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FDM plans higher profile in 2021

Eugene Dean, founding member of the Free Democratic Movement (Photograph supplied).

The Free Democratic Movement may have been out of the spotlight since its election defeat but it is gearing up to address the public early in the new year.

This is according to Eugene Dean, a founding member of the island’s third political force who has been chairing party meetings in the absence of Marc Bean, its leader.

Mr Bean, the former leader of the Progressive Labour Party, travelled off the island shortly after the October election and has not returned in a permanent capacity since.

Mr Dean admitted the party had been keeping a low profile but insisted that its members remains active.

He told The Royal Gazette: “We are putting energy into ensuring we have a structure in place that can facilitate the existence of the party long term – we are building capacity internally.

“We are keeping pace with everything that’s going on in the country. The expectation is that in the coming months we will be more vocal than we have been. Not being vocal is no indication that we have gone away.

“We have been communicating and developing a framework which is still in the developmental phase. We will release that in the beginning of the New Year.”

Mr Dean said that FDM’s members meet via Zoom at least once a month and Mr Bean has been in virtual attendance at some of the meetings.

Mr Dean said: “We have had meetings and discussed pertinent issues.

“We did not send out any Christmas or New Year’s messages – we are not the government or the official Opposition and that is normally handled by them.

“We discussed it, it could have been a nice gesture but it is not a priority. It is more important for us to be effective. We need to be doing things that have a tangible impact on the community as it has been an extremely challenging year.

“The country is stressed economically so that is critical – education has been a priority so that was key too. How we manage post the Covid reality is also of critical importance.”

The FDM launched in September originally fielding 15 candidates for the October 1 election.

Kae Thomas Palacio, a founding member, resigned in September.

Mr Dean said it was his understanding all other members remained with the party at this time.

The party's website said it had been founded as “a direct response to the loud cries from the people of Bermuda for genuine leadership, understanding and representation”.

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Published January 02, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 31, 2020 at 5:02 pm)

FDM plans higher profile in 2021

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