Juliana is new premier

McKeeva Bush is now the former premier of the Cayman Islands and his former deputy, 
Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, will step 
in as premier.  

The decision was reached Wednesday morning by Governor Duncan Taylor, who rejected calls from both Mr. Bush and opposition party members to dissolve the Legislative Assembly. Instead, Governor Taylor agreed to a new “minority” government with the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman member of the Legislative Assembly, Ms O’Connor-Connolly, as premier. Ms O’Connor-Connolly will also take over the duties of finance minister.  

“I am satisfied that the Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly can form a stable, functioning government,” Mr. Taylor said in a statement.  

The remaining four members of the United Democratic Party minority government would make up the other ministry positions, with Education Minister Rolston Anglin becoming deputy premier, West Bay MLA Cline Glidden Jr. becoming minister for tourism and development, Mark Scotland staying on as health minister and Dwayne Seymour taking over former Minister Mike Adam’s community affairs and housing responsibilities. The governor’s statement set out the basis for his decision, which means that Cayman will be governed by a minority representative group of just 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.” 

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 Bush from his post and to outline their plans for their
remaining five months in power. 

Newly appointed Premier
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. 

New Deputy Premier 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. 

O’Connor-Connolly said she intended to speak with UK Foreign Office Minister
Mark Simmonds by phone Thursday. 

Reached for comment following Governor Taylor’s revocation of his appointment as premier, Mr. Bush said: “It is a flawed process. This is my country and I am not going to do anything to harm it.” 

While he did not particularly support the idea of a minority government, Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin said his People’s Progressive Movement party would not seek to obfuscate the proceedings in the assembly for the rest of the government session. Parliament is set to be dissolved in late March ahead of the 22 May general election.  

“We intend to support the government in facilitating the business of the House,” Mr. McLaughlin said, noting that the same group of 11 lawmakers who voted in favour of a no confidence motion against the government Tuesday afternoon had signed an agreement to “reasonably cooperate with government” in establishing quorums for future meetings.  

The independent political group Coalition for Cayman applauded the governor’s decision which it said “protected the order” of the territory’s normal election process.  

“We are hopeful that the MLAs will unite behind the best interests of our country and work together to create solutions,” the coalition statement read. “With our elections in May, we have the opportunity to begin a new era of independent-minded leadership, and to support new leaders of integrity with the skills, character and willingness to make personal sacrifices and serve for the good of our country.” 

George Town MLA Ellio Solomon, who was one of the three United Democratic Party representatives who stood with Mr. Bush during Tuesday’s no confidence vote, said Wednesday that he thought the prospect of a minority government operating over the next five months was “just crazy”.  

Mr. Solomon, the general secretary of the UDP, described Tuesday’s events as a “game changer” in relation to the UDP party, which he said still fully supported Mr. Bush, despite five of its elected members effectively voting the premier out of office. 

Where the manoeuvring within the Legislative Assembly was completed by Wednesday, it left open the question of the United Democratic Party’s future. Just before the no confidence vote was taken, Mr. Bush, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Adam and West Bay MLA Captain Eugene Ebanks moved over to sit in the opposition benches.  

“We have a government that has chosen at the end of the day to express a lack of confidence … in the premier and a lack of confidence in themselves,” Mr. Solomon said, explaining why the four UDP members crossed over. “I’m not sure anyone should be seated in that arena because I definitely don’t have a lack of confidence in the premier and I definitely don’t lack confidence in myself.” 

The group led by Mr. Bush was also expected to hold a meeting Thursday evening in West Bay to speak to supporters. 


  1. Maybe it would have been better to suspend Mr. Bush until his trial date and appoint one of his members as premier. Instead the governor made this decision. Apart from not being qualified these ministers cant even handle their daily personal lives issues yet the governor expects them to take on multiple roles. With such a back breaking load how will they ever be able to prepare for elections…??? The PPM must be having a field day with these clowns. With ease they seem to be sending these fools a little bit further.

    Big Mac now that you have weeded out the rats…you need to form a new coalition with young and educated professionals.

  2. Never mind Premier, how is this woman still an MLA after the free driveway fiasco? At the very least she should be forced to pay the 500,000 back to us.

  3. OMG Juliana now finance Minister and Premier , no more business class tickets , Learjet’s from now on, and Dwayne Seymour a minister? Where is McKeeva when we need him ?

  4. Why do I get the feeling that Polomol, Lebowski and dingo are all the same person?

    Mr. Bush could have saved the country from this instability by resigning his office as premier, and then there could have been a smooth transition. ALL of the UDP MLAs had agreed upon this last Friday.

    Dingo – the Cabinet is now more qualified than it was since now all of them have at least finished high school and Mr. Glidden is more educated than Mr. Adams.

    Lebowski – paving of driveways (for which no one has been arrested) is a minor matter compared to the matters for which Mr. Bush has been arrested. Are you saying that Mr. Bush should also not be an MLA, or are you trying to distract attention from him?

    However slight, it is still an improvement over Mr. Bush continuing in office as premier.

  5. I feel so much better now. Previously we had a fox in charge of the hen house. Now we dont even have someone who qualifies as a fox. How about a little tiny fox, lol.

  6. The decision of the PPM and Ezzard/Arden to support these five individuals to run the country (that is what Cabinet Members do) – clearly shows that both the PPM and Ezzard/Arden have confidence in these individuals to do so.

    IF the PPM and Ezzard/Arden did not have confidence in them, then they would have taken the steps necessary to call an early election.

    On a separate note – it will be interesting to see how the PPM will now attack these five individuals in the elections (unless they have a BT back door deal sorted).

  7. Disappointing but not unexpected. Part of the problem. Historic wasteful spender. Better require her expense account detail to be posted online. On the other hand if anyone knows better where the fluff in government is it’s the former head of the DAWLA. But, will she have the strength of character to make the hard decisions and reign in government spending or play politics. We’ll see.

  8. PPM’s argument…If they can rat their leader out they will do the same to the people of the Cayman Islands…Regardless of whether Bush is innocent or not…If they can just rat him out like that…How are we the people that they won’t be disloyal too. I say, come elections, vote them out.

  9. Dingo – Re ratting out their leader are you saying that their loyalty to their leader should outweigh acting in the best interests of their country? It is exactly that mindset that has taken this country down the wrong path. It is a gang mentality rather than the proper approach of elected servants of the people.

    The three that adopted this mindset should definitely be voted out as they have put their leader above their country. That’s not letting the others off the hook.

  10. no matter how stupid someone might be, no one can be a party member without knowing what the other is doing or not doing. If Bush is found guilty they should also be found guilty for aiding and abiding. This type of conduct makes them even more dangerous because their actions aren’t based on morals. E.g. They let their leader take the heat for what all of them are guilty of to some degree. A crime/sin is a sin regardless of the size. Vote these people out come next elections.

  11. Leadership is a life style of choosing to love people and act in their best interests. I believe Caymanians have a long history of learning from the mistakes other countries have made. Now is the time to learn from this mistake and go forward with leaders who aren’t motivated by greed and ego, but with a clear and intelligent vision of what is best for the Cayman people. Merry Christmas to you all!

  12. There are givers and takers. These takers do not stand a chance in the real lime-light. The Gov put them right where they don’t belong and watch the crash and burn to the point where the Mother Ship says we got it. Because the days of incompetency are over. And those abusive travel budgets………….. Michele O. says you go Girl…
    Is there still time to get my driveway paved?

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