Rival supporters crossed paths in the streets on Saturday as two political rallies intersected on a busy final weekend of campaigning ahead of Wednesday’s general election. There were no reports of any physical violence.
More than 200 vehicles joined the Progressives motorcade, which wound its way through the streets of Grand Cayman, culminating in a rally at Savannah Meadows.
As the procession of vehicles, led by a truck filled with waving candidates dressed in red shirts and caps, made its way through Bodden Town, the parade was ambushed by supporters of Dwayne “John John” Seymour.
The independent candidate, who is running against the Progressives’ Osbourne Bodden, had been hosting a fun day at Coe Wood Beach.
His supporters intercepted the motorcade, waving yellow “Vote Dwayne ‘John John’ Seymour” T-shirts and posters of their candidate at the traveling convoy.
Some Progressives supporters in turn tried to hand out their party’s shirts to the crowd.
Bystanders said the clashes appeared to be largely good-natured, though Mr. Bodden suggested later that some of the cars in the motorcade had been damaged during the exchanges.
“I believe we are frightening them,” Mr. Bodden told the crowd at the Progressives rally, referring to the large number of vehicles in the motorcade.
All the Progressives candidates addressed the crowd, ending with Premier Alden McLaughlin, who urged supporters to come out and vote on Wednesday.
“Today was special. It gave me goose bumps to see all those cars with all those flags,” he told the crowd.
Dismissing the independent candidates, backed by Dr. Steve Tomlinson, as the “coalition for chaos,” he said they would struggle to get anything done if elected to government.
Referring to the event at the Lions Centre, sponsored by Dr. Tomlinson, the premier said it was clear who the leader of the independents was, and he was not on the ballot.
“All indications are that they are proposing, for this country, its first unelected premier,” he said, referring to Dr. Tomlinson.
At the Lions Centre, several independents, including Kenneth Bryan, Catherine Tyson, Ellio Solomon and Raul Gonzales, shared the stage to give speeches amid a carnival-style event that also included live music, acrobatics and poetry.
Dr. Tomlinson sponsored the event.
Ms. Tyson, independent candidate for George Town South, urged voters to pick the best candidate regardless of party allegiance.
“They say independent people can’t do anything. They can’t tell me I can’t help people because I have done it and I know how to do it … on May 24, choose the best people, the power is in your hands.”
Mr. Bryan, independent candidate for George Town Central, told the crowd,“I promise to have no allegiance to anybody or any party other than you, the people.”
The Cayman Democratic Party, which held its own motorcade and rally last week on the Monday public holiday, had a relatively low-key final weekend of campaigning, hosting an event for Cayman’s Latino community at a home in West Bay.
Party leader McKeeva Bush said around 300 people attended. A CDP meeting is planned for Monday at Birch Tree Hill, and rallies will be held Tuesday night at the four-way stop in West Bay and later at A. L. Thompson’s store car park in George Town.