Petition circulating for no-confidence motion in premier

Opposition Leader: It’s a citizen’s initiative, Premier: Election season has clearly begun

A petition calling for citizens to support a purported no-confidence motion in Premier Alden McLaughlin is making the rounds on social media.

The petition, which is circulating on WhatsApp together with a link to a questionnaire from the Christian Association for Civics, contains a call to action asking recipients to answer five survey questions, as well as to sign the petition, which was prompted by the recent developments on the Domestic Partnership Bill.

According to the message accompanying the petition, the survey questions are from Opposition Leader Arden McLean, who, the message states, intends to bring the no-confidence motion against the premier. Contacted by the Cayman Compass on Wednesday, McLean would not confirm if he is connected to the survey and the petition, or if he plans to file a motion of no confidence in the premier.

There are 12 days left to sign the petition, which is on Change.org, uploaded by a user identified as Cayman Islands People-Initiated Referendums. In the WhatApp message containing the link, organisers request people sign the petition “directing your politician to support the Opposition Leader in filing a no confidence motion against the Premier who brought the Domestic Partnership Bill into parliament which was defeated so now the Governor decreed that he will try to make homosexual unions law instead after 12 days”.

The petition had 398 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

McLean told the Cayman Compass, “This is a citizen initiative.”

“In that vein, they have every right to petition their elected representatives, especially so on the heels of the recent actions of the governor and premier,” he added. “There are those who still believe in the principles of democracy. Their rights are as important as any other demographic.”

The Christian Association for Civics is planning an ‘I stand’ protest for Saturday in George Town, at which the questionnaire will be available

The Compass reached out to the association for comment on the message and its affiliation to the no-confidence motion petition, but received no response by publication time.

McLaughlin, when contacted for comment on the petition, stated, “The elections season has clearly begun.”

“Indeed, it seems the Leader of the Opposition is pushing for an early election even as we continue to navigate a global pandemic. The lust for power knows no bounds. What is coming is coming, and we will meet it when it comes,” he told the Compass.

This latest development follows the defeat of the Domestic Partnership Bill in the Legislative Assembly last month and the subsequent announcement by Governor Martyn Roper that he is using his reserved powers under the Constitution to assent to the law, which provides a legal framework for same-sex relationships.

Lawmakers voted nine to eight against the bill as Cabinet members Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Dwayne Seymour, along with government councillor Captain Eugene Ebanks, joined with the Opposition to vote no.

Last week, the governor released a letter, dated 5 Aug., in which Baroness Elizabeth Sugg, acting on behalf of the UK Secretary of State, instructed him to use his powers under Section 81 of the Cayman Islands Constitution to bring the defeated law into force.

Roper has published an amended Domestic Partnership Bill and 11 accompanying pieces of legislation for public consultation.

“As part of the consultation process that runs until 31 August, we have already received several comments on the draft legislation. We will reflect upon all comments before I assent to the Bill at the beginning of September. A number of other Bills need to be amended to ensure a legal framework for same sex couples is provided,” Roper said in his statement following the publication of the bills.

Meanwhile the Cayman Islands People-Initiated Referendum petition states, “We the undersigned reaffirm the preamble to the Constitution of the Cayman Islands,” adding that, “the attached signatories to this document pray that: The Government considers the wishes and expectations of the Christian Community prior to the implementation of this same-sex partnership bill and the stated opinions below.”

The Constitution preamble refers to the “distinct history, culture and Christian heritage” of the people of the Cayman Islands.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. First of all, I’m way past tired of Christianity being painted with this wide very conservative brush in these islands. The “anti” group of Christians are the most vocal, but they do not represent all of us who identify as Christians – and, for that matter, who are also Caymanians.

    Secondly, the Opposition needs to recognize that there are real people behind their opposition and that what they are modeling is hate and fear. When hate and fear is coupled with ignorance, dangerous and sometimes deadly things happen. We have very selective memories when it comes to the consequences of homophobia.

    Finally, the last time I checked the actual most important issue this country is facing is a global pandemic and our economic recovery from it.

    Y’all so big on your Christian credentials? Go help feed people, like the Governor who has actually delivered meals, dished out food and sat and listened to the stories of stranded foreign nationals and offered his empathy and support. To me, that looks a lot more like what Jesus would do and that is the example I want to follow.

    C. Delano Bush

  2. So the purpose of this petition is essentially to punish the premier — because he followed the directive of the court, as he is required to do! Unbelievable how backward some folks on this island are: You refuse to be brought into the modern era without kicking and screaming on your part. So be it. Change is coming regardless. Whether the premier is ousted or not, domestic partnerships WILL arrive in Cayman in a few weeks time. And outright gay marriage is likely to arrive before the end of next year. Most of the younger generation probably “gets it”. Such a pity that the dinosaurs don’t. But then, you know what happened to the dinosaurs…