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Rabain unveiled as PLP candidate

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Diallo Rabain, the Opposition Leader in the Senate, has been named as the Progressive Labour Party's candidate in Devonshire North Central.

The announcement was made at Alaska Hall yesterday by Marc Bean, who called him “a dedicated individual who always keeps the people's interest as his priority.

“As a member of the party's parliamentary group, he has been instrumental in shaping policy positions and ensuring that we continue to work and stand strong for the people of Bermuda”, the Opposition Leader added.

“Diallo is a father, husband, business owner, man of integrity, and an inspiration to young people aspiring to make a difference in their community. He has stood and worked for the people, which I am confident he will continue to do once elected to the House of Assembly.”

The by-election for Constituency 13, left vacant by the retirement on Monday of Glenn Blakeney, would stand as an important test of whether Bermudians agreed with the country's direction, Mr Bean said.

“I see us winning this constituency quite handily,” said Sen Rabain, adding that despite the rigorous canvassing by Anthony Francis, the One Bermuda Alliance candidate in 2012, “we will increase the margin by threefold”.

“I believe that elections are won on the doorstep,” he said. “We will knock on every single door in Constituency 13 and talk to every single voter.”

Mr Bean, meanwhile, appeared unfazed by the recent resignation of seven members of his Shadow Cabinet, and a push by some in the party for him to resign.

“The membership of the PLP has given me the mandate to clean up house,” he said. “That is not just for the betterment of our party; it's for the uplifting and strengthening of our country.”

Sen Rabain's election to Parliament would be occasion to appoint a new Opposition Senator, which Mr Bean said “will be at my discretion, in consultation with senior party members”.

Calling himself “spoiled for choice”, he added: “Leading the party, I am blessed to have a list of at least 20 who are worthy of a Senate position.”

Mr Bean praised outgoing MP Mr Blakeney — who was among those who resigned in protest of his leadership — as a “champion for the people” who gave a voice to the community.

“I thank him for his service and commitment to the people of Bermuda.”

Party sources have said that Mr Bean faces opposition from numerous MPs who are either calling for him to step down, or have strong concerns about his leadership.

However, during his remarks Mr Bean made repeated reference to his position as leader, also saying: “Just like any family, we have internal rifts — inside these walls, we are together.”

An engineer and founding partner of the surveying and project management company Compu-CAD, Sen Rabain has worked for the Department of Works and Engineering, as well as serving on numerous government boards.

He was appointed to the Senate in 2011 and ran as the PLP's candidate for Hamilton South during the 2012 election, after which he was reappointed to the Upper House as Opposition Leader in the Senate.

Campaign trail: Marc Bean, the Leader of the Opposition, yesterday announced Diallo Rabain as the candidate for the Progressive Labour Party in Devonshire North Central, the constituency left vacant by the retirement of Glenn Blakeney (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 11, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 11, 2015 at 8:34 am)

Rabain unveiled as PLP candidate

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