The Cayman Reporter: New government formed

(Front page story: Published in The Cayman Reporter, May 31, 2017)

Cayman has a new government, and according to those behind it, it will be a “Government of National Unity.”

Alden McLaughlin will remain as premier, with Moses Kirkconnell at his side.

The deal that has been struck is virtually a carbon copy of the agreement signed Friday between The Progressives and the Cayman Democratic Party.

It means the CDP’s McKeeva Bush, captain Eugene Ebanks, and Bernie Bush will join The Progressives to form the new coalition government.

The Cayman Reporter has also confirmed Independents Tara Rivers and Austin Harris will also form part of the new ruling party.

The deal was confirmed Monday afternoon by Mr. Kirkconnell who said five days without a government was too long – and he’s pleased the matter has finally been resolved.

Confirmation was also given by the Governor who confirmed the swearing in ceremony will be held Wednesday.

Governor Helen Kilpatrick said: “Monday afternoon I met with elected representatives Honourable Alden McLaughlin, JP, MBE, Honourable McKeeva Bush, OBE, Mr. Moses Kirkconnell, JP, Mr. Austin Harris, and Captain Eugene Ebanks. Mr. McLaughlin provided me with evidence that he had sufficient support to form a “Government of National Unity.

“Accordingly, I have signed the proclamation to call a session of the Legislative Assembly for 10 a.m. Wednesday, 31 May, 2017 for the purpose of swearing in all newly elected and appointed Members of the Legislative Assembly, voting for a Premier pursuant to section 49(3) of the Constitution of the Cayman Islands, and other attendant matters. Mr. McLaughlin has indicated that he will be seeking election of the position of Premier and Mr. Bush to Speaker of the House.”

Speaking with The Cayman Reporter, Mr. Kirkconnell said an offer to join the coalition has been made to Bodden Town Independent Dwayne “John John” Seymour, but as of press time, his role is yet to be confirmed.

He said: “I think we are all very pleased to get a government because five days is too long for us to govern without a government and the most important thing for the county is to be stable and we are very pleased to be able to announce that the government has been formed.

“As you can appreciate this has been extremely fluid so we just continue to work. Everybody has been pretty much up for five days straight.”

It means that veteran independents Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller will be part of the opposition with the Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Kirkconnell confirmed McKeeva Bush will be given the role of Speaker of the House and there will be Ministerial positions for Ms Rivers, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Joey Hew, and Roy McTaggart.

“Austin will be Councillor, but no, we haven’t decided any of the Ministries yet,” Mr. Kirckconnell said. “We know who the ministers are going to be, but we have not decided subjects.”

It brings an end to days of political wrangling with more twists and turns than an Orlando roller coaster.

Journalist Paul Kennedy also contributed to this story

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