Opposition reacts to governor’s removal

Ezzard Miller

It was disappointing to learn that Governor Anwar Choudhury will not be returning to the Cayman Islands.

This is particularly disconcerting as Mr. Choudhury had won the hearts of the people of the Cayman Islands in the three months he was here, achieving a level of comfort and acceptance that the previous governor had not managed in five years.

Because of the affinity he had struck with the people of the Cayman Islands and their concerns, I had held out hope that Mr. Choudhury would have been afforded the opportunity to continue to serve his term and make the changes that are so necessary to improving governance and to reducing corruption.

We must also express our concern about the high-handed, autocratic tone of the release [from the Governor’s Office], which communicates a lack of respect for every fair-minded Caymanian.

The FCO seems to have forgotten that we have advanced since the early 20th century when dictates from our colonial masters were accepted without question.

In a modern, democratic approach, the FCO would have, for example, sought to communicate, however obliquely, a reason for Mr. Choudhury’s recall.

Instead, the FCO disclosed that Mr. Choudhury would be continuing in a diplomatic post in London, from which, not incidentally, we can only infer that the “allegations” against the Governor could not have risen to any very serious level.

I also take much umbrage at the plan to replace Mr. Franz Manderson as Acting Governor with a temporary Governor.

This similarly communicates disrespect in its implication that Mr. Manderson’s performance has been prohibitive of his continuing to act until a replacement for Mr. Choudhury is found.

I assert that the recruitment process should not be so protracted that it would require an interim governor, with its inherent disruption and lack of continuity.

I see no reason for Mr. Manderson being sidelined and we unreservedly support his continuing in the post until a new governor is recruited.

Unfortunately, sweeping Mr. Manderson aside only adds further insult to the injury that has been inflicted on the people by the way this matter has been handled from the beginning, and from today’s high-handed announcement by the FCO via the Governor’s Office.

Finally, I also take note of the sustained imperious tone continuing to the close of the release in which the FCO conveyed that it would not be making further comments.”

Ezzard Miller is the Leader of the Opposition.