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Branco quits OBA deputy chair post

Michael Branco is quitting a post at the head of the governing party to focus on his career and family.

One of the two deputy chairs of the One Bermuda Alliance, he said his four-year stint in politics has been “very fulfilling”.

His term comes to an end on Saturday at the party's annual conference. Nominations for the two deputy chairs will be sought early next year after no names were put forward for the posts.

Mr Branco was one of the founders of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance which later merged with the now-defunct United Bermuda Party to form the OBA.

“It has been a great deal of hard work, but I am now taking some time to concentrate on my family and career. In particular, my focus is now on my daughter who was born six months ago,” he said in an e-mailed response to a query from this newspaper.

“My political experience has been very fulfilling, particularly when I assisted with the IT aspects of the last general election and coordinated operations for the OBA on the day of the election.”

He continued: “It is too bad that no one else has run for the role of deputy chair. Despite being a role that is behind-the-scenes and hard work, it is quite fulfilling. I hope a young candidate steps forward to take on the challenge.

“I look forward to the next opportunity to contribute to my community and country in any way I can.”

Mr Branco said he was not quitting politics altogether, “just taking a break from the time consuming role of deputy chair”.

The CEO of technology firm Fireminds put his skills to good use for the OBA, building out its IT infrastructure which included “everything from e-mail servers, phone systems, website to voter tracker systems”.

“Many of the systems are still operational, particularly as MPs canvas their areas and use IT to keep track of issues and ensure they are resolved,” he said.

Mr Branco had opposed the merging of the BDA with the UBP, telling this newspaper in 2011 that it would be “offensive” to the BDA members.

But he later emerged as the party's deputy chair, along with former UBP chair Jeane Atherden.

Now an OBA MP, Ms Atherden has also decided not to run for re-election.

Efforts to reach her have been unsuccessful.

“We are a little disappointed,” said a party spokesperson of the lack of nominations for deputy chair so far. “The chairman would find it useful to have the extra help and advice. However, everybody's focus in the run-up to the Conference has been the Leader and Deputy Leader. We are hopeful that a second attempt in the New Year will produce the desired nominations.”

Party chairman Thad Hollis will remain in his position for the next two years, as no challenger has emerged.

This weekend's party conference will see party leader Craig Cannonier and his Deputy Michael Dunkley reelected unopposed under a new constitution which extends their terms from four to two years.

Michael Branco

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Published October 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 16, 2013 at 1:34 am)

Branco quits OBA deputy chair post

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