FRIDAY, DEC. 14: An eve-of-election war of words broke out after two OBA candidates were accused of failing to declare contracts with Government.

Under the Bermuda Constitution, all candidates for political office are required to publicize any business links they have with Government to be eligible to stand.

PLP chairman Leonard Santucci says the two candidates have contracts to provide services to Government – which have not been declared and which should disqualify them from standing in Monday’s election.

But a spokesman for the OBA said: “Under the Legislature (Qualification and Disqualification) Act, One Bermuda Alliance candidates have confirmed to the Party that they have no interests to declare.”

Attempts to contact the two candidates — who were named in a PLP press release — were tonight unsuccessful.

Both of them, who stood for the former UBP in 2007, declared business interests with Government in the run-up to that General Election.

The Constitution says: “Subject to such exceptions and limitations as may be prescribed by the Legislature, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly if he has an interest in any Government contract and has not, within seven days of his nomination as a candidate for election, disclosed the nature of the contract and his interest therein by means of a notice published in the Gazette or in a newspaper published and circulating in Bermuda.”

Section Four of the Legislature (Qualification and Disqualification) Act, however, says: “A person who contracts for the supply of goods or services by or to the Government in the ordinary course of conduct of a trade, business or profession, or for the purchase, lease or use of Government property upon terms and conditions which are standard for any member of the public, shall not be deemed thereby to have any interest in a Government contract.”

The dispute looks set to continue into the weekend.