Former Premier Mckeeva Bush and his one-time education minister Rolston Anglin publicly buried the hatchet Monday night as they appeared on the same political stage for the first time since their acrimonious split prior to the 2013 election.
Mr. Bush said it was time to put the “past in the past” as he confirmed that he, Mr. Anglin, Bernie Bush and Capt. Eugene Ebanks are the four Cayman Democratic Party candidates for West Bay in the next general election.
The “no votes for the cutthroats” rhetoric was gone, as Mr. Bush, speaking at a party rally, urged West Bayers to vote for Mr. Anglin in 2017.
“Yes, we had a disagreement in 2012, but who goes through life without disagreements? We must join forces to fight this PPM government,” he told the crowd.
“Having Rolston back in the fold will help this country. We need unity. Wherever you are voting when that time comes, if Rolston is there, you vote for Rolston.”
Mr. Anglin was part of a breakaway group that formed a minority government, parting ways with the party, then known as the United Democratic Party, after Mr. Bush was arrested in late 2012.
“It is all in the past, and at the end of the day that was a good campaign strategy for when I left.”
Mr. Bush was re-elected; Mr. Anglin and some others who broke from the party were not. Mr. Bush was later cleared of corruption charges relating to the use of his government credit card in casinos.
Mr. Anglin said they had put their differences behind them a long time ago. He said there was no animosity over the “cutthroats” campaign slogan that was used against him in West Bay in 2013.
“It is all in the past, and at the end of the day that was a good campaign strategy for when I left,” he said. “People that can’t mend fences are people that can’t get anywhere in life.”
After a speech at the CDP rally Monday at the Heritage Square parking lot, Mr. Anglin said he was enjoying being back in the political fray and looking forward to challenging the government’s record on education and finance.
Looking ahead to the election and the possible inclusion of independents on the ballot, he told the crowd, “Don’t be fooled by the games. If you are not running with the Cayman Democratic Party, you are running with the PPM, you are running with Alden McLaughlin.”
The CDP also confirmed at Monday’s meeting that under the new “one man, one vote” system, McKeeva Bush will run in the West Bay West constituency, Bernie Bush will run in West Bay North, Mr. Anglin in West Bay South and Captain Ebanks in West Bay Central.
Describing the new system as an attempt to confuse voters, Mr. Bush urged West Bayers to vote for whichever CDP candidate is in their district.
“There is a new system coming for voting. They have done that to mess with your mind,” he told the crowd.
Captain Ebanks repeated the message, urging supporters to vote CDP, regardless of who is running in their district.
“A lot of people have said they are not voting if they are not in my area or they are not in McKeeva Bush’s area,” he said. “Staying home is the same as voting for the PPM. You must come out and vote for our team members in order for us to get the government back and be able to help you.”