Legislators clap back at premier’s ‘insult’

Opposition legislators issued a response Thursday to remarks made by Premier Alden McLaughlin about how groups of Independent candidates are not equipped to run the country.

McLaughlin’s remarks were made earlier this week in response to MLA Ezzard Miller stepping down as leader of the Opposition. The premier said the turmoil on the Opposition benches showed the value of the party system.

“In effect, the country is witnessing firsthand why it is not practical for a group of independent candidates to get elected and then seek to come together in the country’s interest,” the premier said in his statement. “They are too busy pursuing their own individual agendas to even try to develop a shared view.”

In a nearly 1,200-word statement issued by MLA Alva Suckoo, McLaughlin is called on to apologise for his “insult” to voters.

Suckoo said the statement was drafted by him, Arden McLean and Chris Saunders.

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“While it is clear from the statement issued by the Premier shows that he is unhappy and displeased with the democratic choices that many Caymanians have made by choosing Independent members to represent them – one of the primary principles of Democracy is that the will and the wishes of the people be respected,” states the release from Suckoo. “It is not the Premier’s place to question the choices of the voters that we were all elected to serve. This is an insult to the Caymanian people and the Premier owes them an apology.”

The statement also criticised the current government for failing to adhere to the “seven Nolan’s Principles on public life: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership”.

Conflicts of interests on government boards, constitutional discussions taking place in secret, and the unfinished high school projects are specific evidence of government’s failure, according to the Opposition.

“Additionally, the Caymanian people have yet to receive an explanation as to why textbooks were taken out of public school or why their children no longer receive free healthcare that now costs many parents thousands of dollars per year in insurance premiums,” the Opposition legislators stated.

Meanwhile, a new Opposition leader has not yet been determined. Suckoo said McLean is currently off island, so a new leader has not been chosen, but a decision will be made by the end of the month.

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