Bahamas 2005

North America

According to countryaah, Nassau is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Bahamas. In broad terms, the situation of the Bahamas does not differ significantly from that of the other Caribbean islands, but while the other communities have made great efforts to initiate an integration process, the Bahamas has chosen to turn its back on these initiatives and is not a member of any regional organization..

The largest political party – the Progressive Liberal Party – was formed in 1953 and in 1958 the Bahamas Unity Party was founded. In the 1954 election, the Liberal Party obtained 6 of Parliament’s 29 seats. In 1956, Parliament passed an anti-racial resolution that sought to introduce ethnic equality. For the first time, African-born residents were given access to facilities where they had previously been denied access.

In the 1962 elections, the Liberals obtained eight of Parliament’s 29 seats. Two years later, a new constitution came into force and a government system of ministries was introduced. At the same time, the number of seats in Parliament was increased to 38. Sir Roland Symonette became the first prime minister, while Lynden Pindling was the opposition leader. In the January 10, 1967 election, the two parties each gained 18 seats in parliament and the remaining two went to a coalition with the Liberal Party, which formed government with Lynden Pindling as prime minister.

In 1977, when the economic and social crisis began to break through, the government offered enhanced foreign capital investment opportunities. It was the start of a “convenience flagship industry”, in order to compete with Panama and Liberia, in an effort to lower unemployment that had led to social tensions in the archipelago. In Gran Bahama, the government erected in the immediate vicinity of the island’s deep-water port, an 1,200-hectare industrial complex intended to house warehouses for goods to be processed and exported with a minimum of local effort.

During the 1977 election campaign, the opposition parties accused the National Freedom Movement, the Bahamas Democratic Party and the Avant-garde Party, the government of corruption and misuse of public funds.

Pindling promised to “Bahamize” the economy, ie. to give greater influence to the local capital, but at the same time without destroying the image of the island as a tax haven. Both the right and the left criticized the government’s policy regarding the multinational corporations; some to be too accommodating, others to chase them on the run with «tax traps». In spite of this, Pindling still managed to conquer a solid majority, and he promised to fight unemployment and opened the country’s borders to “the 7 sisters”, the oil companies, which in 1979 resumed the oil exploration.