McLaughlin to announce new candidates next week
Members of the opposition People’s Progressive Movement political party said Wednesday that they intended to field a “full slate” of candidates in Grand Cayman’s three most populous voting districts.
However, the party does not intend to run more than one candidate in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin also said Wednesday that the PPM is “not proposing” to run candidates against incumbents Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean in North Side and East End.
“As of now, we have a very good working relationship with the two MLAs from East End and North Side and we are not proposing to field anyone in those districts,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
Getting to six candidates in George Town, four in West Bay and four in Bodden Town will take a bit more work.
The PPM has publicly identified all four candidates in Bodden Town, but only four of six in George Town and only one of four potential candidates in West Bay.
Mr. McLaughlin said three more potential candidates will be identified by the party early next week. Additional candidates will be added as they are confirmed and will actually be vetted first through a PPM party conference scheduled for February.
Running four candidates in the United Democratic Party stronghold of West Bay was not done during the 2005 and 2009 general elections, but in retrospect Mr. McLaughlin believes that may have been a mistake.
“We believe there are vulnerable seats in West Bay and we intend to challenge those seats.”
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman representative Moses Kirkconnell was formally named Wednesday as the deputy leader of the opposition political party.
Mr. Kirkconnell becomes the first person in either of Cayman’s political parties to be named to the deputy opposition leader post, which is a required position under the Constitution.
The appointment also means that both Cayman’s deputy premier and the country’s deputy opposition leader now hail from Cayman Brac.
Mr. Kirkconnell thanked party officials for his appointment to the deputy leader’s post, although he acknowledged that his party will face challenges ahead.
“We have tremendous problems facing us,” he said of the country. “This is a time for us to be together and be united.”
Neither Mr. McLaughlin nor Mr. Kirkconnell wanted to discuss specific policy directives of the Progressives during Wednesday’s conference. Particularly, with respect to the party’s positions on the ForCayman Alliance agreement, the PPM leadership was mum.
“You have to gather as much information as you possibly can before you make a decision,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. “It would not be prudent on our part because we don’t have the information now.”
Mr. McLaughlin also appeared to take jab at a group of independent politicians and their supporters which, earlier this month, publicly announced their existence but didn’t publicly make their candidates known.
He said announcements about the deputy opposition leader position and the PPM’s slate of candidates were intended to inform voters in enough advance of the election that they could make informed decisions.
“This business of it being a horse-trading exercise following a general election, which has in the past resulted in chaos and disaster, is not something the country should be faced with,” Mr. McLaughlin said.