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38-year-old premier undaunted by task


38-year-old premier undaunted by task

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HAMILTON – At 38, David Burt says he is not daunted by the prospect of becoming Bermuda’s youngest premier after his opposition Progressive Labour Party (PLP) stormed to victory over the ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) in Tuesday’s general election, winning two-thirds of the seats.

The PLP won 24 of the 36 seats in the House of Assembly, the OBA taking the other 12 after losing seven seats on the night in a stunning reversal of a weekend opinion poll which gave the OBA a double-digit lead.

Turnout was 72.98 per cent with the PLP winning 58.89 per cent of the vote to the OBA’s 40.61 per cent.

The five independents won 0.50 per cent of the vote, garnering just 169 votes between them, including 41 for Paula Cox, a former PLP premier.

Burt, who increased his majority almost fourfold from 2012, when the PLP’s previous 14-year reign ended in a 19-17 defeat to the OBA, embraced his wife Kristin, before declaring that he felt “fine” about the result.

Striking a solemn tone, he said: “Service is something I have committed my life to and, the fact is, I have served my community to the best of my ability and my constituency.”

Burt, who has a Bermudian father and Jamaican mother, said of the overall result across the country: “I’m certainly happy for the results …but, the fact of the matter is, this is about work. We cannot pretend that we can celebrate a victory today when there is still a huge challenge to Bermuda.

“We have unemployment, we have debt, we have a structural budget deficit; we have an economy that is unfair. We have lots of things which we have to do so there’s excitement, yes, but there’s also a measure of reality for the job ahead.” (CMC)