who will also serve as Minister of Home Affairs, and Moses Kirkconnell, who
will be deputy premier and tourism minister as well as minister for district administration.
New MLA Marco Archer will serve as minister of finance and his fellow freshman lawmaker Wayne Panton will serve as minister for international financial services. Bodden Town MLA Osbourne Bodden will also be given a ministerial position, but it has not yet been determined which one.
Former Premier Juliana
O’Connor-Connolly will serve as Speaker of the House for the new
government, officially giving the government ten members and a legislative majority.
Mr McLaughlin said West Bay candidate Tara Rivers has been
offered a ministerial position within the government but she had yet to
accept it. The government will be officially formed on Wednesday with or without Ms Rivers.
Mr. McLaughlin said members of the Coalition for Cayman and the two independent candidates from North Side and East End had been in discussions with the government about various ministerial positions but had “demanded more than the government was willing to give”. He urged Messrs Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean to join the government as backbench members.
Coalition candidates Roy McTaggart and Winston Connolly have said they would not join a PPM government led by Mr. McLaughlin. The Premier-elect has said he did not offer any government positions to the three remaining members of the United Democratic Party.
Update 4pm Saturday: Progressives leader Alden McLaughlin said Saturday afternoon that he had formed a majority government. Mr. McLaughlin was expected to announce the new leadership group’s formation at 5pm Saturday at Progressives headquarters in George Town. Progressives leader Alden McLaughlin was on the brink of being confirmed as the Cayman Islands next premier Thursday after his party took nine of the 18 seats in the Legislative Assembly.
Mr. McLaughlin said he was delighted with the result and would be contacting the independent candidates, including those endorsed by the Coalition for Cayman, as he seeks to form a government.
The Progressives need to form an alliance with at least one other member of the Legislature to give them the necessary 10 seats to command a majority in the assembly.
Mr. McLaughlin ruled out working with any of the three United Democratic Party candidates, though he said they had an important role to play in the Opposition. He insisted he wanted to form an inclusive government and was open to working with any of the independents. Both Roy McTaggart and Winston Connolly, elected under the C4C banner in George Town, indicated they would stick to their campaign promise not to work in a cabinet led by Mr. McLaughlin.
But they said they would do everything they could to provide constructive leadership from the opposition benches.
The possibility remains open that Mr. McLaughlin could attempt to appoint one of the independent candidates as the speaker of the house – a move that would give the Progressives a de facto majority.
Speaking amid a melee of cheering supporters as the results from George Town came through at around 6am on Thursday, Mr. McLaughlin said he was “delighted” with the result.
He also indicated that this would be the last election fought under the current voting system, saying the Progressives would institute electoral reform to ensure ‘one man one vote’, without going back to the country for another referendum.
The Progressives swept Bodden Town and took four seats in the capital, with deputy leader Moses Kirkconnell romping to a comfortable win in the Sister Islands.
“We got nine seats. I am going to invite them (the independents) to talk to us about their willingness to be involved in a PPM administration. Because we wish to make this as inclusive a government as we possibly can. Given what the country has been through in the past four years, we don’t need any more division and disunity.
“So we are going to work as hard as we can to have a government that is representative and that means including the C4C guys, my friends Arden in East End and Ezzard in North Side. We’ll have to see how all of that plays out.”
Mr. McLaughlin, who sat out the vote through the night in the Progressives office, said there would be a celebration before the negotiations to form a government began. It is usually a week from the date of the election when the new legislators are sworn in and the leader elected.
Mr. McLaughlin said he was delighted with the result, despite falling one short of commanding an overall majority.
He said: “I am tremendously pleased, particularly with the result in Bodden Town. I am so proud of our guys, they worked very hard.
“A lot of the work that has been done has not been seen or noticed by many. It has involved months and months of knocking on doors and talking to people face to face.”
He said the campaign had been well organised and consistent from the start and the result had shown the value of the party system.
He added that the resurrection of the Progressives, from the point where Arden McLean left the party leaving them with just four elected representatives, to winning back the government had been an enormous challenge.
“This has been a fight of immense proportions. It is easily the hardest thing I have ever undertaken… Many people said that that was the end of the PPM. But we have worked immensely hard over the course of the last 18 months preparing for this moment. And there are many who thought it could not be done.”
He added: “There are many who prayed the death of the party system but in the end, it was just sheer organisation and a consistent, coherent message, which people understood, which was that the country needs a team and it needs a plan.
“Despite the great challenges presented by C4C particularly in George Town, we have come out victorious. And that is because most people understood that.”