New OBA candidate: ‘Doing nothing is not an option’
Attorney Nadia Hamza will challenge PLP backbencher Dennis Lister for his Sandys North Central seat.
Mr Lister won the seat in 2008, earning 556 votes versus the 281 given to UBP candidate Donald Hassell.
OBA leader Craig Cannonier yesterday announced Ms Hamza would stand for the party candidate in Constituency 35.
Ms Hamza said while she had in the past considered herself apolitical, she felt she couldn’t remain on the sidelines in the current environment.
“Doing nothing is not an option when Bermuda is in such a real crisis on every level,” Ms Hamza said.
“In my quest to see what I can do to help Bermuda move forward, I have chosen to support the one team that is committed to restoring the public’s faith in good governance, the one team that is truly committed to the key principles of opportunity, responsibility, integrity, transparency, fairness, inclusiveness and service,” she said. “That team is the One Bermuda Alliance.”
The lawyer is the granddaughter of former Somerset Primary School principal Eileen Gladwin. She was born in the UK but came to the Island to live as a young child.
She described fond memories of growing up in Sandys, playing in the Gladys Morrell Nature Reserve and going to Springfield library to borrow books.
“As a child I grew up in the neighbourhood of Laurel Lane and West Side Road,” Ms Hamza said. “It is for this reason that I am particularly delighted to be able to come back and give back to the very community who were responsible for nurturing me in my younger years.
“As your representative, I will understand, listen, connect and clearly speak on your behalf.
“I am committed not only to raising issues that Sandys is experiencing, but also to start working with you now, before the election, to get the ball rolling on much-needed change.”
She said that she recently attended an economic forum at Sandys 360 and listened to the concerns of those who lived in the area.
She also visited Lefroy House, where she said good people’s efforts to help are being hobbled by a system that is not serving them.
“The least we can do for our seniors is to accord them the respect and dignity that they merit and the care that they deserve,” Ms Hamza said.
“They have paid their whole lives into a system which is now failing them.
“It is not acceptable to allocate funds to them only to take them back, without explanation, without apology, and to leave those who are trying to do their best to help them woefully under-supported.
“It is a lie for this Government to say that it cares about its seniors when it shows them so little respect or compassion.”
Asked what she thought were her odds to win what is generally considered a PLP safe seat, she said her focus is on speaking out on behalf of the Sandys North Central community.
“If they decide they want me to serve them, I will do my best for them,” she said.
Mr Cannonier said he was excited to announce Ms Hamza as a candidate for the party, calling her a strong advocate for seniors and environmental issues.
“We continue to have candidates who have never been involved in the political arena,” he said. “We know that we have an injection of new people coming into this arena, which is vital for the health of Bermuda.”
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