Nomination Day: PLP off the mark with three seats

  • David Burt and wife Kristin lead the PLP procession on Nomination Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    David Burt and wife Kristin lead the PLP procession on Nomination Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • OBA leader Craig Cannonier walks with purpose ahead of his reduced team (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    OBA leader Craig Cannonier walks with purpose ahead of his reduced team (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Marc Bean declared 15 candidates for the newly formed Free Democratic Movement (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Marc Bean declared 15 candidates for the newly formed Free Democratic Movement (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Three Progressive Labour Party politicians were announced as General Election winners yesterday after the One Bermuda Alliance failed to field a full slate of candidates.

The OBA, which was the Opposition in the last Parliament, listed 31 contenders and the newly formed Free Democratic Movement put forward 15 people.

It was declared immediately after nominations closed at 1pm yesterday that Michael Weeks in Pembroke East Central, Jason Hayward in Pembroke Central and Neville Tyrrell in Warwick South Central won the uncontested seats.

The Progressive Labour Party put forward a full slate of 36 candidates, including 28 who were either MPs or senators in the last Parliament.

Gombeys led a procession of PLP candidates down King Street towards the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Hamilton, where nominations took place.

David Burt, the Premier and PLP leader, who led the group with his wife, Kristin, said he would not “engage in speculation” about the number of candidates from the other parties.

However, he added: “I think that it’s a demonstration of the strength of our democracy that people are willing to put themselves forward.”

The Premier said: “We are of the belief that the Progressive Labour Party has the strongest team. We’ve demonstrated strong leadership throughout the pandemic, but also we’ve demonstrated strong leadership in the work of which we’ve done since we were elected.”

The OBA fielded no one in Pembroke East Central, Pembroke Central, Pembroke South East, Warwick South Central and Sandys South.

Its roll included Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, who will fight in Devonshire East against Christopher Famous, of the PLP, despite many believing that she had retired when she stepped aside from Paget West earlier this month.

Nick Kempe, who left his role as OBA Senate leader in February to pursue opportunities abroad, returned from overseas and will stand in Pembroke West Central, where Mr Burt defeated him 639 votes to 326 in the 2017 General Election.

Craig Cannonier, the OBA leader, said yesterday: “This is not about 36 seats. This is about the popular vote. It is about ensuring that we take on this Government.

“Nineteen seats are vital for us. We have taken our time over the last two years to court people — we have been talking to them for some time.

“I decided that this time around I am not racing to fill seats. When you race you make mistakes.”

Mr Cannonier insisted he had not been caught off guard by the snap election.

He said: “We were prepared. It was about making sure we get people who are committed to the cause, who are committed to representing Bermuda and getting the right expertise.

“Whether we feel it is grass roots or someone who does well with numbers, getting the right mix of Bermuda is important. This is about quality going forward.

“We are going to put forth people that we recognise to be significantly committed to creating the change for Bermuda.”

The Free Democratic Movement, which was launched by Marc Bean this month, produced a slate that included people already known throughout the island for their political or campaigning backgrounds.

Mr Bean will run in Sandys North, where he will take on Attorney-General Kathy Lynn Simmons and Jeff Sousa, of the OBA, for the seat formerly held by Michael Scott, of the PLP.

Asked if the creation of a third party could split the PLP vote, he replied: “The intention isn’t to weaken either party but to strengthen democracy.

“If you notice our platform, and you are going to see our policies, I think we are going to be attractive to both sides of the political aisle.

“If people think that the PLP are going to lose votes because of our presence that could be a miscalculation. The One Bermuda Alliance can also lose votes because of our presence.”

Other FDM candidates included Cheryl Packwood, the former director of the Government’s Washington office and CEO of Business Bermuda, former PLP Cabinet minister Patrice Minors, and activist LeYoni Junos.

Ms Minors will face Mr Cannonier in Devonshire South Central, where Lindsay Simmons is the PLP candidate and Marilyn Steede will stand as an independent.

The Reverend Maria Seaman and Antoine Raynor will run as independent candidates in Warwick North Central.

David W. Burch is an independent candidate for Warwick South East and Norris Brangman will run as an independent in Sandys North Central.

To view the full list of candidates, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”

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Published Sep 11, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 11, 2020 at 7:01 am)

Nomination Day: PLP off the mark with three seats

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