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United Bahamian Party (UBP)

The United Bahamian Party (UBP) was a major political party in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in the 1950s and 1960s.

The UBP was formed to represent the interests of the white oligarchy known as the Bay Street Boys. The UBP practiced a Bahamian-style of apartheid, albeit not as extensive, pervasive or prevalent as the South African brand. The UBP supported a level of racial segregation, basically excluding the eighty-five percent black majority from businesses, occupations, land ownership and equal opportunity for upward mobility.

The UBP was established in 1956 as the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) to oppose the black-dominated Progressive Liberal Party, which had emerged as the largest party in the 1956 elections with six seats, although 22 MPs had been elected as independents. Following the 1958 general strike, it was renamed the United Bahamian Party. Despite receiving fewer votes than the black-dominated Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), the UBP won the 1962 general elections, largely because of gerrymandering. However, the 1967 elections saw a reversal in fortunes as the UBP received more votes, but won the same number of seats as the PLP. The PLP formed a government with the support of the sole Labour Party MP. Following the election, the UBP accused the PLP of gerrymandering.

In early elections the following year, support for the UBP slumped and it won only seven of the 38 seats. In 1971, the UBP merged with the Free Progressive Liberal Party, a breakaway from the ruling party, to form the Free National Movement..

QUICK FACTS
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Leader Roland SYMONETTE
Founded 1956
Dissolved 1971
Merged into Free National Movement
Party colour Orange
Ideology Conservatism, Economic Liberalism
Status Defunct
RELATED RESOURCES
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Politcal Parties of The Bahamas
Political Party Manifestos
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