Miller’s Cayman Islands People’s Party takes shape

New political party officially registered

A new entrant on the local political landscape made its debut Wednesday as North Side MLA Ezzard Miller unveiled his Cayman Islands People’s Party logo and constitution.

The group, led by Miller as interim leader, has been formally registered as a political party with the Elections Office.

“I think it has been more difficult for the wider community in Cayman to have ready access to the political process. The way we have structured the People’s Party is to provide the opportunity for empowering people,” Miller said to media gathered at the Legislative Assembly conference room on Wednesday.

Miller, flanked by his interim chairman Donovan Ebanks, a former Cayman Islands chief secretary, interim executive secretary Gilbert Connolly and interim treasurer Levon Bodden, displayed the party’s certificate of registration.

“Only thing left to make it official is the gazettal notice which will come out shortly,” Miller said.

The People’s Party is the third formal political party in the Cayman Islands.

At present, there is the PPM or Progressives, led by Premier Alden McLaughlin, and the Cayman Democratic Party, led by House Speaker McKeeva Bush.

Miller said the next step for his party will be working on getting not-for-profit status this month and opening an official bank account in December.

“We are probably the only party that is seeking non-profit status. There are some very specific reasons for seeking that because of the accountability that being a non-profit carries with it, i.e., the reporting of financial matters and the accounting,” he said.

Miller said he believes his new party will make a difference on the local political landscape as it will address what he described as the inequities the current party system creates by keeping the community outside of the decision-making process.

The North Side MLA said he will formally launch the party in January 2021, together with a full slate of 19 candidates to contest the May 2021 elections.

He said that, in the next six months, his party will begin laying the groundwork to establish its 19 electoral district committees, which will feed in to form the party’s 62-member central council.

“We are trying to build in some safeguards to prevent what I have experienced in political parties where one person, for various reasons, is able to take control of the whole process and run the whole show,” Miller said.

The electoral district committees and the central council will govern the party, he added.
“This is not a situation where me as a party leader is going to be judge, jury and executioner,” he said.

Miller said he is looking to get from 150 to 250 people involved in the decision-making process of his party and he is aiming for a September or October 2020 deadline to create its internal machinery.

Following this, he said, the party will hold internal elections to either confirm or appoint new people.

“Our logo is a ship’s wheel with an anchor. That’s deliberate,” he said. “We believe we need to correct the course the country is going for Caymanians and young people.”

Ebanks said he was pleased to be a part of the new political entity and will be working on establishing the party.

Connolly said Cayman needs leadership. “I have a lot of hope that this new party will provide the leadership and the governance that will move the country forward in a positive way,” said Connolly.

Bodden said he represents the lost generation of Cayman and he would be using his post to draw attention to issues impacting young people.