And the winners are... Paula Cox and Derrick Burgess face the press after their election victories Thursday night. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
And the winners are... Paula Cox and Derrick Burgess face the press after their election victories Thursday night. *Photo by Ras Mykkal
THURSDAY, OCT. 28: Jubilant Paula Cox celebrated becoming Bermuda’s Premier in a landslide victory tonight and then vowed: “There’s going to be some changes”.

Ms Cox trounced her rivals picking up 124 votes to Terry Lister’s 39, with Dale Butler getting just two.

Whoops of joy could be heard outside Devonshire Rec as Mrs. Cox’s long-expected coronation was confirmed at the PLP annual delegates conference just before 9pm.

Former Bermuda Industrial Union chief Derrick Burgess will be the new Deputy Premier. He narrowly beat Mr. Lister to the job after a close vote, initially involving five nominees, went to a second ballot.

Ms. Cox, who is expected to be sworn in as Dr. Ewart Brown’s replacement by the Governor on Friday, gave little away about the make-up of her Cabinet.

Beaming for the cameras in a hastily arranged press conference in a marquee outside the sports and social club, she said she knew who she wanted on her team but would tell them first.

She added: “I am very pleased and also aware that we have a lot of work to do.”

Wearing a green and yellow scarf, flanked by her new deputy, she said she would look to heal the divisions within her party.

“When you have an election that is prolonged for a long period you turn up a lot of stuff. My job is to really deal with community and national issues. We also have business to take care of within the party to make us stronger and more cohesive.”

She said she planned to shake-up the civil service, restructure some ministries and regenerate the economy, protecting and creating jobs for Bermudians.

“The real work resumes now,” she said in reference to the distraction of the campaign.

Earlier, in a speech to delegates, she had highlighted her PLP routes and said she would reflect the ‘soul of the party’.

Mr Burgess said he would bring ‘hard work, hard work, hard work’ to the table in his role as deputy.

Michael Weekes, Terry Lister, Randy Horton and Walter Roban were also nominated for the deputy’s job.

But Mr Roban and Mr Horton were eliminated after an initial ballot, with Mr. Burgess coming out on top in the second round of voting.

The resounding nature of Mrs. Cox’s victory came as little surprise. The MP for Devonshire North, has been considered the heir apparent to Dr. Brown from day one in this leadership race.

She campaigned on her track record, saying little in the press but talking directly to grass roots members of the party.

Mr. Lister, by contrast, ran a very public campaign setting out his agenda in a series of meetings, newspaper and television articles, and in meetings with the delegates.

Mr.Butler ran a less vigerous campaign. He turned up on the night in a sailor’s hat saying he wanted to be the captain of the ship.

But he got virtually no support with only two delegates voting for him and no-one nominating him for the deputy’s position.