Governor to decide next step

McKeeva-Bush-VoNC main

Update 7am: United Democratic Party government members have signaled that they wish government to continue through the regularly scheduled May elections. In a statement released early Wednesday, the five-person group that defected from Premier McKeeva Bush’s camp Tuesday urged lawmakers to work together to keep a form of government intact. “We will continue to put Cayman first and work together
with all Members of the Legislative Assembly in order to ensure that there is a
functioning government and legislature,” the UDP statement noted. “We need united and mature leadership at this time. “The Cayman Islands has always risen to the occasion in
challenging times.We are confident that
we will take our country to even higher heights once we all work together.”


The Cayman Islands should know Wednesday morning if it still has a UDP government with a new premier at its head or whether there will be early elections.

Following Tuesday afternoon’s passage of a no confidence vote in the ruling United Democratic Party government, the next step is for the Governor of the Cayman Islands Duncan Taylor to either revoke McKeeva Bush’s appointment as premier or to dissolve parliament, in accordance with the constitution.

Section 51(1) of the 2009 Constitution Order reads: “The Governor shall, by instrument under the public seal, revoke the appointment of the Premier if a motion that the Legislative Assembly should declare a lack of confidence in the Government receives the affirmative votes of not less than two-thirds of the elected members of the Assembly; but before so revoking the Premier’s appointment, the Governor shall consult the Premier and may, acting in his or her discretion, dissolve the Assembly instead of revoking the appointment.”

According to the Governor’s Office, the governor was due to either meet with or write a formal letter to Mr. Bush Tuesday evening and a decision on whether parliament is to be dissolved would be likely to be announced Wednesday morning.

If parliament is dissolved, a general election must be held within two months, according to the constitution.

A general election is scheduled for 22 May, with parliament due to be dissolved in preparation for that election on 26 March.

Cayman Islands lawmakers voted 11-3 Tuesday afternoon in favour of the no confidence motion. Premier Bush abstained from voting on the motion.

Just as Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin, who brought the motion of no confidence to the House, began his opening comments, the premier and his three colleagues who supported him – Mike Adam, Eugene Ebanks and Ellio Solomon – crossed the Legislative Assembly floor to take seats in the opposition benches, leaving the five remaining UDP members isolated on the government benches.

Despite the no confidence vote, Mr. Bush remains as premier until Governor Taylor revokes his appointment.


The vote brought out supporters of both parties and the independents as well as curious onlookers in one of the biggest turnouts seen in the public seats of the Legislative Assembly.

There was also a large police presence inside and outside the Legislative Assembly as the debate was taking place.

Prior to the debate, supporters waited outside the Legislative Assembly building for Mr. Bush and the three elected members of his party who continued to back him and cheered loudly as each arrived, with the loudest cheer reserved for the man whose future as premier of the current administration was about to come to an end.

No coalition

Speaking to reporters after the vote had taken place, Mr. McLaughlin reiterated that the People’s Progressive Movement would not be joining the UDP government to form a coalition government.

If the government continues, it will be as a minority government of five in a parliament of 15 members.

Mr. McLaughlin said he did not know if the governor would dissolve parliament, paving the way for early elections, but he thought he should.

“I think seeking to continue with a government that, at the moment, only has five members and which will have to rely on the goodwill of the rest of the House to get any motion passed, to get any bill passed, is placing the country in a position where we’re still going to be experiencing issues of instability and concern and lack of confidence and lack of credibility,” he said.

Mr. McLaughlin described the no confidence vote as a “very sad occasion… that ought not to have happened”.

Echoing comments he made in his motion speech, Mr. McLaughlin said Mr. Bush could have avoided the entire situation by offering his resignation “a long time ago”.

Ellio Solomon, one of the three UDP members who crossed the parliament floor with Mr. Bush, told reporters that the other members of the UDP caucus, in meetings over the past week, had given Mr. Bush an ultimatum to resign or else they would support a vote of no confidence. “I never supported that,” said Mr. Solomon, who admitted that he had in an earlier caucus meeting supported putting “three or four options” that included resignation to Mr. Bush.

