WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26: Candidates in the upcoming by-election yesterday set out their stalls in advance of next week’s polling — an acid test for the new OBA.

OBA leader Craig Cannonier is up against the PLP’s Anthony Richardson and Independent candidate David Sullivan, a former deputy chairman of the former UBP.

Sen Cannonier said: “I wouldn’t be in it if I wasn’t in it to win. The objective is change and I’m about change — but it’s up to the constituents.

“But I believe I bring experience which will stand me in good stead. I’ve been in the Senate and the leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance and the OBA.

“That experience puts me ahead of the other candidates — neither of them has served in political office before.”

Mr Richardson, a former Accountant General and ex-CEO of the Health Council, said he could win the numbers game even though the seat, held by interim OBA leader John Barritt until he quit to give Sen Cannonier a run at the House of Assembly, was regarded as a safe UBP seat.

Mr Richardson said: “I can win if the voters themselves are bold and courageous and send a shock message to Bermuda by voting, for the first time, for a PLP candidate.

“I worked as Accountant General, which gave me exposure to health care, finance and I’ve worked in a bank and been a policeman. All the things that affect this constituency, I can bring appropriate solutions to.”

Mr Richardson added: “Craig Cannonier in no way compares to my business background and my public service experience as Accountant General.”

Mr Sullivan, a former deputy chairman of the former UBP, said he had opted to stand because party politics in Bermuda were “broken.”

He added: “I believe I can win. There’s a sentiment in Devonshire South Central and Bermuda that party politics has fallen apart.” Mr Sullivan said party politics began in Bermuda in the 1960s – but that times had changed. He added: “We had the PLP, which purported to be the party of labour, and the UBP, which purported to represent business.”

Mr Sullivan said that the PLP victory in 1998 had been greeted with “great hope and aspiration”, but that the PLP had “had great difficulty in moving from Opposition to Government” and had failed to live up to expectations.

He added: “The voting public has the opportunity with this by-election to look at the party system and deliver a verdict.”