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PLP to hold primaries this month

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Cabinet Minister Neletha Butterfield, Speaker Stanley Lowe, Deputy Speaker Randy Horton and backbenchers Ashfield DeVent, Wayne Furbert, Dennis Lister and Darius Tucker all face challenges at Progressive Labour Party primaries this month.

Contests are also being held in constituencies currently held by retiring MPs Elvin James, Walter Lister and Alex Scott as the PLP candidate selection process gathers pace.

A letter from party hierarchy to members confirmed nine primaries will take place between Tuesday, September 20, and Tuesday, September 27, with one more on a date to be fixed.

Yet more are expected across the Country, with National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief saying he's awaiting notice of a primary; it's understood former Senator Walton Brown applied for his seat in Pembroke Central.

Question marks remain over Pastor Leroy Bean and environmentalist John Gibbons, who were announced as candidates in St George's South and St George's West respectively last year, before boundary changes were pushed through the House of Assembly.

Mr Gibbons has already welcomed the chance to go through a second primary, but it's understood Mr Bean is adamant the wording of the PLP's constitution means he can't be challenged.

Senior party members have been keen to switch Tourism Minister Patrice Minors from Smith's North, where she is coming under intense pressure from One Bermuda Alliance deputy leader Senator Michael Dunkley, to the relative safety of either of those St George's seats.

Mrs Minors is a close ally of Premier Paula Cox, but Mr Bean is strongly supported by Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess, according to sources, suggesting Mrs Minors is most likely to be pitched against Mr Gibbons.

Meanwhile Ms Butterfield confirmed she is looking to run in the next election, but sources say she's coming under pressure from newcomers, with Junior Finance Minister David Burt said to have been canvassing in the Pembroke area.

That primary will take place on Thursday, September 22, at West Pembroke School.

Sources in Somerset say the Lister family's grip is now seriously under threat with Dennis Lister understood to be facing opposition from a number of candidates at a primary at St James Church Hall on Monday, September 26.

The five-way battle to replace Walter Lister in Sandys South Central will be fought out at Allen Temple AME Church on Thursday, September 22.

Race activist Rolfe Commissiong's attempt to oust Mr DeVent in Pembroke South East will take place at party headquarters, Alaska Hall, on Tuesday, September 20. It's thought Senator Jonathan Smith is also a contender in that seat.

The three-way fight in Hamilton West between former United Bermuda leader Wayne Furbert, his cousin Senator LaVerne Furbert and businessman Charles Clarke is scheduled for Thursday, September 27, at Temperance Hall, Hamilton Parish.

One of the spiciest contests will be in Southampton East, where long-serving Mr Lowe is understood to be up against outspoken former Senator David Burch and Health Minister Zane DeSilva at the New Apostle Church on Wednesday, September 21.

Mr Horton's 13-year spell as an MP will face a test in Southampton West, where a primary is due at Dalton Tucker Primary School on Wednesday, September 21.

Former UBP MP Mr Tucker's career as the PLP representative for Hamilton South, which only began three months ago when he completed his journey across the floor of the House of Assembly, faces a challenge at Harrington Workmen's Club on Tuesday, September 20.

Lawyer Charles Richardson has previously declared his interest in that seat, with former UBP Minister Maxwell Burgess another possibility.

Lawrence Scott's attempt to replace his retiring father, former Premier Alex Scott, in Warwick South East, will take place at a date and venue to be announced, while the replacement for retiring former Education Minister Elvin James will be found on Tuesday, September 27, at a venue to be fixed.

Warwick North East MP Dale Butler, whose seat was thought to be targeted, yesterday said he's been told there's no need for a primary as he's not being challenged.

Useful websites: www.plp.bm.

Neleatha Buterfield
Randolph Horton
Stanley Lowe

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Published September 13, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated September 13, 2011 at 9:06 am)

PLP to hold primaries this month

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