Coalition gov't in the offing

Roy-McTaggart-wins-Election-main

There may be a coalition government for the Cayman Islands on the cards after all.

Following an enthusiastic meeting in West Bay Monday night, where hundreds of people advocated Coalition for Cayman-supported candidate Tara Rivers to join the Progressives-led government – but not join the party itself – it appears the two other coalition-supported candidates may be having a change of heart.

According to a statement released Tuesday morning from Premier-elect Alden McLaughlin: “I have just received a response from Ms Rivers proposing that all 3 [Coalition for Cayman] representatives will join the Progressives government, subject to certain conditions. My team must consider this.”

A press conference scheduled to announce the formation of the new government has been delayed until 6pm Tuesday to allow for further negotiations, Mr. McLaughlin said.

The premier-elect announced a partial government formation on Saturday, with himself as the leader and minister of home affairs, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman MLA Moses Kirkconnell as deputy premier and tourism minister, Marco Archer as finance minister and Wayne Panton as minister for international financial services. The Progressive’s Bodden Town MLA, Osbourne Bodden, has been promised a Cabinet post as well as Ms Rivers, if she decides to join the Progressives-led Cabinet. 

Former Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly is expected to be nominated as Speaker of the House once all the MLAs are sworn in.

Of the two remaining coalition-supported candidates, Roy McTaggart has said he would accept a position in a government led by Alden McLaughlin, reversing an earlier position taken by the C4C-supported candidates prior to the election. Winston Connolly said Tuesday that he “remains committed” to forming a coalition government.

“I am willing to work with the other independents and the [People’s Progressive Movement] to form a government that involves independent members in meaningful roles,” Mr. Connolly said. “It is the duty of an independent to have an objective voice in government decisions and policies, free from party persuasion and influence.

“I will, as I said on the campaign trail, work with anyone who has the country’s best interests at heart to make our beloved country stronger.”

Asked Tuesday morning if he would accept Messrs. Connolly and McTaggart joining the Progressives as backbench members, Mr. McLaughlin said ‘yes’.

However, it was not known if the Progressives would have to part with another Cabinet position, besides the one being offered to Ms Rivers, to make that happen.
 

 

Compass journalist James Whittaker contributed to this story.

Independent MLA Roy McTaggart celebrates after winning the second seat in George Town during last week’s election. Will he be celebrating a new role in government next? Photo: Brent Fuller

Independent MLA Roy McTaggart celebrates after winning the second seat in George Town during last week’s election. Will he be celebrating a new role in government next? Photo: Brent Fuller
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6 COMMENTS

  1. This info is skewed because PPM could not get the majority vote as required in the constitution.

    Please Note below, Cayman’s Constitution:

    ______________________

    2009 No. 1379

    CARIBBEAN AND NORTH ATLANTIC TERRITORIES The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009

    Section 49.

    (2) 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.

    (3) If no political party gains such a majority or if no recommendation is made under subsection (2), the Speaker shall cause a ballot to be held among the elected members of the Legislative Assembly to determine which elected member commands the support of the majority of such members, and shall record the vote of each member voting; and, where such a ballot is held, the Governor shall appoint as Premier the elected member who obtains a majority of the votes of the elected members.

    ________________

    PPM received 9 out of 18 elected members which is not the majority vote, the only have 50% of the house. In fact the other members of the LA can flip a PPM party member and form the Gov’t as a coalition using the UDP. The PPM is forced to gain a 10th vote for majority and makes Mrs. Rivers a necessary Minister in Cabinet. It should also be noted that Mrs. Rivers could also negotiate a 2nd seat for another member which would level the playing field for the Cabinet even further.

    This is not a discussion of the parties or independents but the math of electing a Gov’t within the realm of the constitution. The soon to be newly appointed Premier, Deputy Premier, and speaker of the House are not official because the new Gov’t has not been formed. This means the dearly departed Edna Moyle is still considered the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker now presides on the floor. As per Section 49. (3) this vote is also a real possibility if Tara does not accept the Ministry.

    The people of Cayman need to beware of crafty politics and backdoor deals because as we move into our next 4 years in this economy we need to make all the politicians accountable for their actions.

    This blog will go to all the media sites and I hope this be published on Caycompass.

    Merlin the Wizard

    Editor’s note: We’ve also researched this point and the commenter is wrong. The 10th person is not needed to form a simple majority, which the PPM will achieve upon nominating Juliana O’Connor-Connolly as speaker. The count of legislators will be 9-8 in favour of the PPM government.

    The relevant point is actually establishing a quorum in the Legislative Assembly, for which ten members at least would be needed. Assuming the PPM maintains only nine seats with Ms O’Connor-Connolly as speaker, they will need one more person on either the opposition or the government side to show up and form a quorum.

    If 10 members cannot be found for a quorum, the assembly can’t meet. So, theoretically at least, the other eight members could simply refuse to show up and the PPM government with nine members could never meet.

    Section 74 of the Constitution is actually the relevant section.

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  2. Editor – Thanks for setting Merlin straight on this. Even without Tara the PPM has 9 out of 17 possible votes (the Speaker having been appointed and thereafter unable to vote) and therefore a majority. Section 49(3)does not require an absolute majority of all elected members including the Speaker but simply a majority of the votes of elected members who vote. The PPM now has Tara and apparently the other C4C members as well so that is a complete non-issue.

    Merlin also seems to be confused about the identity of the former Speaker who is Mrs. Mary Lawrence. The office of Speaker was vacated when the House was dissolved back in March and he is therefore wrong about who presides at this point. The first order of business is to elect the new Speaker which may be done by the newly elected representatives even before being sworn in as MLAs.

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  3. To Editor-It appears that you are partially right since one of the members present has to object to the absence of a quorum before proceedings can be stopped.If the nine members present have no objection,then it appears that the meeting may proceed.

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  4. Now that Ms. O’Connor-Connolly has joined the PPM section 49(3) no longer applies and Mr. McLaughlin was this afternoon appointed by the Governor as premier under section 49(2).

    Fuzzy seems to have a point re the quorum.

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  5. Socialism does not work. Make changes as soon as you see the failure coming. Don’t let the hope and change rhetoric fool you into inaction.

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