PLP candidate withdraws from Bermuda election race
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Saturday November 17, 2012 - Premier Paula Cox admitted the timing was "less than ideal" after the ruling Progressive Labour Party (PLP) candidate for St George's West in next month's general election announced Friday that he would not be contesting the elections “personal reasons".
Cox has since announced that St George's alderman Renee Anderson-Ming as the replacement for 38-year-old John Gibbons.
"We are thankful for his work, his energy and his passion. Mr Gibbons remains a rising star in the PLP and although he will not be a candidate he will continue to work and help the PLP."
Cox conceded the timing of the decision was 'less than ideal', but maintained that the decision to step down as a candidate had been Gibbons' entirely.
She described Anderson-Ming as a "young, intelligent" woman and said the PLP was fortunate to be able call on her to represent the party in St George's West.
The seat is currently held by former United Bermuda Party (UBP) leader Kim Swan, who plans to run as an independent in the December 17 election.
Gibbons' withdrawal is the second setback for the PLP.
Former attorney general Phil Perinchief quit the party last week and will also run as an independent in the election.
Perinchief, 68, a PLP cabinet minister in 2006 and 2007, will take on Junior Finance Minister David Burt and the One Bermuda Alliance’s (OBA) Nicholas Kempe in Pembroke West Central.
Perinchief first joined the PLP more than 40 years ago and was a candidate for that party at the last election five years ago, but also ran unsuccessfully as an independent in 1983 and 1998 -- the year the PLP ended the UBP's 30 years of uninterrupted rule.
The PLP currently holds 24 of the 36 seats in the House of Assembly but trailed the 18-month-old OBA by 11 points in a recent opinion poll. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)