Update, 6pm: The new government of the Cayman Islands held its first press conference Wednesday, hours after being formed, to describe the “difficult” decision its members had made to remove former Premier McKeeva Bush from his post and to outline their plans for their remaining five months in power.Newly appointed premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly vowed that the five-member minority government would operate a transparent, open-door policy.The group described the process that culminated in the five of them making up the new government, saying all eight UDP elected representatives had agreed on Friday to ask Mr. Bush to resign. However, only five had followed through on that decision, leaving them no choice but to support a motion of no confidence in Mr. Bush’s government and then form a new administration.Ms O’Connor-Connolly said that the government had received assurances from independent and opposition members that there would be a quorum in parliament so that the minority government could deal with bills and motions before the House. The new deputy premier, Rolston Anglin, said the situation in which a minority government would operate in parliament would only be effective for about 100 days, as parliament will dissolve in March in preparation for the 22 May election. Premier O’Connor-Connolly said she intended to speak with UK Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds by phone Thursday.
Rejecting calls from both former Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush and opposition party members to dissolve the Legislative Assembly, Governor Duncan Taylor has agreed to a new ‘minority’ government with Cayman Brac and Little Cayman MLA Juliana O’Connor Connolly as the new Premier.
“I am satisfied that the Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly can form a stable, functioning government,” Mr. Taylor said in a statement.
The governor’s statement set out the basis for the decision, which means that Cayman will be governed by a minority representative group of five of 15 LA members.
“Following the passing in the House yesterday of the Motion of lack of confidence in the government, I consulted the Honourable Premier, as required under Section 51(1) of the Constitution,” Mr. Taylor wrote in a statement. “The Premier responded in writing [Wednesday] morning suggesting that I dissolve the Legislative Assembly. After careful consideration and using my discretion as the Constitution entitles me to do, I have decided not to dissolve the Assembly but to revoke the appointment of the Premier. Formal notification of my decision has now been given to him. As a consequence, all Ministers have vacated their office, as required under Section 52(2) of the Constitution.
“Section 49(2) of the Constitution states: “Where a political party gains a majority of the seats of elected members of the Legislative Assembly, the Governor shall appoint as Premier the elected member of the Assembly recommended by a majority of the elected members who are members of that party.” Following representations made to me by a majority of UDP MLAs advising that they support the appointment of Juliana O’Connor-Connolly as Premier of the Cayman Islands, I have this morning appointed her in this capacity. I await her advice on the appointment of Ministers.
I would like to congratulate the Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly on her appointment as Premier. I will issue a further statement following the appointment of Ministers.”
Mr. Taylor also announced ministry assignments for the new government.
“Pursuant to section 49(5) of the Constitution, the Honourable Premier, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, has advised me on who should be appointed as ministers in government. I can now confirm that the following Ministerial appointments have been made:
Juliana O’Connor-Connolly: Premier and Minister of Finance, District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture
Rolston Malachi Anglin: Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Financial Services and Employment
Dwayne Stanley Seymour: Minister of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing
Jason Mark Philips Scotland: Minister of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture
Cline Astor Glidden, Jr: Minister of Tourism and Development