Opposition Leader seeks ‘no confidence’ motion
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…