A founding member of the newly formed Free Democratic Movement (FDM) has decided to pack it in before the General Election next Thursday, October 1.
Kae Thomas Palacio announced this morning that she has resigned from the group and will not be a candidate in the race next week.
A statement released this afternoon said: “Kae Thomas Palacio has resigned as a founder and member of the Free Democratic Movement and has withdrawn her candidature from the upcoming General Election in C31 Southampton West Central.
“She extends her best wishes to the FDM in the upcoming election.”
The move turns what would have been a three-way race back into a two-way race between the incumbent MP, Ben Smith of the One Bermuda Alliance and Crystal Caesar, who is running for a second time for the Progressive Labour Party in C31.
The new party’s leader, Marc Bean, apologised to constituents of Southampton West Central who had voted for Ms Thomas Palacio in advanced polling.
“The last thing in our intentions going into this was to disenfranchise voters.
“Both Mr Smith and Ms Caesar are fine representatives of the country, fine servants of the country, as was my expectation for Ms Thomas Palacio.
“But we are free, as an entity, she exercised her right,” he said.
“I have to apologise to the voters in 31, especially those who have voted.”
The FDM originally fielded 15 candidates for the October 1 election.
Like all of the FDMs candidates, Mr Bean said Ms Thomas Palacio brought “something to the table which makes up what FDM is”.
“We operate on the premise of freedom of conscience, that conscience applies across the board so if she has chosen to do it, I have to respect it.
“Of course I was surprised but with everything I’ve been through personally when it comes to politics, nothing really surprises me, so I have to take everything as it comes,” he added.
“I have learnt to keep myself as balanced as possible.”