Premier of Bermuda, David Burt has named October 1 as the date for general elections on the British Overseas Territory (BOT), nearly two years ahead of the constitutional deadline.
“In accordance with the Bermuda constitution, the Governor has accepted my advice to hold a general election on October 1, Premier Burt said, adding that the election, which had not been due until 2022, – would help the island to focus on rebuilding its battered economy and creating more opportunities for Bermudians.
The last general elections held in July 2017, the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) defeated the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) by 24 seats to 12 and added an extra seat in a subsequent by-election to extend its overall House majority to 14.
“The prospect of a series of by-elections does not represent the best use of the public purse at this time but a general election by which the people of Bermuda will safely cast their votes will allow us as a community to devote our efforts to the rebuilding of our economy and the creation of greater opportunity for Bermudians who have shown strength and commitment to each other during this challenging period,” the Premier said.
At least one by-election was pending after the OBA’s Trevor Moniz retired from his House of Assembly seat in Smith’s West.
Burt said it’s financially responsible for the government to call an election now rather than by-elections.
“I chose the option that saves Bermudian taxpayers money. I also thought about the 20 months of bickering that a series of by-elections would bring.”
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the island’s national debt close to three billion US dollars.