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Bermuda's Opposition Senate Leader quits in new PLP turmoil

  • Written by Ivan Clifford
  • Published in Politics
Featured Progressive Labour Party (PLP) Senate leader Marc Daniels  has resigned from his Upper House post Progressive Labour Party (PLP) Senate leader Marc Daniels has resigned from his Upper House post
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Nov 7, CMC  — The opposition Progressive Labour Party (PLP) was embroiled in fresh turmoil on Monday when its Senate leader Marc Daniels resigned from his Upper House post just days after party leader Marc Bean retired from politics.

In a hard-hitting statement posted on his social media site, Daniels cited “subterfuge and deceit” against former Opposition Leader Bean, 42, who stepped down on Friday, eight months after suffering a stroke. He had since been on medical leave.

The PLP, which was ousted from power in the December 2012 general election by the One Bermuda Alliance, is expected to name a new party leader early this week.

Bean had been Opposition Leader since former premier Paula Cox lost her seat in the House of Assembly in the party’s 19-17 election defeat after 14 years in power. The next general election is due at the end of 2017.

A by-election will have to be held in Warwick South Central, Bean’s old constituency which he had represented for six years after former PLP Premier Ewart Brown stepped down and retired from politics.

“I’m at peace,” Bean told reporters shortly after the PLP announced that his letter of retirement had been submitted to Ginny Ferson, the Acting Governor. “My hands are clean, my heart is pure and my conscience is clear.”

He did not spell out his reasons for going into political retirement.

Divisions in the party became highly public last December when seven MPs – Walton Brown, Derrick Burgess, Zane DeSilva, Rolfe Commissiong, Wayne Furbert, Kim Wilson and Glenn Blakeney, who has since retired from politics – left Bean’s shadow cabinet —

Daniels’ statement also accused rebel PLP MPs, along with the Acting Leader of the Opposition David Burt, of engaging in concerted “deceit” against Bean.

Daniels, a lawyer, hit out against dissenters within the PLP ranks, ranging from the leaking of details to the media and what he termed a “campaign” to depose the former leader.

His statement, which coincided with Monday’s Throne Speech, included his letter of resignation that was submitted on Saturday.

In an earlier statement, Daniels expressed shock at Bean’s resignation, noting that the former leader had trusted him, with just over one year’s experience in the Senate, to stand as leader.

He called Bean a “political ally, a critic, a mentor and, most of all, a friend”.

Many in the opposition were upset by Bean’s remarks in August when he condemned a “politics of plunder” prevalent in both parties.

Erratic behaviour in the House of Assembly and in public also proved damaging, such as a threat in March 2015 to “take out” government MPs that earned him a week’s suspension from parliament — or insults directed at former OBA senator Toni Daniels outside the Sandys South polling station during a November 2014 by-election that offended many supporters.

Bean had already crossed a line in the party after telling MPs that he had cured his daughter’s asthma with “ganja tea”, during remarks in the House in June 2014.

PLP chairman Scott Simmons thanked Bean for his service.

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Mr Bean for stepping into the role as our chief executive officer at a challenging time following our 2012 election defeat,” he said.

“It is without doubt that Mr Bean made a political career of emphasising the party’s position on good governance, education reform and fiscal responsibility, which are essential for social stability and prosperity.

“The PLP has achieved much under his leadership, including blocking anti-Bermudian policies in Parliament, winning two by-elections and re-establishing community-focused fundraisers that defied the economy and addressed the shortfalls on our party balance sheets.”

Simmons wished Bean well in his future endeavours, and acknowledged the “contribution and sacrifice” of his wife, Simone, over the years, as well as the rest of his family.

Last modified onTuesday, 08 November 2016 05:55
  • Countries: Bermuda