A 13-member government was sworn in by Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick Wednesday morning in a Legislative Assembly ceremony.
As expected, West Bay West MLA McKeeva Bush took the Speaker’s post in the House and Red Bay MLA Alden McLaughlin took the premier’s chair to begin serving his second term.
According to where lawmakers sat after the swearing in Wednesday morning, it appeared the Progressives-led coalition ministers would be Mr. McLaughlin, Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, Cayman Brac East MLA Juliana O’Connor Connolly, Bodden Town East MLA Dwayne Seymour, George Town East MLA Roy McTaggart, George Town North MLA Joey Hew and West Bay South MLA Tara Rivers.
The government backbench will consist of Prospect MLA Austin Harris, George Town South MLA Barbara Conolly, George Town West MLA David Wight, and West Bay MLAs Bernie Bush and Capt. Eugene Ebanks.
On the other side of the House, North Side MLA Ezzard Miller took the opposition leader’s seat, with Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo sitting at his left hand as the deputy opposition leader.
Other opposition members include: George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan, Savannah MLA Anthony Eden, Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders and East End MLA Arden McLean.
Following the swearing in of legislative members, there was a lunchtime break. Speaker Bush said the crowd of hundreds of people witnessing the proceedings could move outside the downtown George Town Legislative Assembly meeting for the formal swearing in of the government ministers.
The House would reconvene later in the day to assign legislative committees to the various members.
During a 10-minute acceptance speech following his nomination, Speaker Bush recounted that he had first moved the motion in the House – during the 1980s – to withdraw the governor from the Speaker’s chair and replace him with a Speaker chosen from among parliament members.
Ironically, Mr. Bush finds himself serving in the same position he and his then-colleagues created 30 years ago.
“Our islands are at a crossroads,” Mr. Bush said. “We have had our elections, the issues we face are great. Democracy has now worked for out people.
“This government, which I have chosen to help form … recognizes the same old, same old will not suffice in this 21st century. I believe our premier wants to move forward and he wants to get he job done. We all want that.”
Mr. Bush said he would assist in that effort by refusing to tolerate “waste of time” stalling efforts by the opposition, but he acknowledged that the opposition would also be given its democratic right to have its say.
“Without all of us working together … we cannot make it,” he said. “We need all of you, your gifts, your energy and your ideals. We are here to serve out people, not to make mountains out of molehills and destroy opportunities.”