Arden McLean: Call for early elections ‘disgusting’

Hours after Premier Alden McLaughlin called for early elections, Opposition Leader and East End MP Arden McLean came out fighting during the Cayman Compass’s The Resh Hour.

Speaking with host Reshma Ragoonath on the live broadcast Wednesday evening, McLean took aim at McLaughlin for his decision to dissolve Parliament, calling his actions “disgusting”.

Earlier, Governor Martyn Roper announced he would be dissolving Parliament at the premier’s request and, in so doing, triggered early elections, now set for 14 April. 

McLean accused the Premier of punishing the people he purports to represent, questioning why McLaughlin has put the onus on the electorate to vote out the Speaker rather than taking action to remove McKeeva Bush himself. He stated this affront was the latest in a catalogue of ills afflicted on the jurisdiction by the Unity government, citing, amongst others, the controversial port proposal and subsequent referendum.

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He added the early elections had rendered his call for a no confidence motion in Bush effectively a moot point. 

McLean also questioned whether the governor should have acquiesced to the premier’s request to call early elections.

Section 84(2) of the Cayman Islands Constitution says “the Governor, acting after consultation with the Premier, may at any time, by proclamation, dissolve the [Parliament]”.

Governor Martyn Roper took to social media Wednesday night to defend his decision. Responding to multiple comments criticizing the move, Roper said he sought legal advice and the only option was to accept the request.

“This is a matter for elected politicians,” Roper said. “Only in very exceptional circumstances, which do not exist, could I have refused the request.”

Following today’s announcement, the Opposition Leader revealed he has had “numerous phone calls” with potential candidates and sitting MPs and “no one is pleased with it”. 

Pressed on his own political ambitions, McLean stressed he only wanted to be a “good representative; that’s it, I want to help”.

He affirmed he would continue to work in partnership with his colleagues from the Opposition benches when on the campaign trail, adding there were others with whom he was creating “alliances” and “relationships” in working towards a common goal.

To watch the full edition of Wednesday’s The Resh Hour, click here:

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