Alex Scott proposed an anti-corruption commission but there are few signs of progress. *File photo
Alex Scott proposed an anti-corruption commission but there are few signs of progress. *File photo

Former Premier Alex Scott has called for “calm heads” as tensions between the island’s two political parties continue to escalate.

The ex-PLP leader told the Bermuda Sun that neither side had “covered themselves in glory” by the way they had handled the last five turbulent days of claim and counter-claim.

And he renewed calls to consider new anti-corruption laws and the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Commission that could investigate claims made in the House of Assembly.

Mr Scott presented the draft Public Integrity Act to the Premier, the leader of the Opposition and the Governor last year.

He said that the creation of an Anti-Corruption Commission would have allowed Parliamentarians to return to serving their constituents in the aftermath of the recent revelations. Mr Scott added: “If this independent commission had been established, this dispute would have been referred to it by now and the commission would then have gone about seeing if there was an actual case to answer.

“We need to bring a sense of good governance on this vexing matter.

“I don’t want to go into the merits and de-merits of the issue.

“But it is time for calm heads and a cooler message to be used by both sides in the interests of going forward.

“No one has covered themselves in glory in this matter and both sides need to consider their responsibilities.”

The former Premier told the Sun that it was ‘concerning’ that the issue of gambling had already become a divisive influence on the island even before it had been brought in.

He added: “When I was in Parliament I did not support the issue of gaming.

“I was concerned that gaming would have an impact on Parliament business and Parliamentarians once it had arrived.

“But I did not think that this would happen even before it effectively arrived in Bermuda.

“In gaming there is a lot of money looking for a home. And as an industry it has been established that it can be divisive and corruptive. It can be an issue that takes the focus of Parliament and the community away from good governance. Everyone needs to take a step back, take a deep breath and ensure that the issues that are being discussed and debated and brought to Parliament really help the people that they were brought in to serve.”

Meanwhile Chamber of Commerce President, Ronnie Viera, urged the parties to come to focus on getting Bermuda back on its feet.

He added: “From a business perspective, businesses do not like politically unstable places and some of the comments that have been made are very strong and concerning.

“It’s really down to the parties to resolve this.

“But the bottom line is, it is concerning and disturbing to most Bermudians to hear some of the things that have been said.

“A lot of work is being done to rebuild business in Bermuda and we all need to be going in the same direction.” 


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