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Newlands candidates face off in district debates

Political hopefuls looking to secure the Newlands vote say traffic, infrastructure, cost of living and healthcare are the main issues facing their constituents.
Candidates for Newlands Alva Suckoo, Roydell Carter, Wayne Panton and Raul Gonzalez

Crosstalk debate: Newlands candidates face off

Candidates for Newlands Alva Suckoo, Roydell Carter, Wayne Panton and Raul Gonzalez join Crosstalk host Barrie Quappe to debate the issues affecting their district.

Alva Suckoo formally joins Progressives alliance

Independent candidate Alva Suckoo has joined the Progressives alliance team, bringing to 12 the number of nominees running as part of the group in the 14 April general election.

Lawmakers affirm Caymanian electoral rights

Legislators have affirmed sections 90 and 61 of the Constitution enshrining the current qualifications for standing for political office locally and eligibility to vote in the Cayman Islands.

Suckoo: ‘There is no motion’ against premier

Cayman’s legislatures continued to distance themselves from rumours of a no-confidence motion against Premier Alden McLaughlin over the Domestic Partnership Bill.
Leonardo Raznovich speaking at a 2016 conference on LGBT issues in the Caribbean.

Raznovich: Same-sex rights not open for political points

LGBTQ advocate and barrister Leonardo Raznovich wants Cayman’s MLAs to stop what he calls a “political contest” with the rights of same-sex individuals.

Public rights of way motion withdrawn

Savannah MLA Anthony Eden has called for more education on the mechanisms available to the public when it comes to protecting rights of way when accessing local beaches.

MLAs vote in favour of changing Youth Justice Law

Lawmakers have voted in favour of amending the Youth Justice Law which will now prevent criminal trials from being called off, simply because the only evidence is the testimony of a child.

Opposition parts way with Kenneth Bryan

The official Opposition and George Town Central MLA Kenneth Bryan have parted ways.

Opposition calls on government to convene House sitting

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller is calling on the Opposition to join him in convening a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly to debate a motion of no confidence in House Speaker McKeeva Bush.

Cayman’s climate policy plan gathering dust

With the urgency of international projections, where does Cayman stand in preparing for climate change? Recent debate on the floor of the Legislative Assembly sent a reminder that, in fact, Cayman does not have a climate change policy.

Traffic the ‘number one issue’ for many legislators

For politicians anywhere east of George Town, traffic is the number one issue on the minds of their constituents.

Climate change policy push welcomed

Local legislators’ agreement to create a climate change policy has been welcomed by Sustainable Cayman’s Linda Clarke.

Climate change motion gets the green light

Local legislators have approved a private members’ motion calling for the creation of a climate change policy for the Cayman Islands.

Referendum Bill debate continues

Debate on the Referendum Bill continued in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday with MLAs outlining their position on the $200 million cruise berthing and cargo facility.

Opposition ‘concerned’ over cruise lines visit

Opposition politicians say they are “deeply concerned” by the visit of cruise line executives to the Cayman Islands to promote a $200-million project to build a new cruise berthing facility in George Town harbour.

Relief effort begins in earnest for Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian left the Bahamas Tuesday after lingering in the area since Sunday night, and several of the country’s regional neighbours have begun putting together donations to support its recovery.

Flood threat an ongoing issue in canalside community

When ‘king tides’ sweep across Grand Cayman, the residents of North Sound Estates often find the ocean at their doorstep.

Legislators clap back at premier’s ‘insult’

Opposition legislators issued a response Thursday to remarks made by Premier Alden McLaughlin about how groups of Independent candidates are not equipped to run the country.

Miller holds on to Opposition leadership

Ezzard Miller officially remains Leader of the Opposition, despite a letter from all four members of the political group requesting he does not speak on their behalf.

Same-sex marriage: What your representative said on the issue

Cayman Islands legislators unanimously backed a private members’ motion last week supporting government to appeal the decision by the chief justice that legalised same-sex marriage to the “full extent of the appeals process”.

Prison officer charged with assault, threatening to kill still on duty

A prison officer who was charged in connection to an alleged rape is still on active duty, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said on Friday in the Legislative Assembly.

