The leader of Bermuda’s newest political party claimed yesterday that honesty would make his party stand out from the crowd.
Marc Bean was speaking after he and 14 more members of the Free Democratic Movement were unveiled as General Election candidates at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on King Street, Hamilton.
Mr Bean told the media: “The principle that we are founded on is freedom, one, but most importantly we have to focus on quality justice — honesty is going to stand out as a reflection of what FDM is.
“It might not sound like a lot, but when the good people of this country reflect on whether or not politics as a whole has been honest, they will say that it hasn’t.
“Everyone who is working here is seeking to have a title before their name called honourable.
“If you want the title of honourable, you should start conducting yourself and behave honourably and with honesty.”
Former Progressive Labour Party leader Marc Bean has launched a third force in politics — and his new Free Democratic Movement said it planned to field candidates in the General Election next month.
The new party’s website said: “To enjoy a peaceful and prosperous Bermuda, each citizen has to be given the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
“FDM strives to create a nation built on upholding the rights of the people and empowering them to pursue their divine purpose.”
It appealed to voters: “On election day, vote for FDM for a better Bermuda.”
The party’s website said it had been founded on Tuesday as “a direct response to the loud cries from the people of Bermuda for genuine leadership, understanding and representation”.
The party’s website also revealed a cedar tree logo and a six-point list of key principles.
They included the promotion of equal rights for all, limited government to ensure the rights of individuals were respected and “treating everyone equally” and not “rewarding failure nor punishing success”.
The party also committed to a hands-off approach to government — subsidiarity — to make sure that authority “resides at the lowest possible level”.
The party also promised “spontaneous order” — the maximisation of economic benefits for all — and the encouragement of “private ownership of resources”.
The FDM’s “golden rule” was said to be “encouraging honesty among all members of society”.
The leader of the country’s newest political force set out its stall for voters at the weekend.
Marc Bean, a founder and head of the Free Democratic Movement and a former leader of the Progressive Labour Party, said the party was designed to maintain and uphold a healthy democratic system, and to “provide a vision and policies that stimulate Bermuda’s economic and cultural development, to effectively move beyond identity and race politics and to cultivate the manifestation of an open, benevolent and free society”.
He said the creation of the party was a reaction to “the governance of the country in the last three years”.
Mr Bean added: “Naturally, in observing the direction of the country, we started to give consideration to participating in the electoral process by providing a tangible option.
“The fact we are able to offer a policy on education before the other entities shows that we are well prepared to go through the election period.”
A Free Democratic Movement candidate said that a third option in Bermuda’s political landscape could change the balance of power.
Christopher Gauntlett explained that his experience in the Royal Bermuda Regiment meant that he was used to putting himself forward and was “drawn” to public service.
Fellow FDM candidate Leighsa Darrell-Augustus added that she got involved to avoid “sitting on the wall complaining” and Enda Matthie believed that the island wanted a leadership that could help residents come together.
Mr Gauntlett, the owner of Blue Water Divers, chairman of the Historic Wrecks Authority and a member of the Bermuda Lionfish Taskforce, said he was in the RBR for about 15 years and finished as a company commander.
He explained: “I left service in the regiment in 2017, so that in some ways opened up some time in my schedule.