The new United Democratic Party office was officially opened on Tuesday in front of hundreds of supporters at the Rankin Plaza off Eastern Avenue in George Town.
It is the third new office in the party’s 12-year existence and will serve as its headquarters.
Flanked by what could have been a preview of the UDP line-up for the General Elections in May, McKeeva Bush spoke candidly about the party’s plans going forward, as well his feelings about party politics in the Cayman Islands.
“Some say that party politics is bad for Cayman but given the time and who is saying it, you better believe the party system is here to stay. It is the better option,” declared Mr. Bush, former premier and party leader. “We have a stronger team, which includes our new Chairman Tessa Bodden. She is the first female chairperson and that brings its own strength.”
He said that though the United Democratic Party was not necessarily a well oiled political machine, during the party’s existence some of the most coherent and progressive ideas for Cayman were conceived and implemented.
Mr. Bush applauded the stance of the members who had stuck with him through the past three months. Many of his former members helped oust him in a no confidence vote on 18 December. He said that in his opinion, the government of the day is actually illegal.
“I appreciate their stand with me. Though I must say we are not the opposition because the government of the day is illegal. However, in a conciliatory spirit we have chosen to simply let them have the few months and then get rid of them come May.”
Mr. Bush said it had been a rough four years, but many accomplishments had been made with regard to projects, which are now taking shape. He also encouraged Caymanians to think inclusively and put unity above all else.
“A house divided against itself will not stand. I am entering a time when I will be stepping back and others will be taking the lead. There should be no division. All are included, no matter where you’re from; whether it by America, Jamaica or England. We have to be unified. Hurricane Ivan (in 2004) proved the worth of unity and what we can accomplish when we work together.”
Others on the platform with Mr. Bush included Kenneth Rankin, Stanley Hill, Renard Moxam, Rayal Bodden, Vincent Frederick, Walling Whittaker, John Foster and MLA’s Ellio Solomon and Mike Adam. It is unclear whether those who joined Mr. Bush on the podium will be running in the upcoming election, though the men were all dressed in blue or green ties, symbolic of UDP party colours.