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Rift In Opposition Party In Bermuda?

Paula-Cox

Former Bermuda Premier Paula Cox

By NAN Contributor

News Americas, HAMILTON, Bermuda, Fri. June 16, 2017: Is there a rift in the opposition party in Bermuda?

As the countdown begins to the July 18 general election in Bermuda, former Premier Paula Cox has sent a scathing to Opposition Leader David Burt of the Bermuda Progressive Labor Party (PLP) after she was passed over as the candidate for Constituency 14, a seat she lost in 2012.

The PLP instead announced Wayne Caines will run for the seat over the highly experienced and constitutionally selected Cox.

“The latest move by the party, highlights the level of injustice, high handedness and disrespect that’s been meted out to the former Premier Paula Cox, despite her been the constitutionally selected PLP candidate,” a source told NAN this week. “It also demonstrates how the Opposition Leader David Burt and the party have disregarded the decision by the Branch Executive and have moved ahead and parachuted another individual over Paula Cox.”

Cox herself sent a scathing e-mail to Burt over her rejection, saying party leaders, who announced Caines as their selection, acted as if they had a “backroom agenda” to tarnish her reputation.

She said the Constituency 14 branch executive was told at a Devonshire Recreation Club meeting on Monday that she “could be a liability” to the PLP if she were to run.

The decision by the PLP ignores the results of their own nationally conducted poll and that of an independent poll which shows that Cox, is poised to win the Constituency 14, if the elections were to held today, political analysts told NAN.

Burt, in response to the story and Cox’s email, told the Royal Gazette of Bermuda: “The PLP’s priority is bringing an end to the failed OBA government and giving the Bermudian people a voice again.”

Bermuda is broken in 36 electoral constituencies. Constituency 14 covers Devonshire West.

Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley of the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) called the election on June 8th, a day before his government was to face a vote of no confidence in Parliament. The OBA won 19 seats to the PLP’s 17 in the last general elections in 2012, but the two parties ended up with the same number of seats after two OBA MPs left the party to sit in Parliament as Independent MPs.