There’s mixed reaction today to the resignation of former Premier Paula Cox from the Progressive Labour Party, and her plans to run as an Independent candidate in the July 18th General Election.
A number of party stalwarts, who asked not to be named, have questioned Ms Cox’s bid, and whether it is in the best interest of the party.
While there are some who do not agree with the changes made to the PLP’s candidate selection process, that was modified and ratified by the central committee in 2014. Most said Ms Cox had her chance, and not only lost her seat – she lost the last election.
One source told Bermuda Real: “She will only take votes away from the approved candidate Wayne Caines, which increases the chance of One Bermuda Alliance MP Glen Smith to retain the seat in Devonshire North West – which is not good for the Progressive Labour Party.”
But Ms Cox, in an email published to Mr Burt, said the selection process changes represented a “back room agenda” on the part of the party’s leadership designed to tarnish her reputation. She also said the branch executive was told that she “could be a liability” to the PLP if she were to run. That sentiment is being expressed by a number of party stalwarts today.
Reflecting on her Premiership, at a time when the now defunct United Bermuda Party disintegrated, another source said: “We pleaded with her to call a snap election when the Bermuda Democratic Alliance that followed the UBP fell apart. Then the OBA formed and we begged her to catch them with their pants down. And if she had taken our advice we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Her resignation was confirmed by a PLP statement to the media which said: “This decision by Ms Cox is disappointing but clearly Ms Cox feels it necessary to follow her dreams and take this stance.
“We thank Ms Cox for her decades of service to the party in numerous capacities, and wish her well going forward.”
In her resignation letter to PLP Chairman Scott Simmons on Tuesday, Ms Cox wrote: “It is with a heavy heart that I do this but I am compelled to cancel my membership on a point of principle.”
How her Independent candidacy will play out at the polls on July 18th remains to be seen.