Cannonier is new OBA leader
HAMILTON, Bermuda – Parliamentary newcomer Craig Cannonier declared “it’s a new day” after he narrowly beat sole challenger Bob Richards for the leadership of the fledgling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) in a tense leadership race on Saturday night.
Cannonier, a 48-year-old businessman who is expected to be sworn in as the island’s new Opposition Leader on Monday, scored 344 votes to Shadow Finance Minister Richards’ 330, with eight spoilt ballots, according to results announced early Sunday morning by party chairman Thad Hollis at the party’s conference attended by around 1 000 people at the Fairmont Southampton.
Cannonier, one of three OBA senators in the Upper House, replaces lawyer and former newspaper editor John Barritt, who became the party’s interim leader after it was formed earlier this year in a merger between the short-lived Bermuda Democratic Alliance (BDA), which Cannonier headed but without a seat in parliament, and seven former United Bermuda Party (UBP) MPs.
In a separate vote, Senator Michael Dunkley defeated MP Trevor Moniz by 506 votes to 163 to become the OBA’s deputy leader.
Cannonier is currently Shadow Economy, Trade and Industry Minister.
He told reporters after his leadership victory: “It’s a new day. I’m glad the voting was so close because it shows that we are engaged.
“The OBA is very, very serious about moving this country forward.”
Praising his opponent and Dunkley, he added: “We would not be who we are without gentlemen like this.
“Now we get to work, now we stand unified because with us unified, nothing can stop us.”
He said of Richards: “This man is a great man right here and I look forward to working with him.” (CMC)