Premier ‘I shall not be resigning’

Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush is going nowhere.  

“I shall not be resigning as premier,” Mr. Bush said in a prepared statement released Thursday morning. “I also wish to assure one and all that the government continues to operate as normal. 

“On the advice of my attorney and given the circumstances, I am unable to comment any further at this time. However, I will make further statements in due course.” 

Mr. Bush thanked his supporters, friends and family “especially those in the district of West Bay” for their prayers, visits and 
words of encouragement. 

The premier said he would travel to Jamaica, as previously scheduled, to accept conferral of an honourary doctorate from the University College of the Caribbean and to give the commencement address at the 
school on Thursday. 

“I feel obligated to honour this commitment and have decided to attend,” Mr. Bush said. “I will be returning to the Island this 
Friday [today].” 

It was not clarified by press time whether Mr. Bush would still receive the honourary doctorate. University officials told the Caymanian Compass Tuesday that they “noted” the recent developments with regard to Mr. Bush and that the univeristy advisory board had made “no further decision beyond the adjustments to the commencement ceremony”. The university had said Tuesday that the school’s chancellor would speak at commencement Thursday. 

As it turned out, Mr. Bush did give the commencement address. However, the Associated Press reported that the honourary doctorate degree had been withheld. 

Premier Bush was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of corruption and theft offences. He has not been charged with any crimes.  

According to a statement released Tuesday by the RCIPS: “The premier of the Cayman Islands, McKeeva Bush, 57, has been arrested and is currently detained in police custody in connection with a number of ongoing police investigations.  

“Officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit arrested Mr. Bush at around 7am at his home in West Bay.  

Mr. Bush has been arrested on suspicion of theft in connection with financial irregularities relating to the alleged misuse of a Government credit card, and breach of trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest, contrary to Section 13, Section 17 and Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Law 2008, in connection with the alleged importation of explosive substances without valid permits on or before February 2012.” 

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin issued an ultimatum that Premier Bush step aside in a broadcast statement Thursday evening.  

“In the interests of the Cayman Islands, I call on the members of the Cabinet: Hon Julianna O’Connor-Connolly; Hon Rolston Anglin, Hon. Mike Adam, Hon. Mark Scotland and the government back-bench, Hon. Cline Glidden, Capt. Eugene Ebanks, Mr. Dwayne Seymour and Mr. Ellio Solomon to take the necessary steps to remove Mr. McKeeva Bush as Premier and a minister of the Cabinet and appoint another of their number as Premier in his stead.” Mr. McLaughlin said.  

“If they do not do so by 3pm [Friday], I intend to immediately petition the Speaker of the House to call a special meeting of the Legislative Assembly early next week to consider the recent arrest of the Premier and his suitability to continue as Premier as a matter of urgent national importance.  

“Should the Speaker decline to exercise her discretion to call a Special Meeting, I shall endeavour to obtain the signatures of at least 7 members of the House to compel the Speaker to do so. We will then proceed to file a Lack of Confidence motion to be debated in the Legislative Assembly which will give every member the opportunity to declare publicly where they stand on this critically important issue.” 

News of the arrest, long-rumoured in the wake a various criminal investigations proceeding against Premier Bush, circulated around the globe within hours.  

A UDP source who spoke to the Caymanian Compass on condition of anonymity expressed surprise at the allegations of misuse of a government credit card, which they noted had been “cleared up” by Premier Bush some time ago.  

Allegations in relation to the explosives importation had been noted among three separate criminal investigations linked to the premier by Governor Duncan Taylor and Police Commissioner David Baines in April of this year.  

According to an earlier statement released on the explosives matter: “Allegations have been made in relation to the involvement of the premier in the periphery of a recent incident where a quantity of explosives were imported to the Cayman Islands without the necessary permit.” Local business Midland Acres was fined a total of $1,300 after its director, Suresh Prasad, entered pleas of guilty on the quarrying company’s behalf to four charges of importing explosives without a permit. At the conclusion of matters, charges against Mr. Prasad personally were left “on file”.  

