OBA candidates Shawn Crockwell, Jeanne Atherden and Ras Mykkal. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
OBA candidates Shawn Crockwell, Jeanne Atherden and Ras Mykkal. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 30: Photographer and recording artist Ras Mykkal is aiming to be a hit in the Warwick South Central constituency.

Mr Mykkal was on Tuesday announced as the OBA candidate in the constituency for the next General Election.

Shawn Crockwell, who represents Pembroke West for the OBA, is to move to Southampton West Central to take on sitting MP Charlie Swan, who was elected under the banner of the former UBP.

Mr Crockwell’s old seat will be fought by former UBP Senator and party chairman, Jeanne Atherden.

Mr Mykkal said: “The party offers the opportunity for change, for a new beginning and that is why I approached them. Bermuda needs a viable option.

“I am involved because Bermuda needs to become a more cohesive society and that means a country which is based on economic stability and positive social values.”

He added: “Over the years, Bermuda has focused on academics — I strongly believe that so many of our young people who are lost are very artistic people. Bermuda has talent — but where does this talent go? It goes to Westgate.”

Arts and sports

Mr Mykkal said more cash needed to be pumped into the arts and sports — and cited Brazil, where it is estimated its superstar footballers bring $900 million a year into the country.

He added: “Bermuda could do the same with artists and sports people.”

Mr Mykkal said a “farming system” to encourage young talent not only academically, but artistically, could reap benefits for the entire country.

He will take on Government Minister Marc Bean in the seat once held by ex-Premier Dr Ewart Brown.

Mr Crockwell said that moving from Pembroke West, which he won for the UBP in 2007, was a shift out of the “comfort zone” — but that the OBA was determined to win as many seats as possible.

He added: “We believe that Charlie Swan will be running there in the next election, therefore we expect a three-way race. To see our way to victory, the party wanted a strong candidate to give us the best chance for victory. I am ready to play my part to make that happen.”

He added he had close family ties to the constituency and looked forward to canvassing the area.

Ms Atherden said she had similar ties in Pembroke West and had grown up in the constituency.

She said: “I have been involved in politics for quite a few years but never as a candidate for public office. I am stepping forward because I am deeply concerned about the future of our island.

“I’ve been watching with growing concern the failure to solve any of the problems facing us, from educational reform, to gang crime, to an economy that has begun breaking down, leaving thousands without a job – something that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago.

“People are feeling right now that they are not being served and feeling that Bermuda is right at that point where our survival is under threat. “

Party leader Craig Cannonier, who introduced the new candidates at the OBA’s Hamilton HQ, said: “I’m pleased and proud to introduce three candidates who have stepped forward to help get Bermuda back on track, where it is once again creating jobs, educating our children and making our streets and homes safer for everyone.”