Trevor Moniz, left, and Bob Richards *File photo
Trevor Moniz, left, and Bob Richards *File photo

FRIDAY, MAY 20: The One Bermuda Alliance shadow cabinet has been unveiled — and all seven MPs who quit the UBP have been given jobs.

And the three former BDA MPs — who split from the UBP in 2009 — have also been given shadow cabinet roles.

Deputy leader and new Senator Craig Cannonier will take over the major role of shadow Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry.

Trevor Moniz will become House Leader and the shadow Attorney General and Minister for Justice, while Bob Richards will take the Finance shadow role.

Senator Michael Dunkley, in addition to being Senate Leader, will retain his UBP role as shadow Minister for National Security.

His Senate team will have former BDA member Dr Kathy Michelmore as shadow Health Minister.

Dr Grant Gibbons will be shadow Education Minister, while Patricia Gordon-Pamplin will be shadow Minister for Business Development, Tourism and Transport.

Ex-BDA MPs Mark Pettingill and Shawn Crockwell also have shadow roles – Mr Pettingill will take over Public Works and Housing and Mr Crockwell will serve as whip and spokesman for Public Administration and Reform.

BDA colleague Donte Hunt will take over the Youth, Sports and Community Development portfolio.

Cole Simons will be shadow Environment, Planning and Infrastructure and Louise Jackson will be spokeswoman for Seniors and Social Services (Financial Assistance).

An OBA statement said that each shadow Minister would also develop shadow boards under chairmen — a BDA concept designed to give party members a voice in forming policy.

A statement on the OBA website said: “The One Bermuda Alliance is committed to involving as many people as possible who have the desire to put Bermuda first.”

And the statement added OBA leader John Barritt will announce the chairmen of the boards over the next few weeks. The chairmen will act as spokespeople outside parliament on their shadow ministries.

The news came as former UBP MPs said that they would be seeking selection as OBA candidates for the next general election.

Former UBP deputy leader and Smith’s West MP Trevor Moniz said he would be putting himself forward for selection as a parliamentary candidate for the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA).

Mr Moniz said: “I still think I have a lot to offer — I have legal knowledge, political experience and the energy and drive. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work on the formation of this new party as well. But it’s always in the hands of the people, though.”

Grant Gibbons, who represents Paget East, said: “In principle, I certainly would be prepared to put my name forward. But this will be after consultation with the selection committee.”

Paget West MP Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said: “I will be putting myself forward for selection, in my own seat or wherever the party wants me.”

Bob Richards, who won Devonshire East for the UBP at the last election, said: “We have a candidate selection committee that will make the decisions. I would like to stand in my present seat, but you can’t tell what’s going to happen.”

Cole Simons – who represents Smith’s South and attended the launch of the new party on Tuesday – declined to comment on whether he would take part in the selection process for OBA candidates.

Interim OBA leader John Barritt has already he is prepared to vacate his Devonshire South Central seat to pave the way to the leadership for a candidate who is not already an MP.

Leadership contender

That would clear the way for former BDA leader and OBA deputy leader Craig Cannonier — tipped as leadership material — to take over as the leader of the party must have a seat in the House of Assembly.

Louise Jackson, the MP for Pembroke South West, could not be contacted for comment.

Under the constitution of the new party, the candidate selection committee will be made up of Mr Barritt, Mr Cannonier, party chairman Michael Fahy, as well as four other OBA members – who cannot be MPs or office holders.

Candidates will need to make a written application to the committee, which will select approved candidates.

The approved candidates will be ranked by the committee and placed as adopted candidates in individual constituencies. But prior to any adoption, the committee will consult with the regional and constituency leaderships.

And any constituency member not happy with the adopted candidate, the OBA membership in the area can ask for a primary election, although 100 signatures are required to force a contest.

The party’s constitution said: “One Bermuda Alliance represents all Bermudians and will make decisions and take actions that will uphold the standards and fairness that Bermudians are known for. We do not believe that Bermudians want to be divided on the basis of race or class and we reject that approach.

The document added that the guiding principles of the new party were opportunity, responsibility, integrity, transparency, fairness, inclusiveness and service.

But it added that opportunity was dependent on safety and security, a strong economy and quality public education.

The document said: “Members of the One Bermuda Alliance understand that our community is tired of politics as usual and putting political parties first at the expense of what is best for Bermuda.

“We will draw from the widest possible membership for government appointments and make sure that those appointed understand their responsibilities and put Bermuda first.”