North Side MLA Ezzard Miller has called on fellow lawmakers to convene a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly to debate a motion of no confidence in House Speaker McKeeva Bush.
He also wants the meeting so members can elect a new Deputy Speaker as MLA Bernie Bush has resigned from that post.
“The Cayman Islands is on the verge of a constitutional crisis. To forestall this, we, the Members of the Legislative Assembly, must assume our responsibility by invoking the relevant provisions of the Cayman Islands Constitution and the Legislature’s Standing Orders to deal with such matters,” Miller said.
Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo, when contacted by the Cayman Compass, said his fellow Opposition members were giving Miller’s request “serious consideration”.
On Wednesday, McKeeva Bush announced that he was proceeding on an immediate leave of absence as Speaker to seek professional help to deal with the loss of his daughter whose death anniversary was at the end of January. She died in 2011.
Following that announcement, the duty of Speaker fell to Opposition MLA Bernie Bush. However he opted to resign “on principle” Thursday.
The North Side MLA said that the matter was urgent, as while there is no written code of conduct, there is certainly an implicit code to which every Member subscribes to.
“At the core of our unwritten code of conduct is a pledge to safeguard the respect necessary to maintaining the trust and confidence of the local population and the international community. When we damage that respect as has so obviously happened in this case, then our fidelity to the institution that we serve and represent must be challenged,” Miller said.
He explained that invoking the relevant constitutional and legislative provisions to address the situation has become necessary.
“It is obvious that the Speaker will not do the honourable thing and resign. It is also clear that the Premier and the Unity Government will not revoke the current Speaker’s election,” he said.
Under Standing Order 8(2) of the Legislative Assembly the Presiding Officer [the Speaker] may, in his discretion, summon a meeting of the House and shall do so on the written requisition signed by not less than seven members, stating the terms of the motion or motions which they wish to debate. Notice of any such meeting shall be given to Members as soon as possible by the Clerk.
To achieve the required numbers Miller said he is inviting the Leader of the Opposition and his five colleagues to join him in requesting a special meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
“I would be happy to sign as the seventh Member in accordance with the stated provisions of the Standing Orders.”
He said the special meeting of the House would be to debate two motions: the first, to elect a Deputy Speaker and, the second, to debate a Motion of No Confidence in the current Speaker.
“As duly elected representatives of the People in the nineteen electoral districts, it is our responsibility to act in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and do the right thing for these beloved Islands in safeguarding the reputation of the Legislative Assembly and of the Cayman Islands,” Miller said
Premier Alden McLaughlin had indicated Thursday that no date had been set for the LA.
He is currently in transit from London to Cayman and could not be reached for comment.
Check back for updates on this developing story.