NASSAU, BAHAMAS, JUNE 20 -- The foreign minister of the Bahamas, flush with his party's stunning victory in yesterday's elections, had a succinct message for Americans who think politicians here are crooked and mixed up in drug trafficking.

"I say to them: Go to hell!" said Clement T. Maynard, who also serves as deputy prime minister in the victorious Progressive Liberal Party government.

Maynard's suggestion, voiced at a news conference as votes were being counted last night, was a sign of the depths to which U.S.-Bahamian relations have fallen recently. At least part of the reason is a new U.S. resolve to make drug interdiction a high-profile issue here, according to American and Bahamian officials.

In the wake of yesterday's election, in which Prime Minister Lynden O. Pindling and his party won about 54 percent of the popular vote, U.S. officials are expressing concern privately that strains may get worse. Pindling's party won at least 30 seats, more than enough to control the 49-member House of Assembly. It previously controlled 32 of 43 seats before the house was expanded. Before the polls closed yesterday, the election was viewed as too close to call.

Unofficial returns gave the opposition Free National Movement 16 seats, up from its previous nine seats, and independents two seats.

The principal American concern is that if the diplomatic deterioration continues, it could threaten the wide range of drug enforcement programs between the two nations, which the United States views as crucial to curtail the flow of narcotics to Florida and points beyond.

The elections, called May 12, were dominated by allegations of corruption and official ties to drug traffickers and underworld figures. But they were also tinged with anti-American rhetoric and nationalism.

{In an interview with a radio reporter at his home on Andros Island, Pindling thanked God "for another great miracle" in winning the election, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

{Pindling, who came to power 20 years ago by defeating a white minority government, said the opposition party's campaign "propaganda" seriously harmed the country and claimed that the opposition was aided in these efforts by Americans whom he did not identify.}

In his news conference, Maynard said he was "appalled" that a U.S. Senate subcommittee had sent an American team to monitor the voting, and he called the head of the team "a small fry."

He attacked the Free National Movement for "bootlicking" the United States.

In an interview today, U.S. Ambassador Carol B. Hallett said suggestions of American interference were "blatantly untrue."

Hallett has aroused resentment almost from the day of her arrival last fall, when she touched down in the Bahamas in a Drug Enforcement Agency aircraft.

Hallett, a former Republican minority leader in the California state legislature, arrived with instructions from Washington to turn up the heat on Bahamian officials to curtail narcotics trafficking here.

While her speeches and public pronouncements have appeared for the most part to have been moderate, she has been denounced in parliament for her perceived bluntness in addressing the narcotics problem. At one point, her privilege to park in spaces reserved for diplomats at the airport was suspended after she delivered a speech stressing U.S. concern about drug trafficking in the Bahamas.

The DEA estimates that 40 percent of South American cocaine bound for the United States is transshipped through the Bahamas, an archipelago of 700 mostly uninhabited islands spread across 100,000 square miles of the Caribbean. The nearest island lies just 50 miles from the coast of Florida. The United States has a wider range of antitrafficking agreements with the Bahamas than with any other nation, including the privilege to enter Bahamian territorial waters in "hot pursuit" of traffickers.

Asked about high-level corruption and links with traffickers, Bahamian officials frequently respond by enumerating the various bilateral drug interdiction programs.

"This country within the last three years has done more than any other to help the U.S.," said Maynard. Referring to the hot pursuit policy, he declared, "We allowed you to invade our country."

Nevertheless, Hallett's message has been that she wants more interdiction efforts -- new helicopters, high-speed boats, radar balloons and tougher extradition agreements.

William H. Kalis, a spokesman for the Nassau government, predicted that "things will calm down and the strained relations . . . will be smoothed over." Nonetheless, he mentioned "the public diplomacy conducted by the American ambassador and her officials" as one cause for the problems.

Despite the campaign rhetoric directed at the United States by some Progressive Liberal Party members, most ordinary Bahamians appear to harbor little hostility toward Americans, who account for 90 percent of the nation's $1.1 billion annual tourist trade.

In dozens of conversations this week, Bahamians repeatedly assured a visitor that their reasons for supporting the ruling party did not include its attitude toward the United States.

David Brown, a shy 25-year-old who swigged a quart of Colt 45 malt liquor, said he voted for the ruling party because its local candidate, Kendal W. Nottage, had helped him get a job as a truck driver for the Ministry of Works.

Brown said he was unswayed by a Royal Commission of Inquiry report in 1984 that said Nottage, then a Cabinet minister, and his wife had apparently laundered money for an American organized crime figure.

Nottage was reelected handily yesterday.

Other Bahamians simply seemed content with the status quo -- a healthy economy and a sizable and prosperous middle class.

In an interview today, the defeated opposition leader, Kendal G.L. Isaacs, said that while there had been irregularities at the polls, "I also have had some evidence that voters really let us down."

Isaacs, a 61-year-old lawyer who narrowly won election to the House of Assembly yesterday, said he is considering resigning as party chairman.