Bermuda leader survives non-confidence vote after taking Guantanamo Uighurs

[JURIST] Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown [party profile] Saturday survived a vote of no confidence by Bermuda's lower house of parliament, the House of Assembly [official website], which was seen as an attempt to punish Brown for accepting four Uighur Guantanamo detainees [JURIST report] to the Atlantic island nation last week. The resolution [press release], proposed by members of the opposition United Bermuda Party (UBP) [official website] was rejected 22-10, with all members of Brown's own Progressive Labour Party (PLP) [official website] voting against it. During a 14-hour debate members of the UBP criticized Brown's actions, calling him undemocratic, while members of the PLP demanded that Brown apologize for accepting the detainees without first consulting [Royal Gazette report] his cabinet colleagues, the island's UK-appointed governor Richard Gozney, or the British government in London. Although technically self-governing, Bermuda remains a British Overseas Territory with limited jurisdiction over its foreign and security affairs.

Last week, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [official website] criticized [JURIST report] Brown for failing to consult with London before agreeing to take the four Uighurs [JURIST report]. Brown allegedly considered accepting the Uighurs to be an immigration issue within domestic jurisdiction. A spokesperson for the FCO said Britain would nonetheless help the Bermudan government conduct a security assessment of the detainees.

 

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