PLP & OBA: There Will Not Be Election Debates

July 10, 2017

Both the PLP and OBA have said there will not be any debates, with the PLP saying they are “disappointed that Premier Dunkley declined to debate Leader Burt,” while the OBA said they are “disappointed that the PLP would not allow their Shadow Ministers to debate the OBA team.”

PLP remarks:

A PLP spokesperson said, “Today, the Progressive Labour Party negotiating team went into negotiations with our colleagues at the One Bermuda Alliance in the hope of scheduling a Leadership Debate before the general election. Leadership Debates are commonplace in elections around the world, including the UK and elsewhere.

“The OBA had no interest in holding a Leadership debate. Instead, they were looking for a series of Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial Debates. There’s nine days left and there is not time to organize such a series.

“We are disappointed that Premier Dunkley declined to debate Leader Burt. The people deserved an open debate between the Leaders. It’s clear that Premier Dunkley is ducking the debate because he prefers not to talk about the OBA’s loss of 2,000 jobs, their mismanagement of a public education and the skyrocketing cost of living under their watch. The OBA has worked for one Bermuda, and, it’s left the rest of us behind.

“Michael Dunkley is ducking debates because he knows that, under his leadership, the divide between the two Bermudas has gotten worse. Bermuda deserves better than a Premier that ducks debates. It’s time for a government that puts Bermudians first.”

OBA remarks:

Last night, One Bermuda Alliance Chairman Lynne Woolridge said, “After a number of weeks trying to work out a format for election debates, the two parties have not been able to agree on a formula to proceed.

“At a meeting this evening between OBA chairman Lynne Woolridge, Attorney General Trevor Moniz, PLP Deputy Leader Walter Roban and Maxwell Burgess, the two parties agreed to disagree.

“From the beginning, the One Bermuda Alliance wanted multiple debates involving the leaders and spokesmen on various subjects such as finance, immigration and education. The PLP only wanted a debate between the Leaders.

“We are disappointed that the Progressive Labour Party would not allow their Shadow Ministers to debate the OBA team. Whether in the US, UK or around the world that is how debates work with governments.

“There was enough time to stage debates, but the PLP curiously chose to slow up the process by responding to an OBA email on the debates by post – a response that took five days to get to us.

“As a result, there will be no inter-party debates.

“Despite this development, OBA candidates will continue to take the party’s message forward to voters every day on their doorsteps. Voters can also contact candidates through our website at www.oba.bm. ”

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