Resignation submitted ‘sometime last week’
Updated Thursday: United Democratic Party officials confirmed
Wednesday that Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly resigned from the
political party on 4 January
Although she did not state precisely when she had resigned from the United Democratic Party, Cayman Islands Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly assured reporters during a Tuesday news conference that she had done so.
Ms O’Connor-Connolly said she did not resign on 29 December, along with her other four “minority government” colleagues. She said she believed the resignation had been submitted later – “sometime last week”.
She gave some of the reasons for the delayed resignation.
“My committee sits in Cayman Brac, I’ve been here working 18, almost 20 hours [a day] since the transition,” the premier said. “Secondly, my [district] committee is not as entrenched as the committees [in Grand Cayman] because I come from an island where the majority percentage are civil servants and the rest of the community, for the most part, are the merchant class who don’t normally get involved in politics. I don’t have a formalised committee as you do in Grand Cayman. Things are always a little bit different on the Brac.
“There was never any weakening of initiative or desire to resign,” Ms O’Connor-Connolly continued. “It just took a little bit longer because obviously, I had to fly to the Brac, I had to get in touch with the delegates for the UDP and I had to consult them. They took the view that they did not find any reason to discipline me, they were very elated that the Brac now has the premier. So that, in itself, caused a difficulty that my colleagues didn’t have in Grand Cayman.”
Members of the United Democratic Party said late Tuesday that they were unaware the premier had resigned, but were checking into the matter before making any formal comment. Nothing had been received by press time.
Fellow minority government member Deputy Premier Rolston Anglin and Cabinet ministers Cline Glidden Jr., Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour submitted resignation letters to UDP district committees on Saturday, 29 December, just prior to meetings where they had been summoned to explain their votes on a “no-confidence” motion in government. The vote taken on 18 December in the Legislative Assembly succeeded on a 11-3 margin and was tantamount to former Premier McKeeva Bush’s removal from government last month.
Premier O’Connor-Connolly had not responded to numerous questions about her status within the UDP last week.
“It’s quite easy to explain,” she said on Tuesday. “I took the opinion that I did not have anything against the members of the UDP and I still don’t have anything against them. Once it became very clear that there was a process on foot to have our district committees remove us, all of our Cabinet together felt that it was better for us to resign from the party.
“Mine was just a little bit later, it had no other motive. I am an integral part of this group, despite innuendos.” Stories reporting the lack of a resignation by the premier on Saturday 29 December appeared in the Caymanian Compass on 4 January. UDP General Secretary Ellio Solomon said last week it was his understanding that four of the five current members of the Cayman Islands minority government submitted resignation letters to political party district committees on Saturday, 29 December.
However, Mr. Solomon declined to state which one of the five government members had not resigned. Other sources within the UDP and outside of it confirmed the hold out was Premier O’Connor-Connolly.