Some independent candidates for the May 24 General Elections are in the process of forming a Cayman People’s Alliance. The term was made public when Arden McLean referred to it during his campaign launch in East End on Wednesday night and Ezzard Miller used it in his campaign literature in North Side on Thursday night.
Mr. Miller later confirmed that the candidates on stage with him for a public meeting in the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre were involved in the alliance: Arden McLean, Anthony Eden, Alva Suckoo, Gilbert McLean and Paul Hurlston.
He said he and the others had attended Arden McLean’s campaign launch and endorsed him for election to fill that district’s seat in the legislature.
After 19 people are elected as members of the Legislative Assembly, a majority will form the government and determine who will be premier.
Work in progress
Mr. Miller explained that the alliance was a work in progress and still developing. He said other candidates were joining and he expected that a press release would be issued in the coming week.
His own reference was contained in a letter to North Siders that was distributed at his campaign launch. He wrote, “I will be working with Cayman People’s Alliance to offer a more determined, qualified and people-centred leadership for the Cayman Islands. This group of like-minded individuals offers a platform that aims to put Caymanians at the forefront of our economic development.”
From the podium on Thursday night, he suggested one specific measure: “We need to be prepared to put moratoriums on work permits.” He pointed out that when he was in government in 1992 they sent a directive that there were to be no more permits for condominium managers, and it worked.
He said there was a time when all the Seven Mile Beach hotels were managed by Caymanians, but not today. He elaborated on a statement from his letter: “We need to restore Caymanians to being first among equals in our country. We need to reignite the Caymanian belief that if we work hard and apply our Caymanian ingenuity, we should be given the opportunity to participate in our economy and to ultimately succeed.”
Retired senior civil servant Donovan Ebanks chaired the meeting and introduced the speakers.
Mr. Eden, who is vying for the Savannah seat, spoke of Mr. Miller’s reputation for researching issues and suggested he would make a good minister for health.
Mr. Suckoo, contesting the seat for Newlands, reminded the audience that Mr. Miller and Arden McLean were the movers of the motion that led to the appointment of boundary commissioners that led to the necessary legislation that made “one man, one vote” a reality.
Gilbert McLean, campaigning in Bodden Town West, spoke of Mr. Miller’s ability to take criticism and keep fighting. He said the government of 2013-2017 had not been very open: “If Ezzard and Arden were not in LA, we wouldn’t know what was happening,” he asserted.
Arden McLean praised Mr. Miller’s experience and tenacity. “The only person I’ve seen change Ezzard’s mind is Anthony Eden,” he shared. When the Legal Practitioners Bill was being debated recently and a private meeting of legislators was suggested for differences to be hammered out, Mr. Miller had been adamant that everything should be public, he said, but Mr. Eden had persuaded him that 17 Caymanians should be able to sit down and talk things through. Then, he related, Mr. Miller declared, “We’ve got to go private!”
Sidney Ebanks, who is not a candidate, also spoke in support of Mr. Miller.
Mr. Hurlston, a first-time candidate who is contesting the seat for George Town South, did not address the gathering. He reportedly joked that he would give his time to Arden McLean.