North Side Member of Parliament Ezzard Miller has called for House Speaker McKeeva Bush to either resign or be removed by Premier Alden McLaughlin.
Miller, in a statement Tuesday, appealed to the premier and the Unity government to “do the right thing for Caymanians and Cayman, and to publicly ask the Speaker to resign by 24 Dec”.
In the absence of such action, Miller has called for the premier to convene a special meeting of parliament on 4 Jan. “to remove the Speaker and to have him replaced with someone other than a currently serving Member of Parliament.”
“I consider this a matter of greatest priority and importance for maintaining the moral rectitude of one of our three branches of the Cayman Islands Government. We must maintain the values for civility, integrity and respect for our laws and rules for which our governing institutions and the Cayman Islands have always so proudly stood and exemplified,” the independent Opposition MP said in the statement.
His call followed the conviction of Bush on common assault charges on Monday. He was given a suspended sentence of two months’ imprisonment on each of the three assault charges laid against him.
Bush also was fined $700 for disorderly conduct and ordered to pay $4,279 in compensation to the victim.
Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn also issued a curfew order for the House Speaker which will run for 60 days.
Miller said that, apart from being disappointed in Bush’s sentence, he was “equally disappointed” in McLaughlin’s statement following the court’s decision.
McLaughlin said government would have to take time to consider the matter. However, he added, “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.”
Miller said he took strong issue with the premier’s position, as he said McLaughlin’s prediction on the end results would not necessarily happen.
“Currently there are eleven members on the Government bench and seven members on the Opposition bench (five in the Official Opposition). If the Speaker is removed, even if fellow West Bay representative MP Capt. Eugene Ebanks does opt to ‘cross the aisle’ to join him, there will still be ten on the Government bench,” he said in his statement.
Miller vowed not to support any move to remove the current government, and stated that eight members cannot bring down the government.
“I have told the Premier privately, said so publicly, and now reiterate that I would not join Members in a vote to remove the Government,” the North Side MP said.
McLaughlin said on Monday that there “may or may not” be another meeting of the House before Parliament is dissolved in March.
The Cayman Islands will hold its general election on 26 May 2021.
The Cayman Compass reached out to Bush and McLaughlin for comment following Miller’s statement and is awaiting their responses.