The Cayman Islands’ national unity government is unlikely to take any disciplinary action against Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush, who on Monday was sentenced for assaulting a woman earlier this year at a West Bay Road bar.
The charges stem from a February incident where an intoxicated Bush assaulted a female manager at Coral Beach, on West Bay Road.
“I am not sure the country will be well served now by my taking action which precipitates the collapse of the government and the holding of early elections. So, we have to bear that in mind,” Premier Alden McLaughlin told reporters at a media conference Monday morning when asked for comment on the next steps now that Bush had been sentenced.
McLaughlin, who was attending the conference to announce a new multi-million dollar hospital project, said he had not been apprised of Bush’s sentencing when asked about the court case.
“Obviously, government will have to take time to consider the matter,” he said.
McLaughlin added that there “may or may not” be another meeting of the House before Parliament is dissolved in March. The Cayman Islands will be heading to the polls on 26 May, 2021.
Bush had previously pleaded guilty to two of the three assault charges against him and was convicted on Monday on the third count, the most serious of the three charges.
He was handed a suspended sentence of two months imprisonment on each of the assault charges. He was fined $700 for disorderly conduct and ordered to pay $4,279 in compensation to the victim.
Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn, who passed sentence on Bush, also issued a curfew order for the House Speaker which will run for 60 days.
Independent Opposition lawmaker Ezzard Miller, who has been vocal on Bush’s removal since the incident was first highlighted, told the Cayman Compass his position is unchanged.
“My position remains the same; having committed the offense he should have resigned, having been charged he should have resigned, having pleaded guilty he should have resigned now having been sentenced he should resign. If he does not resign, the Unity Government should remove him as Speaker,” Miller told the Compass.
The Compass has also reached out to the official opposition for comment and are awaiting a response.
Although a conviction has been registered against Bush, under the law, he would not be disqualified from standing for elections.
To be disqualified based on a conviction, a person would have to be sentenced to imprisonment of 12 months or more for any crime, even if suspended or convicted of dishonesty for any period of sentence.
Under the Elections Law the provisions for disqualification states that a person; who is serving or has served a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding twelve months imposed on him or her by a court in any country or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him or her by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended, or has been convicted by any court in any country of an offence involving dishonesty.