OBA announces leadership contenders
Senator Craig Cannonier and Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards will go head to head for the leadership of the One Bermuda Alliance.
Senator Michael Dunkley and Shadow Attorney General Trevor Moniz will compete for the deputy leadership, interim chairman Michael Fahy told a press conference this morning.
Sen Dunkley, understood to be the popular choice as leader among much of the membership, told party members he pulled out of the running as he didn't want to quit the Smith's North constituency he's hoping to fight at the next general election.
It's believed senior party members had feared critics would have dubbed an Opposition party headed by Sen Dunkley a reincarnation of the United Bermuda Party.
Sen Cannonier, who has been interim deputy leader of the OBA, was leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance before it merged with most of the UBP in May.
Mr Richards, the son of former UBP Premier Sir Edward Richards, was a key player in the UBP for many years before the merger. He lost to Kim Swan in a leadership contest in 2009.
Sen Cannonier is said to enjoy support among the OBA's former BDA contingent, with Mr Richards likely to get backing from those formerly in the UBP.
The former BDA leader is seen by many insiders as the party's best hope of showing it's a different entity to the UBP which lost three successive general elections to the Progressive Labour Party.
If successful, Sen Cannonier will be parachuted into interim leader John Barritt's Devonshire South Central seat for a by-election so he can try to get into the House of Assembly; Mr Barritt will resign as an MP. Sen Dunkley has told colleagues he was not prepared to switch from Smith's North.
Also this morning, Thad Hollis was elected as chairman unchallenged, while Michael Branco, Jeanne Atherden and Karen Magnum will contest the deputy chairman position.
The leadership conference will take place on September 10 at Fairmont Southampton.
Useful websites: www.oba.bm