Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin formally introduced his new deputy Moses Kirkconnell to the Legislative Assembly on Monday.
“I think that it is quite right and proper that this House do mark this momentous occasion,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “It is the first appointment of a deputy leader of the opposition since the position was created in 2009 Constitution Order.” He added: “As leader of the opposition, I am delighted and honoured and privileged to have someone of Moses’ calibre, the first member for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman … to assume that critically important role and myself and all members of the opposition are very proud and pleased that he has accepted the position. We know he will do a marvellous job in that role.”
However, Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush, in offering his congratulations, took a dig at the People’s Progressive Movement party for failing to appoint a deputy leader since 2009, saying the PPM had acted “ultra vires”, or outside the constitution, which requires the appointment of an opposition deputy.
Mr. Bush said the leader of the opposition “needed the balance” and wished Mr. Kirkconnell all the best, adding that he was glad the PPM had “finally ceded to the constitution”.
The PPM appointed Mr. Kirkconnell to the post last month, making him the first person in either of Cayman’s political parties to be named to the deputy opposition leader post – a position that is mandated under the 2009 Constitution.
Former PPM member Arden McLean also offered his congratulations to Mr. Kirkconnell, saying he was next in line as leader of the opposition and had a “big job in front of him and I hope it is not that daunting that he gives up on it”.
Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly wished her fellow Bracker the best of luck, echoing Mr. McLean’s words that Mr. Kirkconnell has a “colossal and gigantic task ahead of him”. She also called for the parties to work together “for the betterment of Cayman Brac”.
Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence said it was “historically significant” that both deputies – the deputy premier and the deputy opposition leader – were from Cayman Brac.