He denied that he had held out supporting the UDP government members in ousting Mr. Bush because he wanted a Cabinet seat. “There’s no truth in that and, in fact, I already had the offer from the majority of persons in my caucus that they would give me a ministerial position, but I refused it.”


McKeeva Bush, front row, far right, with his colleagues, from right, Mike Adam, Captain Eugene Ebanks and Ellio Solomon, on the opposition benches, while Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin, standing, far left, speaks during the no confidence motion.
Norma Connolly


  1. We will continue to put Cayman first and work together…

    Qatar was nice, but there are still so many nice spots on the Earth to visit before May 2013…

  2. Are the seats made so big to make the users appear normal-sized?

    Obesity issue here? No, as you can see from our politicians!

    It amuses me to see how much opulence and posturing is needed by these ‘politicians’. The electorate will probably be less than 20,000 people, why is there a need for a party system, why do they get so much money? why so many perks? and why do people actually support these idiots so fervently?

    Outside of this country they would be the equivalent of a small town council…it is scary to think they ‘run’ a country.

  3. This is all such an awful shame for the Cayman Islands, the Premier should just go…..instead of being ousted. He has had his moment of glory, and it has cost the Islands very dearly.

  4. Mr. McLaughlin described the no confidence vote as a very sad occasion… that ought not to have happened.

    Of COURSE NOT, this is why you brought it to the house floor three times, starting in year 1….

  5. I kind of have a dog in this hunt..I have property own businesses in Grand Cayman hope none of this is negative to the Cayman economy….with that said Prem. Bush needs to man up resign !

  6. CayCompass, there is hardly no mentioning about what I heard Ellio with on News 27 last night…. That the Governor also has the option of declaring full British Rule on the Cayman Islands. I hear calling elections and forming a new government / Premier, but nothing about the prospects of the reason behind why Mike Adams, Captain Eugene, and Ellio Solomon decided not to vote for a no confidence.

    CayCompass, will you be making an article soon about this prospects too?

    Just ought to know because there seems to be a dead silence about the matter of full rule.

    Editor’s note: We know of no instance where UK direct rule has been seriously discussed.

  7. Mr. Editor,

    yes of course it is not being seriously discussed, but to be fair in journalism and educating the public, will the Compass make reference of the matter publicly, seeing that it is a grave Constitutional avenue that the Governor may take because of rumors of corruption here.

    Should the public be educated on this matter and what it will mean to the little democracy we have at this time?

    Concerned Caymanian

  8. I agree with Pattie man and have been saying the same for years. Why do we have so much government. Not only would the population of a similar sized US city only have a city council they would not be full time, yet we have a party system, around 15 mla’s to govern a total each of maybe 3000 people. We need a much smaller simpler more representative government. What we have as a government is a behemoth in comparison to the governed.

  9. KMan-71 – The comparison being made between Cayman and a U.S. town re the size of obviously inappropriate. For the most part (leaving army and embassies aside) Cayman operates like a country. It has international affairs and domestic affairs. A town does not need to pass its own laws on complex subjects, regulate banks, manage the economy or to develop an immigration or education policy, for example. A U.S. town doesn’t operate on its own. It is a part of state which is a part of the United States and the residents of the town have various levels of govt. – city, state, federal.

    Sir Turtle – the Governor’s options were limited by the constitution: dissolve the house and call new elections, or revoke the appointment of the premier and appoint a new premier. The position is quite the opposite of what Solomon suggests. Allowing the premier to continue in office having been arrested on suspicion of corruption, as he supported, would have greatly increased the risk of UK direct rule. The UK wants us to sort this out ourselves and, given his adamant refusal to resign in the face of the request of his party colleagues to do so, the removal of the premier was a step in the right direction.


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