Premier: Gov’t will not agree to emergency meeting

Members of Cayman’s ruling government will not agree to attend an emergency meeting of the Legislative Assembly set for next week to debate two legislative motions related to the management and effectiveness of local law enforcement, Premier Alden McLaughlin said Wednesday.

Mr. McLaughlin said the government has already agreed to hear the two private members’ motions, filed by Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush and East End MLA Arden McLean, when the House resumes meeting on April 25. He said Wednesday that there is no need to hold an emergency meeting to debate those two specific issues a mere 12 days earlier.

“Government is not going to agree to the meeting,” the premier said. “We will not provide the necessary quorum [required number of House members]. The opposition is simply trying to be disruptive.”

All business conducted in the Legislative Assembly must comply with sections 74 and 75 of the Constitution Order, 2009. Those sections seek to establish how a quorum, the minimum number of elected members present, must be maintained. A quorum of an 18-member Legislative Assembly is 10 members. The 10-person quorum does not include the Speaker of the House.

Section 74 basically states that if a quorum is not present during a meeting and any member of the House objects to that, the Speaker should adjourn the assembly after a certain period of time if a quorum is not achieved.

Mr. McLaughlin has suggested that if all eight opposition party and independent opposition members show up for the April 13 emergency meeting, it would require just one member of the government side to attend and object to the meeting’s occurrence without the required 10-person quorum.

“The opposition motions will be dealt with when the House convenes for the meeting beginning April 25,” he said.

The resolution section of the motion seeking a “lack of confidence” vote in the police management states, in part: “The Legislative Assembly does declare a lack of confidence in the RCIPS and the governance of the RCIPS and ask[s] the governor to appoint an independent team to review the police methodology of administration and to identify a Caymanian to lead the RCIPS.”

A separate private members’ motion filed by Opposition Leader Bush seeking an independent review of the police response to a recent report of five missing boaters near 12 Mile Bank was also proposed to be debated during the emergency meeting. Governor Helen Kilpatrick has already agreed to commission such an inquiry.

Both opposition Cayman Islands Democratic Party members and independents said this week that, as far as they were concerned, the April 13 meeting was still going ahead. The Legislative Assembly clerk’s office also confirmed that the meeting was still scheduled.

“I think he’s going down a very, very dangerous road,” Mr. Bush said of the premier.

“When eight members or seven member call [a meeting], the Speaker of the House must set a time and when the Speaker sets a time the House members are duty bound to attend. If they’re not, they’re in dereliction of their duty and they’re … abrogating the rules of the Legislative Assembly.

“It’s going to affect this country negatively, what he’s doing. That’s the worst kind of politics that he’s playing.”

Also, Mr. Bush points out that current Legislative Assembly standing orders only require eight members to hold a House meeting. “We’ve been operating at most times with eight members and then other people come in after the start,” he said.

Bodden Town MLA Alva Suckoo, who also supported the “lack of confidence” motion in the police management and administration, said he would be disappointed if the government members simply did not show up next week.

“There are times when I haven’t wanted to show up [at legislative meetings], but I did because that’s what we were elected for,” Mr. Suckoo said.


  1. The opposition is simply trying to be disruptive!!! Isn’t that all Alden did when he was the opposition. He clearly can dish it but can’t take a dose of his own medicine. It seems to me that he doesn’t like anything he does or says questioned as if he’s above reproach and everyone else is beneath him. Everyone in Cayman in uneasy about the rising and increasingly violent crimes being committed around Cayman with impunity and the other members of the LA are calling them to task on it.

    Him blowing them off is also blowing off everyone else’s concerns.

    Alden attacked Bush at every turn doing everything he could to destroy his position as premier as well as everything he tried to do to get the economy back on track. He basically did what he’s saying the Opposition is doing to him and that was to Oppose Everything just for Oppositions sake. There wasn’t one thing the UDP put on the table that he didn’t fight against with a passion. His comments, complaints and whining about the opposition to me is highly hypocritical and does not show a bit of interest for the concerns for those that voted for him.

    True Colors shining brightly …

  2. Playing politics with the RCIPS and law enforcement in the Cayman Islands is the most dangerous, disruptive and destabilising thing that any Caymanian politician could do … especially at this time.
    These politicians are all Caymanian. They can be of no other nationality by Caymanian law.
    Maybe they are not paying attention to the events in the world that directly impact this country.
    Maybe they are misled into complacency because of overall societal peace and calm … except for the few isolated incidents that happen in Cayman.
    Maybe they have never lived in other countries where these incidents are not isolated, where they are a fact of everyday life, affecting everyone’s life.
    Maybe, like so many other Caribbean territories, their voting constituents can be manipulated, misled and controlled because of a lack of education and disenfranchisement.
    Maybe, for the sake of personal power and gain, they would destroy everything that the Cayman Islands, at this present time, is.
    My warning is, from one who has lived there, been there and done that …
    Be careful what you create … the process is irreversible.
    There is no going back to what it used to be once you’ve made the wrong choices.

  3. Mr Premier, if there was not a need for an emergency meeting, why would Mr. McKeeva Bush and Mr. Arden McLean, Mr. Suckoo and others think it was necessary to call this meeting? Mr McLean and Mr Bush, Fathers of the House, should know very well when something is of urgency.
    This is why we cannot get anywhere or get anything on this island because there is too much personality clashing.
    For once, can we not come together and be civil about each other and the concerns of the Cayman Islands. Look at the salaries you guys are getting, Don’t you think the people of Cayman deserve getting more for their hard earned tax payers money. You all should be working seven days a week like every one else for the salary you all are receiving instead only a few months of the year. Receiving between ten and twenty thousand dollars a month, yet don’t want to come to work. Yet some are willing to work the seven day week while others don’t even want to work an extra required day. Not good enough.

  4. I think that the premier is wrong in not wanting to hear this issue in the LA. From the tone of his words it sounds like he not only thinks that it’s not necessary for an emergency meeting, but no meeting at all on these issues that the opposition wants to have a hearing on in the LA.
    I think that the issues that the opposition has are very valid and needs to be addressed for the future of the Islands.
    I think that if Government continues to let the crime and corruption and incompetence continue at the rate it’s going it won’t be long before the Islands would be gone to the criminals.

  5. Of course the opposition are being disruptive. Ask yourselves the question, do we NEED an EMERGENCY meeting of the legislature? Are we about to go to war? Is there a very large storm heading our way?
    Of course not … political posturing and a waste of money.
    Perhaps McKeeva needs to spend his holidays on the slots.

  6. No we are not about to go to a war, but it is simply called “Working for your pay like anyone else” 10,000. to 20,000 dollars a month is a lot of money not to be working 9 to 5.

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