FRIDAY, MAY 13: UBP veteran Quinton Edness has thrown his weight behind the group fighting to stall the merger of the UBP and BDA into the One Bermuda Alliance.

He said: “If it [the merger] wasn’t done properly, that isn’t a good way to start off on a new foot.

“A lot of people were disappointed and disgruntled. People feel the procedures haven’t been followed properly.

“If the constitution hasn’t been followed properly, I’m sorry it took an injunction to cause it to be done right. There is now a serious breach between those who have taken the merger forward and those who feel the branches have not been consulted.

“If it hasn’t been done properly, they should back up, consult the branches fully and get their support rather than go ahead and have to put up with a disgruntled group — not just in the short term but in the long term.”

Mr Edness — a founding member of the UBP and a Government Minister for 28 of his 30 years in Parliament — spoke out after a group took out an injunction to stop the creation of the OBA. The objectors include UBP leader Kim Swan, MP Charles Swan, former Senator Charlie Marshall and ex-MP Erwin Adderley.

They say clear UBP procedures on consultation with branch members were not followed and that the merger process is flawed.

Commercial Court judge Ian Kawaley granted the injunction and gave the respondents — UBP chairman Jeanne Atherden, veteran MP John Barritt and party deputy leader Trevor Moniz — 24 hours to respond. It meant yesterday’s launch of the new party was put on hold.

Mr Edness said: “A group within the UBP brought about this change. If it was voted in with the majority of people behind it, fine.

“The branches were consulted, with one or two people representing the branches, but they did not ask the views of whole branches.”

Mr Edness believes the UBP still has future but he has not ruled out signing up with the OBA.

He said: “I’m not suggesting this legal action should be done with a view to stopping what a majority of people want to happen.

“It’s about following the constitution and getting the majority on board.

“If it goes through, I’d have no problem in working with the OBA if they happened to be the Opposition and a chance for an alternative government.

“But I would want to see their policies, how they are going to communicate with the electorate and make sure they understand how to reach the people that really need help — the poor, the black women and young black men who do not feel they are being represented. I would support them if they were prepared to work to bring about positive change.

“The PLP have proven to be very bad managers and have caused the country to evolve into a very negative position, both socially and economically.

“The UBP could have stepped up to the plate, having been the Opposition for 12 years, put forward better programmes, made a better effort to talk to the electorate.

“It will take the public longer to become familiar with the OBA. They’d have had a better chance of winning sooner as the UBP.”