A social media post causes a stir in the community yesterday on the heels of a possible challenge of leadership at the up coming Progessive Labour Party ( PLP ) delegates conference to be held next month.
TNN sought a response to the the social media post from PLP headquarters. The Progressive Labor Party PRO responded to the social media post and TNN inquiry.
“There have been several recent articles in local media that have been providing inaccurate and misleading information to the public of Bermuda with respect to The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party’s (“PLP” or the “Party”) internal elections. It is important to us to provide clarity on this matter.
Every four (4) years, the positions of Party Leader and Deputy Party Leader are open for election. The remaining Party executive positions become open every two (2) years. Any one of the MP’s currently serving in the House of Assembly are able to submit their names for election as Party Leader or Deputy Party Leader. These positions are voted on at the PLP Annual General Conference (popularly referred to as the Delegates Conference). The Conference for this year is being held from October 19 – October 22.
The PLP Constitution is the governing document of the Party, and any amendment must be ratified by a two-thirds (⅔) vote at an Annual General Conference or a Special General Conference before being implemented.
The Party’s Constitution is available on our website for download, and we welcome interested persons to access it. To access, please click this link: https://www.plp.bm/plp_
No one, including the Party Leader, has the unilateral ability to change the Party’s constitution or any other rules of the Party. Any reports or sources citing this are inaccurate, misleading, and unfortunately, are deemed mischievous.
To be clear, there have been no amendments to the PLP Constitution regarding leadership elections for the upcoming Conference. Eligible candidates for the positions to be voted must submit their names and fulfill any requirements by September 28, 2022 as per the Party’s Constitution.
The Bermuda Progrressive Labour Party regards these elections as internal party matters. In this respect, no further comment is planned until after September 28, 2022 when the names of any PLP MPs who contest for the offices of Leader and Deputy Leader will be shared with the country. “
Below is the full unedited version of the Facebook post
PLP VOTERS, DELEGATES AND CHAIRMEN NEED TO READ THIS ( ASAP)
I received a copy of the new requirements for the leadership and deputy leadership of the PLP Party which were put forward by Dawn Simmons, the chairman of the party and others, and approved/passed by the central committee on June 27, 2022.
PLP members and delegates who were not aware of this document and the changes that they were trying to put in place, here they are for your perusal;
(1 ) If you’re challenging for party leader you will have to participate in two debates. The first debate, would be on island-wide concerns, and the second debate on internal party concerns.
The first debate for leader was scheduled for Wednesday, October 12, 2022. And the second debate was to be held on October 15, 2022.
(2 ) If you’re challenging for deputy party leader you would be required to participate in one debate on internal and party issues.
If you think what you’ve just read is crazy, stay tuned, it gets worse.
(3) According to the ‘new rules’ contained in this document, each candidate for leader or deputy leader must;
(a) Be a lifetime member and have no party arrears (Parliamentarians)
(b) Have active branch and have canvassed 2/3 of their constituency
(c) Be nominated via reference by two upstanding members of their party, noting their party involvement and support for candidacy.
(d) Participate in all pre-election events and fundraisers;
(e) Support fundraising efforts towards campaign expenses.
I’ve shared this with some family members who have been active in this party for years and they were quite disturbed that these changes were created by the Premier and passed on. These debates and manufactured requirements have never been required of anyone who has chosen to challenge the sitting leadership. This information should be alarming to all members and delegates. The Premier advocating these new rules to control and stifle
an otherwise normal and fair process in an attempt to block and make it difficult for anyone to challenge him for leader of the party is unacceptable.
And just when you think you’ve heard it all, let me assure you, you have not. In conjunction with the foiled attempt to stack the deck in his favor, as communicated above, one of the most controlling actions committed by Burt, and by far the most disappointing, cowardly response on the part of the elected officials of the PLP party follows. I was informed of the existence of an MOU created by Burt, an MOU that he requested all MPs sign in agreement with the terms and conditions therein. This MOU instructed the MPs that they could not challenge nor speak out against David Burt, their chosen leader. According to this document, the MPs were not permitted to challenge any of Burt’s decisions, nor were they allowed to speak out publicly without his approval. And if they did, they would have to resign from their seats.
Larry Scott confirms that he, and several others were shown this MOU. According to this MP, the MOU had been signed by most of the MPs.
Was your MP one of those who signed this MOU? Because in doing so, your MP abandoned his oath and signed away his/her rights and commitment to best represent and serve the people of Bermuda and their constituents who elected him/her. It is unfair to any challenger for the leadership of this party because most MPs have shown their allegiance to Burt, not the Party nor the country, when they signed the MOU.
We the members and the delegates of the PLP party must demand to be shown this document before the Delegates’ Conference. And this matter must be addressed the night of the Delegates’ Conference. It is of utmost importance that we know which MPs signed this MOU.
The elected MPs’ representation of the people in their constituency, and the people of Bermuda in the House of Assembly is the bedrock of democracy.
Dawn Simmons must make this document available to each chairman. This is of national importance to the country and its of critical importance to the future survival of the PLP party. When the full scope of the original MOU presented to the MPs to sign, and Burt’s actions to silence the MPs is revealed, we must demand that the Premier steps down as the leader. Burt may have silenced his MPs but an emerging leader with integrity cannot be suppressed. The bullying, controlling leadership on the part of Burt whereby a single voice is the only voice that matters is the epitome of dictatorship.
And we must also demand that Dawn Simmons removes herself from chairmanship of the PLP party. And I can’t stress it any more than I have already, we need to know which MPs signed away their right to represent this country and its people.
Bermuda, this madness must be stopped. We need to take our country back, and get this place back to where we’re feeling good and proud to be Bermudians. My son read this and he said, “Mom, it’s not rocket science. In October you all need to to take OUR country back from the clutches of David Burt.”
I have supported the Premier in every way I possibly could, but enough is enough. We cannot stand by and let him continue to destroy the constitution of the party which is the foundation and fabric of this party, which was put in place by the founding members as the compass for this party to stay on course, and move in the right direction.
David Burt, you have let down the seniors, you have failed our children, you have let our parents down, you have let party members down, and you have let people down who believed in you and were willing to give you a chance against all odds, and in spite of all the allegations and accusations that were hurled at you. As an educator I too am so disappointed in you. You were a young beacon of hope, or so I thought.
I can only judge you based on your actions to date, and I can categorically say that you have deceived us. I have taught my children that they mustn’t judge a person until they get to know them. And what you have shown my family, friends, colleagues, the people of Bermuda, and me, is that your words mean nothing and you cannot be trusted. I am through with defending you, David Burt. And I understand exactly why everyone is saying they’re not going to vote for the PLP in the next election if you’re still the leader after October.
Dawn Simmons and the central committee, you should be ashamed of yourselves to go against the Constitution that has worked for all leaders before David Burt.
I have asked my friend Larry Scott to post this for me for obvious reasons. Larry can verify that I am a mother, an educator and a strong party member, and I do not want to disclose my name, for fear of retribution. We have watched David Burt destroy people’s lives that go up against him or who don’t agree with him.
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