Editorial for 12 December: Bush must step down

Tuesday was a dark day in the history of
the Cayman Islands as the country’s first premier, McKeeva Bush, was arrested
for suspicion of theft and, contrary to the Anti-Corruption Law 2008, breach of
trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest.

The news of his arrest spread almost as
fast around the world as it did throughout the Cayman Islands. Although Mr.
Bush has not, as of press time, been charged with any crime, – let alone been
convicted of one – his arrest is nonetheless a national embarrassment and it
will affect investor confidence in the Cayman Islands as a financial services

We have no doubt that Mr. Bush’s arrest
will lead to some anti-UK conspiracy theories, particularly when considering
the timing of his arrest. After nine months of a highly publicised
investigation, the police finally made an arrest the very day after the Legislative
Assembly adjourned for the rest of the year and just prior to a Cabinet meeting
with some important matters on the agenda. The Legislative Assembly can now not
bring a motion of no confidence against Mr. Bush until the next meeting of the
House, probably in late January or February.

Regardless of the timing issue and
regardless of whether Mr. Bush is actually charged or eventually convicted of
an imprisonable crime, his remaining premier going forward is untenable. The
Cayman Islands simply cannot have, as the leader of the country, someone who
has been arrested on suspicion of committing serious crimes. If a leader of
another democratic country were to be arrested on similar charges, he or she
would do the honourable thing and step down. Mr. Bush must not only stop down
as premier, he must also step down from his Cabinet position because he should
not be in a position to dictate national policy for the country after his

The eyes of the world are now focused on
the Cayman Islands and watching what happens here. If Mr. Bush refuses to do
the honourable thing and step aside at least until the police say they aren’t
going to bring charges or he is exonerated, the world will view our country as
something akin of a Banana Republic. This cannot be allowed to happen.



  1. I agree. This is not an issue of innocent until proven guilty. This is about doing the honourable thing – which might be an entirely alien concept to some including politicians.

    Mr. Bush must step down as Premier and as a Cabinet member until this issue is resolved. That is the honourable thing for him to do. No matter the perpetual title of Honourable that he and his colleagues voted for themselves, in my view doing the honourable thing means stepping down immediately for the good of the country.

  2. I agree that in a real democracy McKeeva would resign. In a real democracy he would have been forced to do so months ago.

    We all know McKeeva will do no such thing. He will proclaim his innocence, say he has answered the police’s questions, and that he regards the matter as closed. The onus will then be on the police whether to charge him.

    I hope that they make and announce that decision, either way, as quickly as possible.

    What this episode has shown, since the investigations were first made public, is that the premier is untouchable so long as he has the support of his party in the LA. I hope people will remember that fact come election time.

  3. The man may be innocent–and these suspicions don’t represent serious crimes so far! Looks like a witch hunt in a highly political atmosphere. The role of the police is also part of the Cayman Islands’ reputation.

  4. And so it came to pass.

    Now would the police please decide very quickly whether or not to charge him, and make an announcement to that effect.

    This must not be allowed to cloud the elections

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