Mac: ‘They know we are ahead’
Most members of Cayman’s three other political groupings have now said they will not form a coalition government with the United Democratic Party and its leader, former Premier McKeeva Bush.
However, indications have been given by the Coalition for Cayman and by the People’s National Alliance that other coalition groups could be formed post-election, if neither of the established political parties win 10 seats in the Legislative Assembly on 22 May.
This week, the seven candidates endorsed by the Coalition for Cayman have said they will not support UDP candidates in any coalition government. Also, former UDP member and People’s National Alliance member Rolston Anglin said Tuesday that he would not join any McKeeva Bush-led government.
“[There should be] zero doubt as to whether or not I would return to the UDP or form a government with them, the answer is no, no, no,” Mr. Anglin said. Earlier, alliance members Cline Glidden Jr. and Mark Scotland said they also would not join the UDP post-election. Alliance members Dwayne Seymour and Juliana O’Connor-Connolly have not taken a position on the matter.
The coalition-endorsed candidates: Jude Scott, Roy McTaggart, Winston Connolly, Sharon Roulstone, Jacqueline Haynes, Tara Rivers and Mervin Smith all said there would be no post-election alliances with former Premier Bush’s party.
“We will not form a Cabinet with the United Democratic Party,” a statement issued Wednesday read.
Mr. Bush said Wednesday that the coalition members were growing worried as the general election date neared. “They know that we are ahead,” Mr. Bush said.
“The C4C, in its desperation, even now talks openly about who from the [People’s Progressive Movement] can join them; more divisiveness,” he said. “None of the C4C have led any country and certainly they have not displayed any goodness of heart to people in this country … the Caymanian people and even those on work permit.
“They have used us all for their advancement.”
A further statement issued by the United Democratic Party indicated: “We will continue to watch our opponents squabble in the playground of politics, trying to get to grips with the issues that really affect our people. The truth is they are disconnected from our people. Cayman is not a playground for the rich and inexperienced to experiment with politics, to play with the lives of our people.”
The coalition group of seven candidates stated Wednesday that it would be happy to work with some members of the People’s Progressive Movement in a post-election scenario, assuming the two groups together have enough people to form a 10-person ruling government together.
One condition: Current PPM party leader Alden McLaughlin need not apply.
“To those candidates of the Progressives who have approached us and who are unhappy with their party’s leadership, we welcome the opportunity to work with you in a coalition-led government if you are elected and prepared to put the people of these islands first,” the coalition statement released Wednesday read.
Mr. McLaughlin has previously said that his party – which is running 15 candidates in the upcoming 22 May general election – would not consider the idea of forming a coalition government until after the vote was taken. Essentially, there would be no pre-election deal-making.
“The C4C has certainly not indicated any interest at all in working with the Progressives,” Mr. McLaughlin had said earlier. “What I can say, which I’ve said in the past, is that there are strong links between certain C4C candidates and the [United Democratic Party].”
The PPM released a statement on the C4C’s comments Wednesday: “The C4C’s statement appears to reflect a certain level of desperation as they seem to have finally faced the stark reality of failure on election day. Failure of a campaign that was misconceived and without substance, which has offered voters little except anti-party rhetoric.
“The country is still wondering what the C4C stands for and what is their position on the challenges the country faces. It is unimaginable that a group of candidates who claim to be the answer to Cayman’s myriad of problems has been unable to put together a plan which they are prepared to commit to and be held accountable for.
“How can any group of candidates which wishes to be taken seriously not produce a manifesto? If they are unable to agree on a plan for the country before the elections, what chance is there of them agreeing on one if they are elected?”
The Coalition for Cayman released a “National Priorities Plan” publicly on Thursday.
All 14 PPM candidates signed a declaration of support for party leader McLaughlin on Thursday: “We find it curious that the group from which this political mischief is coming has no named leader of its own. Our leader Alden McLaughlin was elected by acclamation at our annual conference in March and has the full support of the party and each and every one of us.”