Broadcast Commission 071013.docx.docx

The Leader of the Opposition said today he had proposed forming a coalition Government with the Premier to better serve Bermuda.

Speaking at the House of Assembly Marc Bean also accused Craig Cannonier of misleading the Bermudian people over the gaming referendum and the OBA's decision to do away with it.

And he refuted claims that he and his party planned to disrupt or interfere with the referendum.

Mr Bean said that during discussions with Mr Cannonier over the gaming referendum the pair had discussed the idea of forming a coalition Government.

The PLP leader said his proposal to form a coalition was declined.

Mr Bean said: "I proposed the formation of a coalition government of which one sitting OBA MP had indicated a desire to join, with others showing interest.

"I will not reveal the name of these members as a mark of respect for our private conversations.

"This proposal of a coalition between disaffected OBA MPs and the PLP was made in an effort to allow our Premier to break free of the forces that were, in his mind, restricting and preventing him from making real progress for Bermudians.

"This offer was declined."

During a no-holds barred speech the Opposition Leader attacked Mr Cannonier and his party for the “theft of the voter's democratic right” — a reference to the OBA”s scrapping of the referendum.

And he revealed how the Premier had approached him and proposed that the two parties hold a joint press conference to issue a joint statement explaining why a gambling referendum should be avoided.

He added: "We agreed that we would discuss the proposal with our respective colleagues, to which I did by having my entire caucus consider the proposal at our next meeting. 

"I conveyed to the Premier that my Caucus rejected the proposal, and reiterated our previously stated position that while the majority of us support the introduction of casino gambling, that we should uphold our respective election promises to provide a referendum."

Mr Bean made a number of serious allegations about the Premier in the context of the casinos issue but we have chosen not to publish them in the absence of a response from Mr Cannonier.

At the time of writing, the Premier was still in the House of Assembly and we were told he was not immediately available for comment.