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‘We cannot allow the PLP to paint us as the white party' - Cannonier

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The One Bermuda Alliance can't allow the Progressive Labour Party to paint it as the white party, new leader Senator Craig Cannonier told the membership.

Sen Cannonier vowed not to let the OBA be bullied on race the way some perceive the United Bermuda Party was during previous general election campaigns.

At the last election, the PLP dubbed black UBP candidates as puppets of white elitists behind the scene; the UBP was accused of elevating its black candidates to appear diverse.

During his leadership speech on Saturday night, Sen Cannonier said: “The PLP depends on the division of race to stay in power.

“We cannot allow the PLP to define us, to paint us as the white party or the New BP.

“We must sit in their homes, and go to their communities and show them that the OBA is about one thing and one thing only and that is getting Bermuda working again.

“We will earn their trust and show them that the OBA Government is about justice, equality, fairness, transparency, and the belief that all men and women should be able to realise their dreams in this Country.”

Sen Cannonier suggested the PLP would have wanted the OBA to select Bob Richards as leader because of his well-established UBP roots.

“This election cannot be about the status quo,” he said.

“Choosing the status quo gives the PLP an early Christmas gift. They have already begun to label this organisation as old wine in a new wine bottle.

“I am here to tell you that old wine in a new bottle will not bring us victory in the next election. What we must do now is bring people in this room who will bring about change for Bermuda. To make new wine in new bottles.”

He also pointed to the PLP's success in building an emotional connection with its supporters, saying: “The PLP won a mandate to change Bermuda. Instead, after 13 years, we have division and an increased racial divide when we should have been on a pathway to healing.

“Cronyism, favouritism and nepotism have become constant practices that continue to plague our Country.

“Despite this there are people that will still vote PLP because they have a deep emotional connection with them. There are those right now that are disappointed with the PLP but will still vote for them.”

Useful websites: www.oba.bm

Craig Cannonier delivers his speech for the leadership of the One Bermuda Alliance on Saturday night. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Craig Cannonier celebrates after being announced the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance on Saturday night and reaches out to the man he beat, his party colleague Bob Richards.

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Published September 12, 2011 at 11:00 am (Updated September 12, 2011 at 11:03 am)

‘We cannot allow the PLP to paint us as the white party' - Cannonier

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