Party leaders decline to attend debate

Both Cayman Islands political party leaders declined to attend the final televised debate of this election season held on Thursday night.

According to debate host Tammi Sulliman, Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush declined to attend the public event at the ARC in Camana Bay and Premier Alden McLaughlin, upon learning Mr. Bush would not attend, also declined to show up.

Ms. Sulliman said a third participant, Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton, dropped out at the last minute citing personal reasons.

That left the Thursday night debate with three attendees, Cayman Democratic Party candidate Jon Piercy, running in George Town West, and independents Kent McTaggart and Chris Saunders, running in Savannah and Bodden Town West, respectively.

Debate commentators Ben Meade and Johann Moxam both upbraided the party leaders for not appearing Thursday night.

Mr. Meade said the lack of attendance did the country a “disservice” less than a week before the general election on May 24.

Mr. Moxam, who was touted as a potential political candidate in the 2017 elections but who decided not to run, called out both party leaders.

“You are in leadership positions in this country, you are not beyond sharing your views, your message…for the country,” Mr. Moxam said. “This is just typical, Caymanian power-play arrogance at its best.”

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