Andre Curtis campaigns for Pembroke South East seat
MP Ashfield DeVent mulls next move
Just months after being released from prison, Andre Curtis is campaigning to be elected to parliament.
Mr Curtis has been handing out campaign flyers to residents of district 21, or Pembroke South East, according to reports.
His promises include a “stimulus package” which will provide job opportunities for constituents, securing pensions for the elderly, tackling gang violence and assisting single mothers.
“I will work to make sure that financial day care stays in place, the death tax stays in place, free busses (sic) and ferries for the elderly and schoolchildren,” the flyer says.
“The things I will work on my first year in office is making a way for the young people in this area to further their education, to fight for the pension to not be touched for the elderly, reduce crime in the area, and find work for the unemployed people in the area. I need your vote to help me to help you.”
The flyer, which was obtained by The Royal Gazette, also declares that “this moment is make or break for the middle class and others less fortunate.
“We have been through too much. We have to move forward where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. This is why I am running in this election.”
The businessman and former political campaign manager for former Premier Ewart Brown was handed a 15 month prison sentence last year for running an unlicensed investment company.
He was also the key figure in the controversial Faith Based Tourism programme but was found not guilty of stealing $130,000 in public funds and falsifying accounts in another trial last year.
And in 2010, US regulators fined him $335,000 and ordered him to repay victims huge sums of cash for his role in a worldwide Ponzi scheme which saw investors conned out of $4 million.
Mr Curtis' first public appearance since leaving prison in October last year was as a guest on a radio talk show last month.
He told host Sherri Simmons that he was 85 percent sure that he would run for public office, that he had been former Premier Ewart Brown's trusted confidant and that an angel had spoken to him while in prison.
While imprisoned, he said, he was able to negotiate a two month ceasefire with the Island's gangs.
Mr Curtis' candidacy has prompted area MP Ashfield DeVent to seriously consider throwing his hat in the ring.
Mr DeVent lost out to Rolfe Commissiong in the contest to represent the ruling Progressive Labour Party in the next general election.
“The quality of the candidates who have put themselves forward concerns me,” Mr DeVent told The Royal Gazette last night.
“It raises the issue of integrity of political candidates and what message we are sending our young people in this country.”
He said: “We have a convicted armed robber and a fraudster. What's next?”
Mr DeVent added that he was now seriously considering running as an independent — something he has hinted at before.
“It is making me consider, yes. Because at the end of the day the voter decides. The voter decides who they want to represent them.”
He added that it may be time for Bermuda to consider stricter criteria on running for elective office. If Mr DeVent does run, the contest to represent the district will be a five person race.
Khalid Wasi, also known as Raymond Davis has also declared his intention to run in the district. And the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance has announced former police officer Jeff Baron as their candidate.
Mr Curtis did not respond to messages seeking comment by press time.
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