Six opposition members quit party in Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda: Six members of the opposition United Bermuda Party (UBP) – three parliamentarians, one senator, the party’s chairman and former deputy chair – have severed ties with the party and are planning to form their own party next year.

Parliamentarians Shawn Crockwell, Donte Hunt and Mark Pettingill, Senator Michael Fahy, Sean Pitcher and Wayne Scott, tendered their resignations to UBP leader Kim Swan last Monday.

Crockwell, Hunt and Pettingill are expected to sit in parliament as independents until the new party is formed.

Their split from the UBP came after they called on Swan to resign.

According to the local Royal Gazette newspaper, the three MPs and Senator Fahy had said they were so frustrated by the party’s refusal to reform, they would walk out before the next parliamentary session opens in November unless Swan took drastic action.

The newspaper said the disgruntled UBP members were calling on Swan to step down because of his failure to make the party a viable opposition since losing its third consecutive general election in 2007. They also called on four of the UBP’s stalwarts to make way for new leadership.

“The climate now is so ripe. Many people are yearning for something new and fresh. I believe it is time that we have a new political party that can focus on the needs of Bermuda and Bermudians and take the island to where it needs to be: a country where everybody has an opportunity to prosper, a safe and secure place and the destination of choice for both business and tourism,” Crockwell said.

The Opposition UBP now has just nine MPs following the earlier resignations of Wayne Furbert and Darius Tucker during the past year. The ruling Progressive Labour Party has 22 seats. 

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