Flanked by a host of parliamentary colleagues and family, One Bermuda Alliance MP Craig Cannonier was placed back at the helm at a Swearing In Ceremony at Government House this morning.
The renewed party leader made a “humble apology” following the Jetgate fiasco for a second run.
In his address, he spoke of the “good, the bad and the ugly” sides of politics, which he said brought a sense of “déjà vu” for some of those in attendance for the brief ceremony.
He also thanked Governor John Rankin and his family for their “unending support”, as well as his colleagues.
Party MPs in attendance included Sylvan Richards, Susan Jackson, Leah Scott, Cole Simons, Ben Smith and Scott Pearman, and Senator Robyn Swan.
The new leader sparked a bit of laughter when he said: “Thus far, all of you know that my political career has been very colourful, hasn’t it?
“I’ve experienced the good, the bad and even the ugly part of politics.
“The thrill of victory and of course the pain and agony of defeat — the realities of public service.
“The greatest low was after having been given advice I took a flight on a private jet plane to sell Bermuda and in my naivety, I made the error, an error of judgment, and for this, Bermuda, I humbly apologise; to you my family, for the difficult time that it provided you, something you didn’t ask for. To my colleagues, my apologies.”
As a young man he said he was taught that if you fall, the “greatest thing” you can do is get up.
“So I stand before you, a humbled man, an experienced politician, yet with a clear conscience.”
The new leader replaces Jeanne Atherden, who resigned last Thursday after receiving a vote of no confidence from eight of the OBA’s 11 MPs.
Moving forward, Mr Cannonier said Bermuda’s success requires a “real change of thinking towards one another, politically, socially and economically”.
“The backbone of Bermuda still seeking to thrive and not just survive. And those who benefited from our historical past still not understanding the racial tension on this island,” he said.
“I come from a history that says you can transcend your limitations.
“I come from an understanding and a teaching that we can move mountains, we just need to shift our precision and our thinking, and amazing things will happen.”
The job now, he said, was to hold the Government to account and “to do the right thing”, which translates into “much work to be done”.
Mr Cannonier became the party’s first Premier in 2012, when the OBA defeated the Progressive Labour Party in the 2012 General Election.
Less than two years later he stepped down after the Jetgate scandal over a trip to the US on board a private jet owned by an American business tycoon.