Respecting the voters’ wishes

The voters have spoken. We respect their decision. That is the democratic process.

Of course we are disappointed by the result, as are all those who wanted my Government to stay in office for another term. But now we must move on.

I want to say on behalf of myself and my colleagues how much we appreciate the huge support we received from voters, and how much we appreciate the heroic, selfless work of all those who helped us to plan and carry out our election campaign. I hope that they are all standing tall in the knowledge that we ran a good, clean campaign and that in difficult times we did our best to focus the country’s attention on the important issues.

Those of us who have been re-elected will proudly carry out our duties, both as representatives of our Districts and as the Parliamentary Opposition. As the Opposition, our duty will be to question and criticize measures taken by the Government so that the public can better understand what is going on, and the Government can be held to account. But we will do our best to perform our duty in a constructive way.

There will also be much important work to be done by the officers and members of the PPM in the coming times. The PPM brought a new culture of governance to this country, offering open, honest and transparent government and making huge strides in key areas like education and infrastructural development. We have much of which we can be proud. But notwithstanding all that, we have lost the government and we must learn from the lessons of this election. I am happy to say that our members are fully energized to do this, and to continue our mission of offering the Cayman Islands the right kind of Government.

Unfortunately, there were some alleged irregularities in this election. There have been serious allegations that UDP agents, supporters and some candidates attempted to unduly influence voters at some George Town polling stations on Election Day. These matters have been reported to the Supervisor of Elections and the police. We understand they are being investigated and that in due course a statement will be made regarding the outcome of those investigations.

Even more important is the apparent constitutional disqualification of Mark Scotland and Dewayne Seymour to be elected as members of the Legislative Assembly. The Attorney General announced before the elections that he would not be taking any action until after the elections. So we await a public statement from him now that the elections have been held. Furthermore, it is the duty of the Governor to ensure that all persons whom he swears in as members of the Legislative Assembly have been duly elected and have not been disqualified under the provisions of the law or the Constitution. So we await his public statement on this subject. I do not wish to make any further comment at this time except to stress that the Governor and the Attorney General have no higher responsibility than upholding the law and Constitution.

Talking of the Constitution, we are delighted that our efforts to propose, discuss and negotiate the amendments that this country needs have now received the blessing of voters in our first referendum. I congratulate voters. Cayman will now have a new, modern constitutional framework in which to negotiate the growing number of complex issues with which we are faced in these increasingly difficult times. The constitutional modernization exercise has been a protracted and difficult process, but together we have stayed the course, and I believe future generations will thank us all. I want to give special thanks to Professor Jeffrey Jowell, and to Suzanne Bothwell and her team at the Secretariat as well as to our private sector partners, the Cayman Ministers Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the Human Rights Committee for their assistance in making this happen.

It is not customary to thank civil servants, but I want to acknowledge all the work that civil servants have done to give effect to my Government’s vision and policies. Nothing can be achieved by a Government without the civil servants. LA, Cabinet and the Governor are the head of the Government, but the civil service is the body. I hope the civil servants are proud of what we have achieved together in the last four years.

Finally I want to thank the Election officials, both civil servants and volunteers, for their good work, especially those who handled the counting process into the night.

May God continue to bless our beloved Cayman Islands.

D. Kurt Tibbetts

Political leader