Newly elected East End representative Isaac Rankine cancelled a planned constituency meeting this afternoon, citing public safety concerns following “social media posts inciting violence”.
Rankine, who unseated former opposition leader Arden McLean in the constituency, is one of the key players in the rival bids to form a government.
The Progressives believed he would be part of their team after the results came in, but he signed to join Wayne Panton’s independent group the morning after the election. He later rescinded his support for that coalition however and joined with the Progressives.
Rankine had planned a meeting Saturday afternoon with his East End constituents but cancelled following social media threats and posts urging people from outside the district to attend in an effort to influence his position.
“This meeting is cancelled due to safety concerns of my East End constituents based on the various social media posts inciting violence,” he wrote in a statement.
“It is rather unfortunate that efforts to inform the residents of East End of the ongoing developments cannot be realized.”
After Rankine cancelled the meeting protesters from outside the district gathered first at the East End civic centre and then moved on to protest outside the representative’s private home.
Several police units were on the scene to divert the traffic.
The protest was peaceful as demonstrators held up placards and shouted “we want change” and “unity”.
Speaking to the Cayman Compass, Rankine said he is aware that as an elected member of parliament he has a national responsibility, but first and foremost he has a mandate from his electorate in East End.
He said his objective remains to achieve the best possible outcome for his district, which has not had any representation in government for three consecutive terms.
Rankine said the negotiations continue and he will arrange a meeting for a later date to keep his constituents informed and get their input.
“If a meeting is not possible due to these ongoing threats, as the elected official for East End, I will inform all East End residents as soon as reasonably possible of any decisions made.”
His decision came amid a new twist in the negotiations to form a government, with Panton and Roy McTaggart meeting Saturday to discuss the possibility of a coalition between the groups.