Speculation Swirls Around OBA Leadership

September 20, 2018

[Updating] Speculation swirls around the OBA leadership, with unofficial information suggesting that some of the OBA MPs would like to remove Jeanne Atherden as the Party Leader.

Information suggests that multiple MPs have taken that position, and while moves towards changing leadership are said to have taken place, there are constitutional and protocol issues to be considered.

According to multiple people who spoke with us on an unofficial basis, some within the party would like to remove Ms Atherden as leader, and a meeting was held in relation to the matter last night.

Unofficial suggestions indicate that as many as eight of the eleven elected OBA MPs may have expressed ‘no confidence’ in Ms Atherden’s leadership style.

The OBA’s eleven MPs are Jeanne Atherden, Scott Pearman, Sylvan Richards, Cole Simons, Trevor Moniz, Michael Dunkley, Craig Cannonier, Susan Jackson, Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, Leah Scott, and Ben Smith.

Many of those MPs are unofficially understood to be in support of Craig Cannonier resuming the leadership position. Mr Cannonier previously served as leader, and became Premier after the OBA won the 2012 election.

Mr Cannonier stepped down as Premier amidst the ‘JetGate’ matter, and stood for leader in the OBA’s internal elections last year, earning 28.6% of the vote, as compared to Patricia Gordon-Pamplin’s 34%, and Jeanne Atherden’s winning percentage of 37.3%.

Jeanne Atherden Craig Cannonier Bermuda TC

Some of those speaking with us unofficially indicated that while the majority of MPs have expressed their desire to replace Ms Atherden at the meeting last night, there is now procedure to consider, and some of the relevant portions of both the OBA Constitution and Bermuda Constitution are below.

The OBA Constitution states:

A leadership election will be called in the event of one or more of the following:

      • (i) The OBA Leader no longer being a sitting MP.
      • (ii) The death, incapacity or resignation of the OBA Leader.
      • (iii) On the passing of a vote of no confidence in the OBA Leader by the OBA Caucus if this vote is endorsed by a majority of OBA Members in attendance at General Conference or Special Conference of the OBA.
      • (iv) On the completion of the OBA Leader’s four year term of office.
      • (v) If two thirds of OBA MP’s pass a vote of no confidence in the OBA Leader endorsed by the OBA Caucus.

In order to stand for election as OBA Leader, the candidate must be an OBA Member, an MP, and must not be under disciplinary action.

The candidate must have the support by way of signature of at least three sitting MP’s and at least seven non Parliamentary OBA Members in good standing who will be from at least three Regions. The signatures must be submitted in writing to the OBA Secretary within the time specified by the OBA Secretary.

If there is only one valid nomination for the post of OBA Leader, the candidate nominated will be declared OBA Leader without the need for a ballot.

Bermuda’s Constitution states:

Subject to the provisions of this section, there shall be an Opposition Leader who shall be appointed by the Governor.

The Governor shall appoint as the Opposition Leader— the member of the House of Assembly who, in the opinion of the Governor, is the leader in that House of any opposition party whose numerical strength in that House is greater than that of any other opposition party

We have spoken with multiple well placed people who, speaking unofficially, indicate that while the majority of MPs may wish to change leaders, the constitutional and procedural aspects need to be considered, and it is unofficially understood that party officials are expected to discuss the matter again today.

The situation remains developing at this time, and we will update as able.

Update 12.00pm: We are still monitoring for developments, and as of this time, there isn’t anything formative to report.

It is a two step process; Ms Atherden has to either resign or be removed as per the procedure detailed in the OBA Constitution, and then the process to have a new leader can get underway, and we unofficially understand discussions continue.

Update 3.20pm: The situation remains the same.

Update 5.33pm: The situation remains the same as above, there is nothing formative to report. We continue to unofficially understand that most the MPs wish to remove Ms Atherden as leader, however there are constitutional and procedural issues in play.

Update 9.38pm: Unofficial reports indicate the discussions are progressing, and movement towards replacing Ms Atherden continues.

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Comments (55)

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  1. facts of the rock says:

    Bermuda needs a 3rd Party.

    • hmmm says:

      Bermuda needs the might UBP to return. My question is why did so many Bermudians of a particular culture stop voting for the UBP? We all know whci segment of the community decides who wins the election, one culture swings the other always votes UBP/OBA.

      • Come Correct says:

        Opposition Leader Cannonier in waiting please bring back Jeff Baron, Nick Kempe, Andrew Simons.

        What I’m trying to say is recreate the former BDA Party and kick Micheal Dunkely, Moniz and Pat and any other UBP out.

        Until that happens you will be seen as the UBP.

        Former BDA member who voted PLP last election!!

        • mixitup says:

          This is exactly it! Dunkley needs to go, and the rest of that UBP baggage, only then will this party be taken seriously.

        • Onion Juice says:

          Popcorn time.

        • Unemployed Bermudian says:

          It was members of the BDA party that started the FALL FROM GRACE when three of them, with Cannonier leading the charge and closely followed by Crockwell and Pettingil and the $300K. and you want to dismiss the UBP CRAZY!

          For Cannonier to even be in the running shows me a party in DESPERATION and even though I was a supporter, I will urge voters to vote AGAINST the OBA if they bring back Cannonier.