Miller vows to continue as Opposition leader

North Side legislator Ezzard Miller claims he still commands majority support on the Opposition benches and will remain as leader.

Miller faces calls to step down

Opposition leader Ezzard Miller is facing calls for him to step down from his role amid division among the political group.

Police ramp up resources in Newlands area

Police will have community officers patrol Newlands later than the previous 6 p.m. cut-off time and will install more cameras around the area, Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo announced this week.

Alva Suckoo steps down as deputy opposition leader

Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo has stepped down as deputy leader of the official Opposition. Suckoo confirmed his resignation Friday, saying he would remain part of the Opposition group.

EDITORIAL – Please, no more reports on the causes of crime

The tools allotted to the police, the courts and our prisons, unfortunately but realistically, are very crude tools indeed. They are fashioned to deal with malefactors AFTER they have misbehaved.

Opposition plans ‘alliance’ ahead of 2021 election

The coalition of independents led by Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller plans to form a political group that will run a candidate in every constituency at the next general election.

Governor meets with Opposition

Cayman’s new governor, Martyn Roper, meets with members of the Opposition on Tuesday, his second day on the job.

Canal-side residents face boat dilemma

A neighborhood in Newlands has become ground zero for a slew of concerns and disputes over use of Grand Cayman’s residential canals.

Opposition back in House after walkout

Opposition politicians were back in the Legislative Assembly Thursday after staging a one-day walkout on proceedings in protest over disciplinary action taken against Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo.

Suckoo suspension sparks walkout by Opposition

Opposition members walked out of the Legislative Assembly in protest Wednesday after Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo was suspended from the House for the day.

Light agenda for Cayman Brac Legislative Assembly session

A relatively light legislative agenda is expected when Cayman Islands lawmakers head to the Brac next week.

Opposition: Summer work program a ‘band-aid solution’

Government’s summer work program for jobless Caymanians has divided opinions, politically.

More money provided for poor relief

The Cayman Islands government is plugging an additional $2 million into the poor relief budget this year, fearing the current funding provided for some of the public welfare efforts will run out by next month if more money is not provided.

How it happened: The UK House of Commons vote

A swirling vortex of political gamesmanship, played against the backdrop of a crucial Brexit vote and a weakened U.K. coalition government, left the Cayman Islands and its sister British Overseas Territories on the losing end of Tuesday’s House of Commons vote.
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Community meeting held at Newlands

Residents of North Sound Estates met with community leaders, RCIPS officers, and Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo Monday to discuss crime, delays in garbage collections, hurricane preparedness, and derelict vehicles in the area.

Governor Choudhury explores Grand Cayman

One advantage to being the governor in a tourist destination is getting to play the tourist.

Police-biker cooperation ‘hasn’t worked in longer term’

It seems Cayman Islands motorbike enthusiasts do not want to hang out with the police during their rides.

MLA puts former rival on district council

They were political opponents during the May 2017 general election, but Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo has announced that local businessman Raul Gonzalez, Jr. will now serve as deputy chairman of a new advisory council for the district.

Byrne: We cannot ‘alienate’ young motorbikers

A group of local motorbike enthusiasts and opposition MLAs were surprised to hear what Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner Derek Byrne told them during a private meeting Thursday night.

Current government was ‘nuclear option’ for Cayman Democratic Party

Documents purporting to draw up a legal agreement for the formation of a coalition government in Cayman following the May 2017 general election surfaced last week, indicating that Cayman Democratic Party officials viewed the current Progressives-led National Unity Government as “the nuclear option” at the time discussions were taking place.

Third lawmaker backs limit on Caymanian status grants

Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo said Thursday that government should “strongly consider” limiting grants of Caymanian status only to individuals who were Caymanian by descent or who had received that status through marriage.

‘Pay attention’ to land sales, MLAs warn

The Cayman Islands government is now in the process of selling off an estimated $38 million worth of what it considers surplus properties, opposition politicians said Wednesday.

Opposition firms up roles in shadow government

The members of the Legislative Assembly who are not part of the governing coalition announced Tuesday that they have formally organized in opposition.

