms of up to five years in the House of Assembly, the lower house of
Parliament in the former British colony.
The leader of the majority party becomes prime minister, and the new House
members will nominate 16 senators.
Ingraham's pledge to step down after two terms was based on his conclusion
his predecessor, the late Sir Lynden Pindling, stayed too long in office.
Pindling, the PLP leader, was first elected in 1967, the Bahamas' first
universal adult suffrage, and led the nation for 25 years. But Pindling was unseated
in 1992 amid widespread allegations of corruption.
Ingraham said he leaves office with the conviction that he gave his best
service of the Bahamian people.
"Today, the Bahamas is a different and a better place than it was in 1992,
and I am
gratified to have guided the remarkable transformation of our country," Ingraham
said in a nationally broadcast address on Sunday.
"I have always accepted the convention of our parliamentary system that,
might have been done in the name of the government, the buck stopped with the
prime minister," he said.
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