PLP rolls out candidates
The Progressive Labour Party yesterday rolled out its final 18 General Election candidates, including 16 of its sitting MPs.
Among those announced at the final PLP candidate announcements were former senator and public safety minister David Burch and former PLP backbencher George Scott.
Mr Burch, who was absent from the press conference, will take on Sheila Gomez of the OBA in Warwick North Central, the seat he lost by ten votes to Wayne Scott in 2012.
Meanwhile, George Scott will challenge Craig Cannonier of the OBA in Devonshire South Central.
Opposition leader David Burt, joined by fellow Shadow Cabinet members and other candidates at a press conference at Alaska Hall, said the PLP stands ready to bring Bermuda forward.
“In 1998 we set out to build a new Bermuda, but in 2017 we want to build a better Bermuda,” he said.
“We will do that by putting Bermudians first and providing them with the tools and the opportunities that they need to succeed.”
He said the party was “proud and humbled”, noting the PLP’s defeat in the last General Election, saying that it has listened and learnt.
“In 2012, you the voters sent us a clear message. That message was ‘not good enough’. We were not worthy of your vote back then, and you let us know,” he said.
“As a result we regrouped, we retooled, and we are humbly coming back to you asking for your support and to assure you that we will not let you down. We remain humble because during the last four plus years, we didn’t get it right all the time and if we messed up, you let us know. The fact that you even cared enough to tell us off humbles us.”
Mr Burt challenged the OBA’s record since the election, saying the party doesn’t have the right priorities and has expanded the divide between the “two Bermudas”.
“We are here because we are a team that will build a bridge of opportunity between the two Bermudas and close the gap between the haves and the have-nots, building a more fair economy by reducing the cost of living that is crushing so many families.
“We are a team that will repair the social fabric that has been ripped apart by a callous government decision to cut social services and after-school programmes, investments in our youth and our seniors while lavishly spending on their own vanity projects, at the same time robbing future generations of wealth by privatising our public assets.
“And we are a team that will provide Bermudians with the tools and the opportunities to make Bermuda a better place for all of us.”
Mr Burt formally announced that he was set to defend the Pembroke West Central seat in the election against Nick Kempe of the OBA.
Meanwhile, Walton Brown will once again take on Andrew Simons of the OBA, who he beat by six votes in Pembroke Central at the 2012 election.
Michael Scott will go head-to-head with Ray Charlton of the OBA, who he beat by eight votes in Sandys North five years ago.
Others to be unveiled in strong PLP areas were Derrick Burgess, who will face Peter Barrett of the OBA in Hamilton East; and Wayne Furbert, who will be against Simone Barton of the OBA and independent candidate Thad Hollis in Hamilton West.
Rolfe Commissiong will take on Rodney Smith of the OBA in Pembroke South East; Walter Roban will be against Scott Stewart of the OBA in Pembroke East; and Diallo Rabain will defend Devonshire North Central against Fabian Minors of the OBA.
Neville Tyrrell will fight against Robyn Swan of the OBA in Warwick South Central; Lawrence Scott will be against Nalton Brangman of the OBA in Warwick South East; Dennis Lister will face Michael Swan of the OBA in Sandys North Central; and Jamahl Simmons will be against Georgia Marshall of the OBA in Sandys South.
Lovitta Foggo (St David’s), Kim Wilson (Sandys South Central), Zane DeSilva (Southampton East) and Michael Weeks (Pembroke East Central) will all run in constituencies where the OBA has not yet unveiled a candidate.
Mr Burt announced that the PLP would reveal its official platform next week, urging the public to come out on July 18 to make their voices heard.
“On July 18, vote PLP and take back the power from the special interests of the One Bermuda Alliance,” he said.
“In 2012, you gave them a shot. On December 2, 2016, they failed Bermuda and embarrassed you. On July 18, send them a message that their performance deserves, and vote solidly PLP.”