PLP leader sworn-in; new Shadow Cabinet announced
New Progressive Labour Party leader Marc Bean was officially sworn in yesterday as Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly.
Mr Bean, who was chosen as the new leader to replace Paula Cox, last Friday, was officially sworn in by the acting Governor, David Arkley.
Also sworn in were the three appointed Opposition Senators — Diallo Rabain, Renee Ming and Marc Daniels. The Opposition Senate Leader has been named as Mr Rabain.
Senator Ming will be the Shadow Minister responsible for the Municipalities. Senator Daniels, an attorney, is the third Opposition Senator. He will be the Senate spokesperson for the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, Home Affairs, Public Safety, and Tourism and Transport.
Mr Bean acknowledged the PLPs former leaders who he said he had had an opportunity to listen and learn from.
Each one of those leaders have provided me with knowledge and wisdom which I will seek to apply in my role as the Opposition leader and leader of the Progressive Labour Party.
But the occasion, he said, was very much subdued due to the road traffic accident death of Malik Weeks, son of MP Michael Weeks, over the holiday.
Mr Bean reiterated earlier comments that his party will not oppose legislation for the sake of it, when questioned by the media.
He said he was confident the party could regain the mandate to govern but regaining power was not his partys primary focus.
Our primary focus is rebuilding the structure of the Progressive Labour Party to not only make us a viable government again, but when we do become government again we expect to lead and set the tone for a higher standard of governance, he said.
So theres much work to be done and we will be taking it on day-by-day, step-by-step basis.
Mr Bean indicated that the PLP will play its role in offering checks and balances to Governments proposals.
We will safeguard the interests of Bermudians, first and foremost. But at the same time we are not going to take the position of just blocking legislation for the sake of blocking, he said.
If there is legislation that we see ultimately benefiting everyone in the country we will be supportive. Likewise because we have 17 seats in the House, you can also expect us to be proactive and look to present our own legislation in an effort to work toward unity within the parliamentary body.
Mr Bean told The Royal Gazette he was not prepared to speak on any legislative priorities his party would be advocating in the House of Assembly.
But he said the party did have unfinished business such as telecommunications reform and Job Corps and training programmes that they would encourage the One Bermuda Alliance to pursue.
Likewise, they will come with ideas which we will ultimately support. But you have to understand that this is the Westminster system and so while we will not oppose for the sake of opposing, we will safeguard the interest of the country and, where we deem fit, we will hold the One Bermuda Alliance to the fire at all times. Thats our responsibility and our obligation.
A full list of Shadow Ministries and the corresponding Ministers is below:
Attorney General & Legal Affairs — Kim Wilson
Finance — David Burt
Education — Walton Brown
Home Affairs — Walter Roban
Public Safety — Michael Scott
Public Works — Derrick Burgess
Economic & Social Development — Glenn Blakeney
Health & Seniors — Zane DeSilva
Community & Cultural Development — Michael Weeks
Tourism — Wayne Furbert
Transport — Lawrence Scott
Environment & Planning — Senator Diallo Rabain
Municipalities — Senator Renee Ming
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