Statement: Charlie Swan, left, and Kim Swan, right. *File photo
Statement: Charlie Swan, left, and Kim Swan, right. *File photo

FRIDAY, MAY 20: Former Opposition leader Kim Swan and MP Charles Swan will continue to sit as UBP MPs, they announced last night.

A joint statement said: “We in the United Bermuda Party will attend to the issues of the day and our communities as we have a responsibility to our supporters.”

The party split over a move to dissolve the party and join forces with the BDA, which splintered from them in 2009.

The merger created the One Bermuda Alliance, launched on Tuesday.

It was delayed after Kim Swan and others won a temporary injunction to the move on the grounds the consultation process was “deeply flawed”.

Irregularities

Seven of the nine UBP MPs sidestepped this by resigning as members.

Kim Swan was forced to resign as leader of the Opposition.

He said: “It is unfortunate and regrettable that MPs who used the United Bermuda Party to gain entrance to the House of Assembly have prematurely departed the party at the time when questions about constitutional procedures and irregularities were about to be addressed.

“Ironically, many of the same persons who, in the past, have taken out or supported injunctions writs and/or censure motions based on principle are now, in the name of expediency, not prepared to adhere to the constitution of the United Bermuda Party that it made it possible for them to gain a seat in parliament.”

Mr Swan said three MPs — Mark Pettingill, Shawn Crockwell and Donte Hunt — had been UBP MPs, Independents, then BDA and OBA within 40 months.

He added: “This -political musical chairs makes a mockery of the General Election process and the covenant between parliamentarians and the -electorate.

“Nowhere in the Commonwealth can you find such a callous abuse of the trust placed in politicians at the polls. Now the same MPs who condemned their actions in 2009 are doing the same thing and, by extension, condoning it.”

Mr Swan said the MPs should all have resigned and fight by-elections or formed a coalition-style system which respected the parties that formed it.

Charles Swan was reported yesterday as saying that the legal action will now be dropped because the OBA has already been formed.

John Barritt, interim leader of the OBA, said: “We have moved on and we’ll continue to move on.”

Mr Barritt did not rule out working with the UBP in the House of Assembly but refused to say if the party would accept the pair in future.