Kim Swan *File photo
Kim Swan *File photo

The sudden resignation of Premier Craig Cannonier has prompted fresh calls for the OBA to restore its original promise for a referendum on gaming.

The calls have been led by former UBP leader Kim Swan and political activist Jonathan Starling. The pair launched a petition to let the public decide whether gaming should be allowed in Bermuda in the wake of Government’s decision to do away with its pre-election promise to hold a referendum.

Kim Swan said: “I believe that the New OBA Government Administration should ‘waste no time’ and reverse its decision and re table the Referendum on Gaming Bill to restore the promise made by both political parties prior to the last election.”

He added: “Lest we forget that the controversy — JetGate — that eventually rocked the Premier centred around casino gambling and there is still the outstanding issue of a referendum for casino gambling which has spurred a petition to reinstate the referendum for registered voters.

“Ironically, petition activists must now hand over their work to the new Acting Premier Hon. Michael Dunkley who was caught on tape calling it a “ waste of time”

Mr Starling added: “The entire handling of the casino gambling issue by the now-disgraced Premier has been tainted by the JetGate revelations.

As such, I think that it would be imperative for the new OBA Leader to return to the OBA’s election promise of holding a referendum on casino gambling. That would draw a line underneath the whole JetGate scandal and help restore credibility and legitimacy to the process — and to the Government. Is it likely?  Well, despite Premier Dunkley’s previous statements, democracy and sticking to your election promises is never a ‘waste of [expletive] time’. 

“I hope that the new Premier’s learned from his previous statement and from this whole Jet Gate scandal that it’s not wise to dupe the people and that he’s aware that a referendum on casino gambling now — in the wake of JetGate — in necessary to help restore investor and popular confidence in the Government.” 

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