Mr. Prasad was also arrested Tuesday in connection with the investigation into the premier and on suspicion of various violations of the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Law. He also has not been charged with any crimes. 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Just how short sighted and self centred is Bush? Regardless of guilt he should step down until such time as the police enquiries are complete.

    Cayman relies on foreign business, having the Premier arrested during a criminal investigation naturally spooks investors and business. Whilst I’m sure that they are happy that Cayman is showing that no-one is above the law they equally will not want that person in power until such time as the investigation is over.

    Bush, I implore you, for once do what’s right for YOUR COUNTRY as opposed to you personally. Step down and let the investigation run its course.

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  2. There has been a lot of talk about the reputation of the Cayman Islands. If the Premier can be forced to step down because of unproven suspicions by the police the Islands will be viewed as some sort of rediculous police state, not any form of democracy. This is a formula for chaos because any opposition party could remove any Premier by simply initiating a police investigation–not a good precident. Who would want to do business in a place where the police have such power over the government and the will of the people?

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  3. This bad press will last all the way to the end and then will get worse !But after that the sky’s will clear the mud slinging will soon begin for the vacant number 1 spot ! Seems to be the same in every country !

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  4. littlec,

    you have a very good point.
    I’m against crooked leaders but mere allegation does not justify resignation. The accused is innocent until proven guilty, he’s explanation should be heard. First he is elected official, police aren’t. He has responsibility to people who voted for him and only those people can force him to resign. The segregation of duties for check and balances is very important in government functionality. One thing I would like to ask, who is your leader Mr. bush or the police? If your answer is police then you are communist.

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  5. A majority of commentors…all with valid points…have missed the real issue here..one has to look beneath the surface of these events to find it …but its there.

    Clues ???

    Who holds the real economic and financial, but not political power in Cayman ?

    Bush refusing to resign is an open challenge to the British Govt…calling their bluff, if you will.

    What are the chances of Britain now invoking sovereign power in Cayman and doing what has been done in the Turks Caicos…

    Stepping in and suspending Cayman’s Constitution, removing Bush from power by force, if necessary…

    And establishing direct colonial rule again ?

    The Opposition has definitely taken the proper steps to make sure that they have a clear run to take over Cayman’s Govt. and avoid this from happening.

    This call for a ‘lack of confidence’ vote is probably what will avoid another T C situation in Cayman.

    Many people might doubt the British Govt’s resolve and intention to do this…and they may well be right but…

    I don’t and wouldn’t take a chance on it not happening.

    McKeeva Bush is truly gambling with the fate and future of the Cayman Islands.

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  6. There are two issues here; innocence or guilt of the Premier, and upholding the dignity and respect of the Office of the Premier itself. The first involves Mr. McKeeva Bush on a personal level, but the second involves everyone on the Island, and many far beyond Cayman’s borders. For the greater good, Mr. Bush should resign and show his own respect for the Office of the Premier.

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  7. Caymanians will continue to be abused by foreigners as long as you people retain your inferiority complex and think that the uk considers you as family ! Wake up cayman and declare your independence ! Britain does not need or want you !

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  8. By not resigning, Mr Bush is proving why he is not fit to govern.

    The power and priviledge he seeks to retain and use for his own ends is not his, he is merely the proxy and that authority belongs to the people of Cayman.

    Any platform or soapbox on which he stands to address the public and the media is offered, not to Mckeeva Bush, but to the representative of the people of Cayman and steward of these islands. His failure to separate those roles has already led him to his current dilema.

    While he may feel that power will give him an advantage not available to the general public, he will quickly realise that dragging this issue from the courts of law into the court of public opinion is counterproductive.

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  9. Bushy is a factty little guy according to him the BRITS are liers. I hope this doesn’t turn into another TEMPURA joke of chasing the tail and never catching the head..STAND BACK everybody the fire works soon start…

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