Concerns raised over ‘unconstitutional’ meeting
Following prompting from Cayman’s opposition leader, Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor officially “prorogued” – or terminated – the current session of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.
Mr. Taylor wrote Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin Tuesday indicating that he could only close off the current session and reconvene the new year’s meetings after consultation with Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush. Mr. Taylor said he had now done so and signed a proclamation to prorogue the Legislative Assembly from 20 June.
“The prorogation and recalling of the Legislative Assembly are inextricably linked to the preparation and presentation of the budget with the reconvening directly tied to the delivery of the Throne Speech and the budget address,” Mr. Taylor wrote. “Efforts to finalise the budget are ongoing.
“I hope that I will be in a position to proclaim the date for the delivery of the Throne Speech and the start of the new session in the near future.”
Premier Bush has said he hopes to start the state opening and budget address meeting Friday.
Opposition party members boycotted the Friday, 15 June, gathering of the LA, stating that it was not being held in accordance with the constitution.
According to a letter sent to Governor Taylor on Thursday, Opposition Leader McLaughlin wrote that he expected some announcement this week regarding a new meeting of the Legislative Assembly to host the state opening and premier’s budget address.
This did not happen during a Wednesday business committee meeting of the house, Mr. McLaughlin said.
“Instead, the government members advised the committee that there would be a sixth meeting of the 2011/12 session of the Legislative Assembly, which would commence [Friday],” Mr. McLaughlin wrote. “No reasonable explanation was provided to the committee as to why the state opening was not proceeding and no date was given to members as to when the budget would be ready for presentation.
“When pressed, the premier would only say that ‘the budget was in the hands of our lords and masters’,” according to the letter.
The 15 June LA meeting was set to deal with the mundane procedural issue of moving forward business from the previous session of the house to the next year, which will start with the state opening and budget address.
The governor’s reply to Mr. McLaughlin’s concerns did not directly address constitutional issues with regard to the 15 June LA meeting.
“The procedure in dealing with this matter is for the governor to exercise the power of prorogue only after the necessary consultation with the honourable premier,” Mr. Taylor said. “At the time I received [Mr. McLaughlin’s letter about the constitutional issues with the 15 June meeting] I had not yet received advice as to when to prorogue the Legislative Assembly.”