Premier returns, rumours fly

Opposition Leader seeks ‘no confidence’ motion

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About 100 supporters burned the midnight oil to welcome embattled Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush home from a brief trip to Jamaica Friday night.

The premier, just two days after his arrest on suspicion of corruption and theft offences, had flown to Jamaica Thursday to speak at the commencement of the University College of the Caribbean in Kingston.

On Friday, Mr. Bush remained defiant before a group of staunch supporters who arrived to meet him at Owen Roberts International Airport.

“It is hurtful to me and my family when people try to do these types of things,” Mr. Bush said. “The damage they have caused Cayman is great but time will tell it. I have not done anything illegal and I won’t say much more than that but this has been a vendetta by the governor from before he came here.

“Now I am going to have to start some investigations of my own,” the premier added, leaving that remark completely unexplained.

Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor has denied any vendetta or conspiracy to prosecute Mr. Bush and said Friday that the governor’s office had not been involved in the matter at all.

Rumours about Mr. Bush’s future and the future of the United Democratic Party government swirled Friday, but no one from the party’s inner circle offered any comment over talk that the premier would be asked to step down or face potential mutiny by his own party members.

Members of the opposition People’s Progressive Movement also denied talk that they had been approached by UDP members to form a coalition government.

“I haven’t been approached by anyone from the UDP about that,” said Deputy Opposition Leader Moses Kirkconnell on Friday.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin also denied on Friday that he would consider forming any such coalition with members of the UDP if Premier Bush was ousted.

“I don’t see any point in doing some kind of horse-trading exercise less than six months before an election,” Mr. McLaughlin said [Cayman’s next general election date is 22 May, 2013].. “If it comes to that, the governor should dissolve parliament and call early elections.”

Mr. McLaughlin did submit a letter to Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence late Friday, asking her to convene a special meeting of the Legislative Assembly in order to debate a no confidence motion against the UDP government. If Mrs. Lawrence did not agree to convene such a meeting, Mr. McLaughlin said he would seek to obtain the legally required seven signatures in order to hold the meeting without the speaker’s consent.

“The current state of affairs presents a matter of the gravest national importance,” Mr. McLaughlin wrote. “There is no question but that this situation has already done immense harm to our credibility as an international business centre and as a place to work and do businesses.”

If Speaker Lawrence does not agree to convene a special meeting, Mr. McLaughlin would presumably have at least six signatures for the special meeting from among his own party and the two independent members of the legislature. He did not state where the seventh signature might come from.

Please check back for more updates on this story throughout the weekend and on Monday…

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Premier Bush greets elated supporters at Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman Friday night.
Stuart Wilson
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14 COMMENTS

  1. On his return to Cayman on Friday night Mr Bush reportedly stated Now I am going to have to start some investigations of my own .Just wondering if this audit/investigation was instigated by him.Maybe this will be the excuse to bring in the Canadians.

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  2. Using the same analogy as the OMOV: if 100 people showed up for support, does that mean that the remainder of the electorate does not support him?

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  3. This is from wikipedia. have a read!

    Kleptocracy, government by thieves, features influential government employees exploiting their posts for personal gain (embezzlement, fraud, bribery, etc.), with the resultant government budget deficit repaid by the native working people who earn money, rather than make money. Because of foreign (corporate) manipulation, the kleptocratic government is unaccountable to its nation, the country’s private sectorpublic sector corruption operates the banana republic, thus, the national legislature usually are for sale, and function mostly as ceremonial government.

    Does it sound like Cayman to you?

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  4. That must have been a very disappointing turnout for the premier. I notice the report does not say whether any members of the UDP caucus were present.

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  5. Cayman…This incident with the Premier points out a weakness in the law. In general terms the police should never be able to arrest a sitting Head of State. It creates an imbalance of power. However, no man is above the law. A better balance is to require the Head of State to first be removed from office by the elected assembly. Once removed from office the now former Head of State is subject to arrest. Allowing the police to have arrest powers over a sitting Head of State invites the opportunity for law enforcement to bow to political pressure. Not saying that is the case here. My point is that this incident has illuminated a weakness in the law.

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  6. JTB….I was speaking in general terms, but more correctly I should have said the Head of Government not Head of State. However, very surprised at he vast disagreement with the subject of my comment. Allowing the police the unchecked authority to arrest the Head of Government invites all kinds of potential for political mischief. Other countries afford their Head of Government the protection from malicious arrest while in office. The police have to make their case to the elected assembly. If the elected assembly agrees the Head of Government is removed from office. This prevents the police from interfering with the legislative process on a day to basis.

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  7. Bring out the broom stick and you’ll be surprise how many goons vote for it.IF the rest of the UDP doesn’t vote bushy out and ask him to step down for the time being this shows the rest of us they’re just like him or worst.

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  8. Friend of Cayman – The police do not have unchecked authority to arrest anyone, nor are they entitled to make malicious arrests. Instead, they must have reasonable grounds for suspecting that the subject has committed an arrestable offence. If they do not then the subject is entitled to sue for damages.

    As regards your suggestion that the L.A. should first have to first remove him from office before he can be arrested obviously given that he is the leader of the majority in the L.A. that might never happen and it would remove the whole element of surprise which often yields important evidence.

    The distinction between a Head of State and the head of govt. of a dependent territory is important in international law; there is no immunity from prosecution in the latter case, only the former.

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