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25-year-old Alexis Swan chosen as OBA election candidate

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Twenty-five-year-old Alexis Swan was yesterday unveiled as the One Bermuda Alliance’s general election candidate for Warwick South East.

Ms Swan will be one of youngest ever people seeking a place in Parliament as she takes on Lawrence Scott of the Progressive Labour Party for the seat being vacated by his retiring father, former Premier Alex Scott.

She was rolled out yesterday along with Shadow Education Minister Grant Gibbons, who will stand in Paget East, the former United Bermuda Party stronghold he has represented since 1994.

Leader Craig Cannonier said the duo reflect the official Opposition’s strategy to mix political experience with new ideas and energy. Ms Swan, an account representative for Colonial, accused the PLP of playing the racecard and said her generation is tired of political bickering.

“I grew up in a political system that seemed to be more about division than unity, more about self-interest than community, more about party than Country,” she told the media.

“I watched the governing party deliberately manipulate race for political gain and spend us into debt so deep that it will take my generation all our lives to pay it off.

“The system, as I saw it, was not serving the people well nor was it serving the Island well.

“I believe politics should be about uplifting people. I believe it should be about appealing to their best instincts and values in order to build something better.

“I must say I had little hope for Bermuda’s future until I learned about the One Bermuda Alliance.”

Gavin Smith was aged 24 when he was the Gombey Liberation Party’s only candidate in the 2003 general election, but Ms Swan is younger than all candidates for 2007 and any rolled out so far for the next election, which Premier Paula Cox must call within a year.

She said: “I think putting my name up as a candidate breaks a barrier because I’m very young.

“As I saw the Country was deteriorating the way it was, I felt I shouldn’t run away from the problem.”

Asked for her views on race, she said her generation grew up sitting in multicultural classrooms without segregation.

“Our outlook is very different,” she said, adding that it is time to look forward rather than backward.

Dr Gibbons, 59, was a UBP MP for 17 years, and leader of that party from October 2001 to January 2006, before becoming a founding member of the OBA in 2011.

Asked for a response to claims his selection shows the OBA is merely a reincarnation of the UBP, Dr Gibbons told

The Royal Gazette yesterday: “I expect that from the PLP, but this party is about the team and the mix.

“I think we have seen today a new face, but we have also seen someone who’s been around and had experience. Given where Bermuda’s problems are and the challenges it faces, we need that mix of experience and new ideas.”

Dr Gibbons said the Island needs change, particularly in education and the handling of the public purse.

“Frankly, what Bermuda needs is a fresh start,” he said.

“We need to restore confidence not only in the economy and the job market, but in a brighter future.

“The current Government can’t do it. They’re tired, they don’t have solutions and their credibility is declining by the day. They’ve burned too many bridges and they’re part of the problem.”

In 2007, Alex Scott defeated Jeff Sousa of the UBP by 518 votes to 367 to keep the Warwick South East seat he has held since 1993. At the next election, Mr Sousa will represent the OBA in Warwick West against Jonathan Smith.

In Paget East four years ago, Dr Gibbons defeated Davida Morris of the PLP by 723 votes to 212.

Grant Gibbons and Alexis Swan
Grant Gibbons and Alexis Swan were announced yesterday as OBA candidates. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Alexis Swan was announced yesterday as an OBA candidate
Grant Gibbons was announced yesterday as an OBA candidate. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published February 03, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 03, 2012 at 5:45 am)

25-year-old Alexis Swan chosen as OBA election candidate

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