Resentment: Jeanne Atherden and her brother — and rival candidate for Constituency 19 — Erwin Adderley pictured together yesterday. *Photo by Sarah Lagan
Resentment: Jeanne Atherden and her brother — and rival candidate for Constituency 19 — Erwin Adderley pictured together yesterday. *Photo by Sarah Lagan

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 28: Tension has been brewing in the West Pembroke constituency as sister and brother Jeanne Atherden and Erwin Adderley run for the same seat.

Former UBP MP Mr Adderley has been running for constituency 19 as an independent since 2010 after differences arose with the party. To his dismay he recently discovered his sister, a former senator, was joining the race as an OBA candidate.  

“With encouragement from the people in the constituency I stayed on and ran as an independent,” Mr Adderley told the Bermuda Sun.

“That was before my sister was chosen and low and behold I find out one morning that she is going to be the candidate for the OBA.

“They asked me whether I would step down in favour of her and my answer was ‘no f***ing way’ and that is where we are at.

“We have tried to deal with it as civilly as possible but obviously there is a strain. We haven’t really had a confrontation but I resent how this thing came about. My question to her is why did she choose to run in that constituency? There are 36 out there, she comes from 18 and I was running in 19 so why choose 19?”

Ms Atherden is of the mind that, while she is extremely close with her family, Erwin included, it is important to separate family and politics when you are in the game.

“I view politics as being separate from family. I have a path and I have to do what I have to do — to try and achieve the ultimate goal which is to represent the constituency and help my team to form the government.

“The only thing I would say is that you have to have a team. You are not going to be able to do it as an individual.

“I wish him the best but I think that at this point in time you have to be part of the team that is going to be putting forward the programmes and the policies and being in a position to execute them after that. It is all about the execution.”

The Adderley family home is in Pembroke West. Both their parents, Erskine and Pearl, sat on various boards and Pearl ran for Parliament in 1968.

Politics was always a hot topic in the household at the weekly Wednesday suppers put on by their mother as a way to keep the family bonds strong.

Both have similar views on what is best for their constituency including improving safety in the area and developing facilities for young people.

Asked whether the issue of running for the same seat is causing friction between the siblings Ms Atherden said: “Politics should not be personal and petty and I don’t intend to do that.

“Erwin is just like the other candidate who wishes to apply to the seat. I neutralise it because you have to. I know the other constituent — we went to school together — you have to turn around and make your commitment to the process and put your heart into it and commit to doing this — not make it personal.”

As for Mr Adderley, let’s just say he has a different opinion.

“If you’ve got a bag of candies and I come along and say I want your bag of candies but there’s nothing personal about it what are you going to do?

“Are you just going to give them up? Of course you’re not.”

Vince Ingham will also contest Pembroke West and we will carry a full feature on the constituency soon.