Incumbent North Side MP Ezzard Miller has told the Compass he has Cayman’s top job in his sights.
The sole candidate fielded by the Cayman Islands People’s Party is one of four hopefuls vying to represent North Side.
Speaking on Monday after filing his nomination papers for the 14 April election, Miller told the Compass he was “looking to go into the government either as premier or as a minister”.
He added the caveat that this would depend on the make-up of others in the coalition, explaining: “If it represents the things that me and the People’s Party stand for, I’d be happy to join.”
However, he said it was unlikely he would join the coalition in its current form.
“If the current coalition is the majority, I don’t think I’ll be joining them,” he said.
Across Cayman’s 19 single-member constituencies, it is independent candidates who will dominate the ballot. North Side is no exception.
Miller has sat on the opposition benches as an independent MP since 2019 when he resigned from the role of leader of the official opposition.
In 2017, he secured his seat after narrowly defeating fellow independent candidate and rival Johany “Jay” Ebanks by a slim 22 votes.
“We expect to win, and we expect to have a much bigger margin this time,” Miller told the Compass after filing.
But Ebanks claims North Side constituents “have awoken now, and they are definitely ready for a change”.
Cost of living, universal health care, free education for university students and a revised pension system are the main issues Ebanks said he hopes to address, should he be successful.
Debra Broderick, the only female political hopeful contesting the North Side seat, is also calling for a change.
“When you have the political persons in there for a vast majority of years, they do become complacent. We need change, and we need to give women a chance,” said Broderick.
Broderick has worked as a clerk of the Cayman Islands Parliament for more than 15 years, when it was called the Legislative Assembly. She said if she is successful, she intends to address unemployment, elderly care and benefits and a “disappearing middle class”.
Justin Ebanks, the fourth and final candidate vying for the seat, was the first person to be officially nominated in the district on Monday. He was also unsuccessful against Miller in the 2017 elections, polling 12.63% of the vote.
He told the Compass he has revised his campaign strategy for the upcoming election.
“This time, I have spent more time going from door to door,” he said. “I did a lot of national speaking last election and I seemed to have missed part of the audience in North Side because they weren’t aware of what I said publicly.”
Education, the cost of doing business and the cost of living are the main focusses of his campaign.
NORTH SIDE CANDIDATES
Johany “Jay” Ebanks