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bahamas
progressive liberal party
public outcry
free national movement
socialist party
members of parliament
The Bahamas In Transition # 13
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The Bahamas In Transition # 13

Policy Shift

The Progressive Liberal Party increased the constituency from 38 to 43 seats for the 1982 general election. The PLP won 32 seats , Free National Movement 18 and Vanguard Socialist Party 0. The people in the Bahamas were beginning to complain and object to some of the actions of the governing party.

The country was changing, toward a system where people were afraid to say what political party they supported. If it was the opposition they would say the governing party. The once glorious road toward educating the masses had started to slow down.

The students were returning from school abroad, and had seen the world, and were no longer easily fooled. Thus to stay in power social policies were introduce to make people dependent on the politicians.

Commission of Inquiry

The Pindling administration was hit by a major drug scandal after its 1982 victory. An inquiry to investigate the allegation, of drugs and corruption appointed , which came as a result of public outcry in the Bahamas.

In 1983 a report from the United States alleged of the Prime Minister involvement in the drug trade. Pindling responded, saying the US was using the Bahamas as a scapegoat for their inability to control their own drug problem.

In 1983 Brian Ross also alleged that Pindling and some of his government ministers accepted bribes from Colombian drug smuggler Joe Lehder, of the Medellin Cartel, in exchange for allowing smugglers to use the Bahamas, as a transshipment point to smuggle cocaine. Lehder had gained complete control of Norman's Cay in Exuma.

The 1987 general election took place against the backdrop of a government wounded by corruption, and a country being used for the transit of illegal drugs. The result of this was an increase in social and economic problems, of rising crime rates, drug addition and the redrawing of electoral boundaries, as a means of winning the next election because the people had become upset.

The rumours about certain members of Parliament being involved in the drug trade, had a serious effect on the good name of country and its people, and would eventually lead to some looking for an alternative to the PLP.

Some people may wonder how the Progressive Liberal Party lasted in power for so long, but what should realized is the time when this party came to power, and what this party represented. The generation people of the Bahamas during that period identified the party with majority rule, and the principles of empowering the black population.

The people of that period knew of their experiences and even if another point of view given , they were suspicious of being fooled again. But a new generation was on the horizon with an open mind, who will make the change.


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