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Sir John Swan seeks to build momentum for change in politics

Sir John Swan (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Sir John Swan intends to launch a new forum to bring political change after his second-place finish in the recent by-election.

While the former premier was unsuccessful in his bid to represent Constituency 10 at the May 22 vote, he said the new forum could bring a “fundamental change in how we govern ourselves”.

Sir John wrote in an opinion piece published today: “This forum will create a new dialogue for Bermuda and interested people, discussing how the change that we agree is needed can be delivered.

“Make no mistake, the political parties have sophisticated political machinery, computer data bases and people who spend many hours plotting how they can achieve political success for their party.

“The forum I speak of will seek rather to encourage a new movement, build momentum for change.”

Sir John added that he would make himself available personally and would ask those who have already said they wanted to help to provide the “core” of the forum.

“I shall announce further details soon,” he added.

“In the meanwhile, I would ask anyone seeking to be part of this change, who feels the urgent need to cause a significant course correction in our ship of state, to contact me.”

Sir John, who served as premier under the United Bermuda Party from 1982 to 1995, had stepped forward as an independent candidate in the by-election last month to fill a vacancy left in the House of Assembly by the retirement of Michael Dunkley.

While he said he hoped his bid for Smith’s North would act as a political catalyst for would-be independent MPs, he fell short of winning the three-way race.

Robert King, of the One Bermuda Alliance, prevailed with 209 votes.

However, Sir John was not far behind at 184 — just ahead of Lindsay Simmons, of the Progressive Labour Party, who secured 181 votes.

Despite his loss, Sir John said he had done “extremely well”, noting that he launched his campaign only weeks before the election and went against two established political parties.

“For us to come within approximately 12 voters of winning this by-election after so short a period of preparation, and as an independent, is an extraordinary result,” Sir John said.

“I am not sure that any independent, running for the first time, has ever come so close to being elected. I am thus accepting the result as a fundamental endorsement for the need for change in our political governance system.

“As there has been several individuals who have approached me about running as independent candidates, I am committing to provide encouragement, organisation where needed, guidance and advice to all other individuals who wish to discuss the possibility of joining an independent movement for change.”

Those who wish to contact Sir John Swan can do so by e-mail at independentmp@sirjohn.bm or by phone at 504-3495

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Published June 12, 2024 at 11:38 am (Updated June 12, 2024 at 11:38 am)

Sir John Swan seeks to build momentum for change in politics

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