          We never did find out why CC’s business manager was on the JET and in the GOVERNMENT meetings. Have the collective MP’s of the OBA LOST THEIR MINDS!

    • Wahoo says:

      Yup but unlikely to happen I think.

    • Really says:

      Ideas. Where are his ideas and action plan? I did not hear any in the last sitting. Being a Jim Woolridge or John Swan around town is NOT leadership. Haven’t heard him tackle one single community issue.
      One Martin Luther King type speech a month does not a leader make. Sorry, he does not have it. Stop playing games.

  2. frank says:

    looks like another bye election is on the way

  3. Wheeee!!
    Here we go around the mulberry bush.
    Step up Dunkley. You are next.

    • The real Terry says:

      Straightforward, Michael Dunkley employs dozens of people and has done so for many, many years providing a livelihood to hundreds of families where you probably have never employed a single person. Yet you continue to bad mouth Mr. Dunkley for whatever warped reason you have which shows me you are a “nothingarian” of the highest standing.

      • Drama says:

        Dunkely is a silver spoon guy who leads an entitled life and has people working FOR him not WITH him! Read a book!

      • The real Terry:
        Yup. A nothingarian of the highest standard.
        You continue to fail to see the viciousness of his time as premier.
        I understand though.
        The greater NOTHINGNESS ,stems from a clear inability to deal with the truth about the character.
        YOU continue in your stand and I will talk truth about the character…. rotten and sneaky!!
        Deal with truth.

        • the real Terry says:

          LOL Straightforward, you wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you on your backside

      • Sid says:

        There is a law that bans fresh milk imports. There is no reason for this law except to give Dunkley a dairy monopoly. He gets richer while everyone else on the island has to pay four times more for milk than they need to.

        Those people aren’t employed because of Dunkley — their jobs wouldn’t exist in the free market. It’s just welfare of a different kind, but instead of it being paid for by taxes, it is paid for by forcing the people of Bermuda to pay for a product they don’t really want.

  4. Unbelievable says:

    What the OBA needs is a younger set of members that can go toe to toe with the PLP.

    • shrew says:

      the OBA young members are actually out working instead of becomeing lifetime politicians ala the PLP

      • 11 seat oba lol says:

        Did the oba/UBP younger members work the last election or did they finally awake like the current leader who’s going to be given a FOOT out the door………thank you but no thank you.

      • Onion Juice says:

        That was a grasping for straws comment.

  5. Retro says:

    Sadly, I think Atherden is too dignified to be an effective leader. I hope Cannonier learnt a few lessons from last time.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Are you serious, and you all want Caines to step down for a stupid comment.

      • Retro says:

        Thanks for the feedback. For the record their is no “you all” with me and finally I don’t think your doing Caine’s any favors by reliving his “stupid comment”. In other words you might want to play that one down unless you are an oba supporter.lol !

      • LOL says:

        Hey Onion milk–we don’t want him to step down–just move to the back bench for a while–he has disrespected 50% of the people that walk the face of the planet.

        Yup requires a lesson–but wait–does the Premier have the testicular fortitude? likely not.

        Its a clown circus show!

        • Enough says:

          Storm in a milk glass! Get over it and move on! Not like he killed anyone! Give it a break and move on!

        • Onion Juice says:

          Well those 50% need to go online and protest because you can get it online, seems like it it very popular too.
          Do you have another angle?

  6. Rocky5 says:

    What a facking mess! The “OBA Private Club” ONLY won in 2012 by default. Crockwell & Pettingill quickly duped the inexperience Premier Craig Cannonier and threw him straight under the Jet!! “Know-it-all – call-me” Dunkley snatched the Premiership for a supposed “temporary stint”, but once ensconced made it permanent without there ever being a vote. Dunkley deservedly loses 2017 election by a landslide, resigns as OBA Leader, but SOMEHOW STILL thinks HE can Lead OBA & Bermuda!! “Waffling Jeanne Atherden” is elected by a 37.3% minority of OBA members – fires Nick Kempe & Andrew Simons & loses one more seat in bi-elections. “OBA Private Club” has NEVER CHANGED ANYTHING since it was formed. Has NEVER had any Branches Committees or clinics, any grass roots structures or functions, inconsistent or no canvassing, NO overall Vision for Bermuda, etc.. IF it does not change, it WILL soon be dead!!

  7. Trump depporter says:

    I see a lot of PLP supported comments here. Why don’t I see this many comments on the dissolving bus schedules.

  8. yawn says:

    This is non-news until the bitcoin folly blows up and leaves smelly egg all over Bermuda’s face–then the music will change and a “new dance” will be needed.

    I think Onion Juice said the most intelligent thing I ever heard it say–get the popcorn!

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    The pickins are slim in the OBA,not so much for quality but quantity to choose from. No different from the PLP camp where there are plenty bodies but little quality as has been recently displayed. The inexperienced hapless CC has spent some time in the woodshed. Gotta give him credit for his dedication. He deserves another chance. Still trying to figure out what he did so wrong. It is not like he smuggled people in in the dead of night which is just fine by some.

  10. cromwell says:

    It would be much easier and politically practicable for the OBA and Bermuda for Ms Atherden to resign and give her support to Cannonier.

  11. PANGAEA says:

    When people speeks bad of others, it shows what they are made of and where they came from .

  12. PANGAEA says:

    The time has come for all of our polititions to put their qualifications on the table .