Politics

OBA’s ‘new dawn’ in for Atherden, Richards

  • Fresh face: Robin Tucker (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Political experience: Marcus Jones, the OBA candidate for Pembroke West (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Marcus Jones, right, and Robin Tucker with One Bermuda Alliance leader Craig Cannonier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The leader of the One Bermuda Alliance insisted yesterday that his party was “the right choice” as he announced its first two candidates since the General Election was called.

Craig Cannonier said that Robin Tucker and Marcus Jones “represent the future” of the OBA.

Ms Tucker will fight for the seat in Hamilton South (Constituency 7) in place of Sylvan Richards, who was the Shadow Minister of Home Affairs and the Environment in the last Parliament.

Mr Jones will contest Pembroke West (Constituency 19), last held by former OBA leader Jeanne Atherden.

Mr Cannonier said: “I am enthused by the calibre of the people stepping forward as candidates who want to take up the mantle from my senior colleagues. It is truly a new dawn for the OBA.

“Soon the OBA will be announcing some exciting policies, but I feel it is important to introduce the Bermudians who will be responsible for implementing those plans.

“In that regard, I am looking forward to rolling out some new faces who have accepted our invitation to run in this election.”

David Burt, the Premier, announced last month that the island will go to the polls on October 1.

Mr Cannonier said: “We are a few weeks away from making a crucial decision about which team is best suited to steer this country away from economic disaster. The Premier has promised to re-engineer the economy. He has talked of taking an ‘unorthodox’ approach.

“These are just soundbites with no substance.

“Before Covid, we asked where the economic plan was and today, we are still asking what the plan is to stimulate the economy, to provide jobs for Bermudians and hope for the future.

“Bermuda, we are the right choice.”

Ms Atherden beat Jason Hayward, of the Progressive Labour Party, by 502 votes to 379 in 2017. She defeated Vincent Ingham, of the PLP, by 530 votes to 275 five years earlier.

Mr Jones, a former PLP election candidate, said that his political views had changed “after some serious soul searching”.

He added: “I wanted to be a part of an alliance of community minded, fiscally responsible and forward-thinking people, who have sincere concerns for the hardships of its residents and believed in advocating for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

“A party that is inclusive, embracing Bermuda’s diversity of people, provides opportunity for everyone to succeed. A party that puts all Bermudians first, not just a certain sector of the community based on ethnicity, class or economic status.”

He said that the OBA aspired to the values he highlighted.

Mr Jones added: “This party has not always reflected the ideals of its mandate outlined in its name and enshrined in its constitution, which is to strive to create an environment both in perception and reality, a one Bermuda.

“That is reflected in our theme for this election — we will do better, which demonstrates humility in admitting past shortcomings and a commitment to improve on our performance as Parliamentarians, both individually and as a party.”

The candidate, who was an OBA senator in the last Parliament, said that he was committed to addressing the concerns of Pembroke West constituents, including poor conditions on Spanish Point Road and “the need for some major clean-up of old discarded boats and the like just off of the Spanish Point Boat Club”.

Mr Richards beat the PLP’s Anthony Richardson 486 to 465 in the 2017 General Election. He secured 569 votes against Diallo Rabain, of the PLP, who took 364 in the 2012 contest.

The PLP announced last week that Mr Richardson, who was a government senator in the last Parliament, will again fight for Hamilton South next month.

Ms Tucker admitted she had “no political history” and no political affiliations until she joined the OBA and agreed to stand in the General Election.

She said: “I am just like many of you, a concerned citizen affected by the decisions of whichever government is leading the country.

“I am a wife, mother and grandmother who is worried about the mounting debt that our children, grandchildren and possibly our great-grandchildren will have to repay.

“I am worried about our children receiving quality education and whether they will be adequately prepared to compete for jobs locally and overseas.

“I am worried that so many Bermudians, even pre-Covid, are out of work and are unable to provide basic necessities for their families.”

Ms Tucker added that although she had not met constituents in Hamilton South, she felt they shared “some common concerns”, including “a thriving economy” and a desire “to live in healthy and safe communities”.

To view the statements from Craig Cannonier, Marcus Jones and Robin Tucker, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”