[Updated with video] One Bermuda Alliance leader Craig Cannonier was officially sworn in as Premier by Governor George Fergusson this afternoon [Dec 18]. His family, friends, and numerous OBA members were present for the swearing in ceremony held at Government House.
The OBA denied the Progressive Labour Party a fourth consecutive term last night [Dec.17] when they claimed a 19-17 seat majority, picking up 52% of the popular vote to the PLP’s 46%.
Born and raised in St David’s, Premier Cannonier attended St Georges Preparatory school, the Bermuda Institute and obtained a BSc in Industrial Psychology from Towson State University in Maryland.
He began his career by working for the MarketPlace Group where he was responsible for human resources, training and purchasing. Premier Cannonier served as the General Manager of People’s Pharmacy for some ten years, worked as a Relationship Manager for Cable & Wireless, and he currently runs Esso City Tigermarket, Collector’s Hill Esso and Warwick Esso.
He began his political career as the leader of the now defunct Bermuda Democratic Alliance, and became the leader of the OBA in September 2011. Two months later he won a by-election in C#12 Devonshire South Central and became a Member of Parliament.
Premier Cannonier becomes the 12th Premier of Bermuda, following after Sir Henry Tucker [1968 - 1971], Sir Edward Richards [1971 - 1975], Sir John Sharpe [1975 - 1977], Sir David Gibbons [1977 - 1982], Sir John Swan [1982 - 1995], Dr. David Saul [1995 - 1997], Dame Pamela Gordon [1997 - 1998], Dame Jennifer Smith [1998 - 2003], Alex Scott [2003 - 2006], Dr. Ewart Brown [2006 - 2010] and Paula Cox [2010 - 2012].
Update 1.25pm: Speaking at the ceremony, Premier Cannonier said: “I am both humbled and excited, excited for my country and our people. Because the election expressed their desire for a fresh start For change toward a new future together, a future that embraces everyone, and overlooks no one. This is the future we can all believe in.”
The Premier continued: “We are going to use this election to bring about two big changes to Bermuda. First, we are going to get this economy working again for people. There is no more important task right now than to grow jobs to end the hardships felt by thousands of families. And second, we are going to bring people together.”
Premier Cannonier’s full remarks follows below:
Your Excellency, Colleagues, family members, Friends and fellow Bermudians,
Thank you all for this moment.
I am both humbled and excited;
Excited for my country and our people.
Because the election expressed their desire for a fresh start
For change toward a new future together;
A future that embraces everyone, and overlooks no one.
This is the future we can all believe in,
Supporting each other for the benefit of all.
This is the work we begin today.
This is the work we believe in.
This is the work we are committed to…
Building a Bermuda that works for all our people.
We are going to use this election to bring about two big changes to Bermuda:
First, we are going to get this economy working again for people.
There is no more important task right now than to grow jobs to end the hardships felt by thousands of families.
And second, we are going to bring people together.
We’re going to reach out to everyone, building cooperation and support.
Eliminating all forms of discrimination
Extending the absentee ballot to our students abroad, making this the last election they are denied a voice in the decisions of this country.
And to the many Bermudians living abroad, who left for a job or who fled intolerance, I want to send a simple message:
‘Come back to us. Come back to build the better Bermuda we know we can build. Your country needs you. Your country needs all your skills, and all your dreams, right here at home, where they can flower best.’
Let this be the start of Bermuda’s renaissance,
With trust and cooperation
With people working together
Moving forward, arm in arm, as one people, one Bermuda.
It is time to believe in this great country.
It is time to believe in each other.
It is time to pick up the tools to build anew.
We have so much within our grasp, so much talent, so many good people.
Let’s seize this moment for a better Bermuda.
To make this a country that works for all our people.
This is the moment. This is the day, to start moving forward together
For a Bermuda that achieves social and economic equity for all, leaving no one behind.
That’s the promise of this election. That’s the change we need.
And now it is up to us to make it happen.
On behalf of my colleagues, that is my commitment to you.
Thank you all. Thank you Bermuda.
God bless you all and God bless our beautiful Island.
Update 2.14pm: The new Premier was in good spirits as he left Government House in GP1.
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