Bean open to forming coalition government
The leader of Bermuda's newest political party has signalled he would be prepared to form a coalition with members of the Progressive Labour Party or the One Bermuda Alliance.
Marc Bean, a co-founder of the Free Democratic Movement, said he had been contacted by people from both groups as they considered the possibility.
But the PLP said yesterday that it would not enter into a coalition deal with any other political party and the OBA maintained it was “focused on winning” the General Election next month.
The FDM is fielding candidates in 15 of the island's 36 constituencies.
Three uncontested seats were won by the PLP on nomination day last week.
But Mr Bean, a former PLP leader, said: “The reality is that with 15 seats, the Free Democratic Movement is prepared on October 1 to enter into a coalition with members of the Progressive Labour Party and the One Bermuda Alliance, and that's why discussions are being held.
“People are reaching out to me from both sides in consideration of that potential eventuality. That's what happens when you become another force in a very stagnant political environment.”
He added: “The people need to know that if there's an opportunity, where you vote for the FDM, then you're voting for the potential of not only having a very effective opposition, but you'll also be voting for the potential to have a government that represents their interests much more.”
Mr Bean said: “That will come through us working with the best and brightest of the PLP, whom I still have very close relationships with as their former leader, and I'll also be willing to work with the best and brightest of the One Bermuda Alliance — if that's what's required to save this country.”
He was speaking after he became aware of memes circulating on social media that suggested the FDM and OBA were “working together towards a coalition”.
Mr Bean said: “I want the public to know that that is the typical, normal, highly paid, expensive psyops, or psychological warfare, that the governing party, ruling party are known for.
“I know because I was their leader.
“It's meant to deceive and to distract, and to divide and rule.”
He added that he did not want the public to be misled.
A PLP spokeswoman said: “The Progressive Labour Party will not enter into a coalition with any other political party.
“There have been no conversations about coalitions and there will be no conversations about coalitions.
“Our philosophy is clear. We are a labour government rooted in progressive values that believes in putting Bermudians first. The other parties contesting this election do not share these values.
“The FDM may be in talks about a coalition with the OBA.”
The spokeswoman added: “As seniors are currently voting, I think that it is important that all parties are open and honest with voters about any collaborations, deals or alliances being contemplated between political parties.”
Craig Cannonier, the OBA leader, said: “We are focused on winning an election and forming a government to put in place policies that will save this country from economic ruin.
“As to the memes, they are part of the usual propaganda nonsense employed over and over by the PLP, and should be ignored.”
The PLP spokeswoman added: “Since the dawn of the internet, the PLP has been attacked virulently online by nameless, faceless commenters as well as by political parties and shadowy groups. They have made the most horrible accusations about us, our leaders and our supporters.
“Bermudians who support our party have been called ‘sheeple' and their intelligence has been insulted. Our leaders have been subjected to malicious personal attacks.
“We deal with it because this is a free country and people are welcome to exercise their freedom of speech, even if it is offensive and inappropriate.”