A corner of George Town was filled with song in the small hours of Thursday morning as United Democratic Party leader McKeeva Bush led a crowd of hundreds of supporters in rousing choruses outside the party’s headquarters to celebrate their election victory.
Mr. Bush emerged from the UDP’s George Town headquarters just after 3am to claim victory to the strains of Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the Best’.
Mr. Bush and his UDP colleagues were mobbed by hundreds of supporters that had spent the past few hours dancing and celebrating the UDP’s emphatic victory in front of the UDP’s base on Godfrey Nixon way.
‘Victory is yours’ Mr. Bush yelled into the microphone after finally reaching a hastily prepared podium, before leading the crowd in the Bob Marley classic, Redemption Song.
Mr. Bush then launched into another Marley political classic, Small Axe, bellowing, ‘If you are the big, big tree; we are the small axe; sharpened to cut you down; ready to cut you down.’
Mr. Bush then sang the opening refrain from another Marley song – Bad Card – ‘Dem a go tired fe see me face’ – before finally addressing the over 1,000 strong crowd.
Mr. Bush first thanked god for the victory, telling the crowd ‘if god be for us, who can be against us,’ before thanking voters and all that had supported the UDP’s campaign.
Mr. Bush said he was humbled to stand before the crowd, once again, as the new Leader of Government Business.
‘Whether you supported UDP or PPM or the independents, we want everyone in this country to know that we will work every second of every minute of every day to accomplish the job that you, the people, have asked us to do.’
Mr. Bush called on the People’s Progressive Movement to put their differences and hard feelings aside and join the UDP to unify Cayman.
‘It is time to put the campaign aside and focus on the difficult work ahead,’ he said.
‘We must work, we must work and we must work,’ he added. ‘We must not rest – and we will not rest – until we turn this country around.’
Mr. Bush also called for unity within the country, between born Caymanians, status holders and permanent residents.
‘We are all Caymanians now,’ he declared. ‘We all want the best for this country.’
He said the UDP ‘will not curse a people,’ adding, ‘whether you are American, Canadian… English; Barbadian; Jamaican or other West Indian, we must be unified.’
Mr. Bush promised to lead a government of accountability, responsibility and transparency.
‘Together we can create a new day of opportunity, prosperity and tranquillity for all Caymanians and those who live and work here,’ he said.
The New Leader of Government Business was joined before the cheering, chanting and dancing crowd by other successful UDP candidates including new MLA’s Ellio Solomon; Mike Adam; Mark Scotland; and Dwayne Seymour; as well as incumbents Rolston Anglin; Cline Glidden; and Captain Eugene Ebanks. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who retained her Sister Islands seat, was on Cayman Brac.
Mr. Bush thanked the two unsuccessful UDP candidates Pearlina McGaw-Lumsden and Jonathan Piercy, whose talents he promised to utilise wherever possible.
Mr. Bush then reminded the thousand strong crowd that many of them still had to go to work in the morning, asking them to make their way home, before launching back into another verse from Redemption Song.
After seeming to forget the words, Mr. Bush then wrapped things up with his own take on another Bob Marley tune, The Conquering Lion, singing ‘The conquering savoir; will break every chain; and give us our victory; again and again.’ It drew a rapturous response from the UDP faithful on hand.
‘Now, there is work to be done,’ Mr. Bush told the crowd before finally departing.
To listen to Mr. Bush’s victory speech, visit www.caycompass.com/elections