[Updated] This morning [Sept.1] the One Bermuda Alliance [OBA] is announcing their candidates for party leader, and you can tune in live below.
The election will be held on Saturday, September 10th at the Fairmont Southampton at 7:30pm. In addition to Leader, the Deputy Leader, Party Chairman and Deputy Party Chairman will also be elected.
The winning candidates must get at least 50% of the popular vote. There will be rounds of votes until that threshold is achieved. The candidate with the lowest number of votes in any given round is eliminated from the next round.
OBA Interim leader John Barritt plans to step down to make way for the new leader and is willing to give up his seat in the House of Assembly – which he has held since 1993 – if the new Leader is not an elected MP.
Whoever replaces Mr Barritt – if they are not an MP – is likely to win the bye-election that would be held in Constituency #12. In the 2007 election, Mr Barritt won his Devonshire South Central seat in a landslide, getting 85% of the vote [723 to 122].
Anyone who is a registered member of the OBA [minimum cost $5] and a registered voter can vote in the leadership election on September 10th.
Update 11:41am: Leadership candidates will be Senator Craig Cannonier and MP Bob Richards. For Deputy Leader the candidates are MP Trevor Moniz and Senator Michael Dunkley.
Update 11:44am: Press conference over, replay to be available shortly.
Update 11:47am: Video replay available above. Thad Hollis was the only person to stand for Party Chairman, so has won by acclamation. He takes over from Michael Fahy, who says he “hopes to serve the OBA in other capacities in coming months.”
Update 11:50am: For Deputy Chairperson there are three candidates – Michael Branco, Jeanne Atherden, and Karen Magnum.
Update 12:17pm: Full statement from Michael Fahy, Interim Chairman:
I am Michael Fahy, Interim Chairman of the One Bermuda Alliance.
You’re here, of course, to learn who has been nominated for the five posts in the One Bermuda Alliance that will be the subject of an election on Saturday, September 10th at the Fairmont Southampton Princess at 7:30pm.
First. Let me introduce you to Thad Hollis, who was the only person to throw his hat into the Chairman of the Party ring. According to our election rules he is considered to have won the post by acclamation. A copy of those rules is part of the package of information that has been given to you, as are biographies of all the candidates.
I am delighted that Thad is going to take over from me. He has been part of the OBA since its inception, and is deeply committed to helping us make a change in Bermuda’s politics. Until the OBA was formed, he had not been involved in any political party so this will be quite an experience for him. He and I will be working shoulder to shoulder for the next ten days weeks, so that on September 11th he takes the reigns of OBA Chairman. I’ll be asking him to say a few words to you in a moment.
Just so that you don’t need to ask, I accepted the role on an interim basis so that someone else could step up to the plate. I hope, frankly, to be able to serve the OBA in another capacity in the coming months.
While we are on the subject of the OBA Executive, I will tell you that there are three candidates for the two posts of deputy chairpersons– Michael Branco, Jeanne Atherden and Karen Magnum. I have provided you with their contact details.
For Leader of the Party and future Premier, the post which John Barritt selflessly promised to vacate in favour of the choice of the Party membership, there are two candidates, Craig Cannonier and Bob Richards.
And for Deputy Leader of the Party, there are also two candidates, Michael Dunkley and Trevor Moniz.
I would like to offer my congratulations to all of these candidates, and to wish them the very best of luck on election night.
As I said, the elections are to be held on Saturday evening, September 10th, starting at 7:30 pm. I’m hoping that there will be a large turnout among OBA members. We have sent out a newsletter encouraging people to attend, pointing out that this really is quite an historic occasion for the party. In addition, advertisements will appear in local media in the next few days to make sure that no one can miss our message. The invitation is extended to the press.
Anyone who regrets not having joined before the conference will have an opportunity on the night between 6:00pm and 7:30pm. Any new members will be able to vote, of course. To ensure wide participation we will be offering advance polling and internet polling for those members who can demonstrate they will be abroad on the night of the conference. We will publish further details in the next day or so.
I said at our previous press conference this will be a historic occasion because in a sense, the OBA will mark its true beginning with this election. The OBA formed so as to make Bermuda’s political system more inclusive, more transparent and more collaborative, and that goal comes true with this election. It’s Democracy with a capital D, so if our members signed up to help reform Bermuda politics, they must vote in order to put their mark on this new beginning.
Our aim, as we have said before, is to set the pace in changing politics in Bermuda to be more democratic, more open and hopefully more productive than it has been in the past. We believe it is time to put Bermuda first.
There is no question, it seems to us, that Bermuda desperately needs to turn the page. We need to turn our backs on the old, and start looking at our future with new eyes. We need a new way of looking at things, a new way of interacting with each other. The OBA has fashioned itself in such a way that we can be the agents of change that Bermuda needs. We have put together a strong, thoroughly representative group of people to translate our vision of a new Bermuda into reality.
We think we have a unique opportunity. Bermuda wants us to succeed. We think people will vote for us, and we believe that with hard work, we can translate that confidence into a win at the polls.
It is these people, who have been nominated for high office in the party, who are to be responsible for capitalizing on that opportunity and delivering results for Bermuda. I salute them and I wish them well. On a personal note I have enjoyed being part of creating the foundations of the OBA and want to say thank you to all those who have helped make this happen.
I will give Thad an opportunity to say a few words and then I will be happy to entertain questions.Thad?
Update 12:43pm: Senator Michael Dunkley – who had been widely speculated as a potential OBA Leadership candidate – has explained why he declined to run for leader, instead submitting his name for consideration for Deputy Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance. Full post here.