Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush’s request for an independent review of the alleged involvement of senior local and U.K. officials in a “conspiracy to remove the then-constitutionally elected premier” won’t be heard in this legislative session.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said Wednesday that the private members’ motion filed by Mr. Bush on Tuesday – a day before the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly meeting began – was too late to be considered in the current meeting, which is expected to run through next week.
Mr. McLaughlin did not comment on whether the motion would be heard at a later date. The next available meeting for the Legislative Assembly would be its annual budget session expected in late May or early June.
Mr. Bush said earlier in the day that he had “challenged” Mr. McLaughlin to hear the motion in the House next Monday and that he felt the premier wasn’t taking seriously his request for an independent inquiry into the issue.
Mr. McLaughlin told the Cayman Compass earlier this week that he believed the motion showed Mr. Bush “has finally taken leave of his senses” and that the opposition leader should “be careful what he wishes for.”
Mr. Bush’s motion alleged “unconstitutional interference” and “violation of the indigenous population’s rights” involving the territory’s former governor Duncan Taylor, Premier McLaughlin, Police Commissioner David Baines, and other unnamed local politicians and civil servants in connection with the 2013 general election.
The motion stated that Mr. Bush had in his possession “irrefutable documentary evidence” of interference by the governor’s office in conspiring, along with local elected representatives and civil servants, “to topple a democratically elected government while misusing the power of the state and its judicial and law enforcement arms.”
Mr. Bush did not make any of this “irrefutable evidence” public when he held a press conference Tuesday to discuss details of his private members’ motion, but promised to do so if the motion was heard by the Legislative Assembly.
Mr. Bush, while under a criminal investigation, was removed from the premier’s office in December 2012 following a no-confidence vote of the Legislative Assembly against his government. An interim government, made up of five members of Mr. Bush’s former United Democratic Party, led the Cayman Islands between late December 2012 and May 2013, when the current Progressives-led coalition was voted into office.
“The indigenous people of these islands have had their rights infringed by using the jurisdiction as a[n] instrument to further the economic designs that were contrary to the interest of the indigenous people and, through systemic policies of discrimination, that constitutes a gross violation of their fundamental human rights protected under the United Nations Charter and the European Union regulations,” the motion read.
In addition to calling for an independent commission of inquiry, Mr. Bush’s motion also sought to mete out “appropriate responsibility” by making the inquiry public and allowing it to initiate legal action, if required, “at the appropriate international legal forum.”
Mr. Bush also asked for what he called an “independent historical review” of legal measures taken by U.K. authorities “that has led to the marginalization of the indigenous Caymanian population and disrepute of its financial industry.”