OBA to decide new leader at conference
The leadership of the One Bermuda Alliance is to be decided at a General Conference later this month.
The party needs to “rebuild confidence and trust in our support base, and to reiterate the good that we did for the country during our administration,” according to Opposition leader Patricia Gordon-Pamplin.
Nominations for party leader will wrap up on Friday. Ms Gordon-Pamplin called it “premature” when asked about potential contenders. She declined to discuss her own aspirations.
“The process is open, which shows a healthy democracy in operation, and the final contenders will be known at that time,” she said.
Ms Gordon-Pamplin was chosen as interim leader in the wake of the OBA's punishing electoral defeat in July, with Sylvan Richards as deputy.
At that time, Jeanne Atherden, Jeff Baron, Susan Jackson and Leah Scott were said to be other challengers for the role.
Asked what was next for the OBA, Ms Gordon-Pamplin said: “To keep the country from the brink of disaster, we had to employ austere measures, which have been interpreted by our detractors as indifference to people. The major projects that we brought to the table were to encourage jobs, which was the basis of our platform in 2012, and on which we were obliged to deliver.”
So far as the Opposition, the OBA has “questioned when necessary and supported when appropriate”, she said.
“Unfortunately, the Government expects that we will be bobbing heads of agreement on all things, but that is not likely to happen.
“There have been some very toxic comments that have had to be challenged, but the onus is on the Speaker to maintain proper decorum from both sides of the House.”
Noting that the ruling Progressive Labour Party had gone on the offensive over the America's Cup by tabling supplementary budget items in September, Ms Gordon-Pamplin called the debate “premature and unnecessary — but that did not deter the Government from proceeding”.
She said the tabling of an independent assessment of the America's Cup should provide a clearer picture.
“With the significant numerical advantage, and the unlikelihood of any backbench challenge from their ranks, the executive will continue to do whatever they will, irrespective of the sensibility,” she added.
“The adage remains — the Opposition will have their say, the Government will have its way.”
The positions of party leader, deputy leader, party chairman and two party deputy co-chairman positions are up for election.
Chandra Arandjelovic, executive secretary, explained that the positions of OBA leader and deputy leader could be contested by any OBA MP.
Any OBA member in good standing would be able to throw their hat in the ring for the positions of chairman and deputy chairman.
Nomination forms are available from OBA headquarters and the deadline for nominations is noon on Friday.
Ms Arandjelovic said: “Any OBA members that will be away on the date of the general conference, will be able to vote by an advance poll to be held on November 10 between the hours of 10am and 4pm at Party HQ.”
The conference will be held at Vasco Da Gama on November 18 from 7pm.