Saturday, April 20, 2024

Opposition with commanding victory in Bermuda

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HAMILTON – The Progressive Labour Party (PLP) shattered predictions to sweep to a commanding victory over the ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) in Tuesday’s general election, winning by 24 seats to 12.

The OBA’s biggest casualty as it lost seven seats was former Finance Minister and Deputy Premier Bob Richards, who was beaten by almost 100 votes by newspaper columnist Christopher Famous in Devonshire East and promptly announced his retirement from politics.

“I’ve done my best. I am certainly going to retire from politics. This is the end of the line for me. My public service is done. I’m hopeful that the new government will continue some of the fiscal policies that we have put in place – they are critical for us moving forward. We’ll see what they do.”

Departing Premier Michael Dunkley scraped in by just 43 votes against the PLP’s Ernest Peets in Smith’s North, where he won by 320 votes in the OBA’s 19-17 victory at the last election in December 2012.

The PLP previously was in power for 14 years up to 2012, having ousted the now defunct United Bermuda Party (UBP) in 1998. The UBP had run the country for 30 years following the introduction of party politics.

Premier-elect David Burt retained his seat in Pembroke West Central as the OBA’s hopes of success in so-called marginal seats vanished, making a nonsense of an opinion poll in the Royal Gazette newspaper on Saturday that gave the OBA a double-digit lead.

Burt, 38, who had been Opposition Leader since last November, said: “I feel fine. Service is something I have committed my life to and, the fact is, I have served my community to the best of my ability and my constituency.”

He said his win was down to the fact that voters saw through the “naysayers” who claimed he was not present in Pembroke West Central.

“The voters understand it and they see the truth. This result sends a message. I’m gratified.”

Addressing the media at OBA headquarters after the election result was known, Dunkley, 59, said it had been a privilege to serve as the country’s premier. (CMC)

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