George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan has rejected Opposition MLA Ezzard Miller’s call for a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly and a no confidence motion in House Speaker McKeeva Bush.
Under the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Orders, Miller needs seven MLAs to sign a requisition to force the special sitting of the House. Without Bryan’s signature, it would be a challenge for Miller to trigger the sitting, as there are only seven Opposition members, including Bryan, in the House.
“I acknowledge the intention of Mr. Miller to safeguard the reputation of the Legislative Assembly but I believe the request for the Speaker to be removed is premature in light of limited information and with an ongoing investigation by police as to what exactly happened,” Bryan said in a statement issued to the Cayman Compass Monday.
Bryan is the first Opposition MLA to make public his decision regarding Miller’s call for the motion.
Deputy Opposition leader Alva Suckoo said Sunday that Opposition members were giving Miller’s request “serious consideration”.
Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders, an Opposition member, said he believes the matter should be dealt with in the Legislative Assembly.
Saunders said an official statement will be issued by the Opposition on Monday.
On Friday, Miller called on Opposition members to support him to trigger a special sitting of the House to elect a new Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and to hold a debate on a no confidence motion in Bush.
Bush was allegedly involved in an assault on a female manager at Coral Beach bar on West Bay Road on the night of Friday, 21 Feb. Police are investigating the matter and have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Bush has said he cannot recall the incident but was told he passed out and fell at the bar and while being helped to his feet he “reacted badly”.
In light of the allegations, he is taking a leave of absence from his position as Speaker. Bernie Bush subsequently announced that he has resigned as Deputy Speaker, necessitating an election for that position within the Legislative Assembly.
Bryan, in his statement, said he believes it is important that “the capable Police Commissioner and his staff” are allowed to conduct their investigations and “reveal their findings by way of action or inaction by their department”.
“I trust the RCIPS is fully aware of the public’s interest in this case and will conclude their investigations in a timely manner,” he said. “Once more information and details surrounding the incident become more apparent, it will be better suited to decide whether or not a vote of no confidence should be called on the Hon. Speaker.”
The George Town Central MLA said he does not “condone the abuse of women in any way and would be hugely disappointed if that turns out to be the case during the night in question”.
He stressed that it is also important to “remember that we shouldn’t presume guilt before innocence, especially without all the relevant facts and details”.
While Bryan outlined his position on the matter, he said he would be willing to revise it, based on feedback from his constituents.
“Though I am prepared to allow the authorities the necessary time to conclude their investigations before such a serious vote is called, I am guided by the voters of George Town Central,” he said.
“If they feel that there is enough information already available in the public domain that warrants a vote of no confidence on the Speaker, then I am guided by their direction. Until that point, I will await further details that will bring better clarity to what transpired on the 21 February regarding the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly,” he added.
Check back for updates on this developing story.