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Election candidate may challenge rule that forced him to quit job

Government may face litigation to force it to change a policy which jeopardises the jobs of public servants who decide to run for elective office.

Anthony Francis, the One Bermuda Alliance candidate for district 13, Devonshire South, is unemployed as a result of his candidacy.

Now he is thinking seriously about taking the Government to court.

Mr Francis, who worked as IT Manager for the Bermuda Post Office, had to resign from his job the day after he was rolled out as the OBA’s candidate for Devonshire South, the party claimed last year.

He was told to withdraw his candidacy, face charges of gross misconduct, or resign by the end of the year.

Mr Francis submitted his resignation but later attempted to rescind his resignation on the advice of the civil servants union, the Bermuda Public Services Union.

While his supervisor accepted the decision not to resign, the Secretary to the Cabinet did not, claiming the policy in place requires his resignation.

But other public servants are not required to give up their jobs in order to run for office.

The same rules do not apply to John Gibbons, a candidate for the ruling party, because even though he works for Government, he is represented by the BIU and he is not a civil servant.

Yesterday, Mr Francis sounded upbeat about his chances of success in the courts if and when he does launch what would be a constitutional challenge.

“Not just for me but for all public servants that want to express themselves with a higher for of public service, I feel confident that we will get some action that will make that possible,” he said.

“I am looking for the ability of all public servants to stand for public office without having to worry about whether or not they are going to have a job the next day.”

Mr Francis said that he is on the hunt for a job.

“But right now my only job is to get elected as a representative for constituency 13.

(Photo by Mark Tatem) Anthony Francis has to give up his civil service job when he announced his intention to run as a candidate for the OBA. He may challenge the policy that forced him from his job.

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Published March 06, 2012 at 8:43 am (Updated March 06, 2012 at 8:43 am)

Election candidate may challenge rule that forced him to quit job

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