No parties, only independents and alliances running in West Bay

Two candidates per West Bay constituency sign up on Nomination Day

The Cayman Democratic Party, which was formerly known as the United Democratic Party, is not making an appearance in this year’s general election.

A number of candidates who have run with the party in previous years are campaigning again in the April election, but as independents, including three – McKeeva Bush, Captain Eugene Ebanks and Rolston Anglin – who are teaming up in an alliance in West Bay. All three were founding members of the UDP, which was rebranded and renamed in 2016.

The trio are scheduled to hold a meeting at the West Bay Dock this evening to discuss their manifesto and plans with constituents.

There are also no Progressives candidates running in West Bay, although a number of the nominees have indicated they would be willing to work with a coalition government if elected. With so many independents running for office and the Progressives not fielding party candidates in every constituency, a Progressives-led coalition government or a government predominantly made up of independents are the only two possible outcomes of the election.

Bush is running in West Bay West, the constituency for which he is the incumbent MP; Ebanks, also an incumbent, is running in West Bay Central; while Anglin, who served three terms as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, until 2013, is a candidate in West Bay North.

Bush, who served as Speaker of the House until Parliament was dissolved earlier this month when the election was called early, said after he became a member of the National Unity coalition government, he stopped being an “active member” of the Cayman Democratic Party, “and I don’t think it was registered after that”, he said.

He said, if successful on 14 April, he, Ebanks and Anglin were all prepared to work with a coalition government.

Independent candidate Mario Ebanks is taking on Bush in West Bay West. He is a former Progressives member but left the party in 2012. He has also indicated that he would consider working with a coalition government, depending on who it comprises and what its manifesto is.

Another former UDP member, Bernie Bush, is seeking re-election as an independent in his constituency of West Bay North, where he and his former party colleague Anglin will go head to head. Bush had been a member of the coalition government backbench but left to join the opposition in 2019 during the port referendum debate.

Asked if he may be willing to work with a coalition government if re-elected, Bernie Bush told the Compass on Monday that there are “some discussions going on”, but added, “There are people I would have very major problems being a part of something with them because my principles are more important than getting elected.”

Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, another independent, is running in West Bay Central, against Eugene Ebanks. This is her second time running for office in the district. In the last election, she took 44% of the vote, while Ebanks took 56%.

A coalition seat, that had been considered safe by the current administration, was that of West Bay South which was held by Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers, but she announced last week that she would not be seeking re-election. The battle in that constituency will be between independents André Ebanks, the former representative of the Cayman Islands government in the UK, and Raul Nicholson-Coe, former Digicel Cayman CEO. This is the first time both men have run for office.

WEST BAY CANDIDATES

West Bay West
McKeeva Bush
Mario Ebanks

West Bay Central
Eugene Ebanks
Katherine Ebanks-Wilks

West Bay North
Bernie Bush
Rolston Anglin

West Bay South
André Ebanks
Raul Nicholson-Coe

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