Arden: ‘Let’s vote out the Premier’
Some mixed political messages were
presented to the public during a recent meeting of the opposition People’s
Progressive Movement in George Town, with one party member calling for an
ouster of Premier McKeeva Bush and anotherbeseeching unity among Legislative
A member of the former ruling
government and now opposition MLA Arden McLean said late Thursday that he would
bring a motion for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Premier McKeeva Bush to the
Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly.
The comments were made during the
gathering of about 125 supporters of the opposition political party outside the
Other elected PPM members at
Thursday’s event did not echo Mr. McLean’s statements publicly. In fact, one
PPM party member later said the East End MLA’s comments should be taken “in the
tongue-in-cheek manner they were made”.
Oddly contrasting with Mr. McLean’s
view, another PPM member – Bodden Town MLA Anthony Eden – had earlier in the
evening urged cooperation between all LA members.
“In the dire straits these Islands
are now in, we must put this petty politics aside and the 15 of us must work
for the good of our Cayman Islands,” Mr. Eden said.
Speaking about 40 minutes after Mr.
Eden’s comments, Mr. McLean lamented the state of Cayman’s economy and the
numerous fees brought by the current government to help balance the budget, Mr.
McLean urged PPM party supporters to lobby ruling United Democratic Party
lawmakers to cast some ‘no confidence’ votes in Mr. Bush as well.
“The only thing we can do to help
you at this time is bring a vote of no confidence in the premier, but you have
to help us,” Mr. McLean said. “What you have to do is impress upon a few of
those who are on the other side that they got to vote, and we’re going to have
a secret ballot.”
“If they don’t do anything else
they can at least mark an X, to rid this country of that premier.”
Mr. McLean said that the PPM
members did not want to form the government immediately if such a vote was
Rather, he said they would move for
another general election to be held prior to the next scheduled date – which is
likely to be in May 2013.
“A vote of no confidence, and we
don’t want to form the government, we want to go back to general election and
let you decide who you want to have there,” Mr. McLean said. “That’s what the
country needs, and let’s do it now.”
Most of the concerns expressed at
the Thursday night political meeting had to do with a range of fees approved
within the past year by the ruling UDP government.
Premier Bush – who is currently off
island – has repeatedly said that most of those fee increases were needed
precisely because the previous PPM government left Cayman with an $81 million
operating deficit in its last budget.
Mr. Bush has said the PPM left
Cayman in such dire straits as to force the country to “beg the UK” to borrow
more money just to keep its daily operations going.
Currently, there are 15 elected
members in the Legislative Assembly. Nine, including Mr. Bush, sit on the
government side of the aisle.
There are five members of the
opposition PPM party, and one independent lawmaker, Ezzard Miller, who sits on
the opposite side from the government, but away from the opposition party as