Independent legislators look to join new ‘unity’ government

The Cayman Islands new coalition government will have at least 13 members, possibly as many as 15, by the time it is sworn in Wednesday morning.

EDITORIAL – One Man, One Vote: Lessons learned from the election

Instead of making Cayman’s districts smaller, more numerous and more inward-facing, officials should have done the opposite: Make the entirety of the Cayman Islands one single district, and allow residents to vote on the same slate of candidates.

Independents’ day: Coalition government looms

A disparate group of independent candidates triumphed in Wednesday’s general election, but they did not manage to win a 10-seat majority in the Legislative Assembly.

Education: Candidates seek new solutions to familiar problems

“Every effort must be made to make our educational facilities and teaching staffs second to none. All children deserve and must have a full and complete education.” Those words, from a November 1965 post-election editorial in the old Tradewinds publication about the need to prepare Cayman’s students for the demands of a growing offshore finance center, could just have easily been written in 2017.

Permanent residence delays ‘classic case of mismanagement’

Two Newlands independent political candidates alleged Friday that the Progressives government’s mismanagement led to delays in hearing hundreds of permanent residence applications, delays the candidates said were “playing with people’s lives.”

Election round-up: An alliance … of sorts

The Cayman Compass reported last month that a new political group, the “Cayman People’s Alliance” had been formed ahead of the May general election.

Independent candidates forming pact

Some independent candidates for the May 24 General Elections are in the process of forming a Cayman People’s Alliance. The term was made public when Arden McLean referred to it during his campaign launch in East End on Wednesday night.

More independents, more women in 2017 general election

The 2017 general election has brought out more independent candidates and more female candidates than its predecessor in 2013, according to figures reviewed by the Cayman Compass.

Record-setting Nomination Day: 63 hopefuls compete for 19 seats

A record 63 candidates will contest the Cayman Islands general election on May 24 after a frantic day of nominations across the country generated some surprises.

Crowded field facing off in Bodden Town

Cars jammed the sides of the main road from the public library to Cox Lumber as passing motorists honked their horns and shouted encouragement in the direction of two separate, competing events – announcing the political candidacies of election hopefuls Dwayne Seymour and Robert Bodden.

Lawmaker reveals origins of MLA ‘following’ claim

Further allegations were made Thursday regarding local law firms hiring a private company to follow two Cayman Islands legislators.

Police ‘not able to substantiate’ MLAs’ claim they were followed

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has not been able to substantiate claims that private investigators have been following opposition members of the Legislative Assembly.

Legislature may go until last day

Government is running out of time to consider a long list of potential laws, including the Legal Practitioners Bill, the elimination of independent FOI and complaints commissioner’s offices and the establishment of local fuel market regulations, as lawmakers face the final three weeks of their current term.

Cayman Finance defends law firms, says MLAs threaten financial sector

Cayman Finance, the primary organization representing the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands, has raised concerns that allegations from independent legislators of potentially criminal wrongdoing by the island’s law firms could do significant damage to the territory’s core industry.

EDITORIAL – ‘We are being followed’: MLAs must give evidence for bizarre claims

A small group of Cayman Islands lawmakers have broadcast allegations that local law firms have hired private investigators to follow them because of their opposition to the Legal Practitioners Bill, which is now under consideration in the Legislative Assembly.

Suckoo, Alva

Alva Suckoo is an independent candidate for Newlands.

2017 election could eclipse candidate record

Although the total number of candidates who will contest the May 24 vote probably will not be known until nomination day, March 29, it is easily possible that a new record number of political hopefuls could be set.

Opposition MLAs question boxing ticket giveaway

Complimentary tickets for Saturday’s Island Rumble – attended by Philippines boxing legend Manny Pacquiao – were being handed out Friday at the Progressives Bodden Town MLA office, according to text messages sent around last week.

Three defections leave bare bones ruling government

Although the story began to unfold in late 2015, it was not until early 2016 that the full extent of political defections from the ruling Progressives party were realized. As 2015 drew to a close, two Bodden Town MLAs, Anthony Eden and Alva Suckoo, announced they were leaving the government coalition.

No new primary school for Bodden Town

A new primary school in Bodden Town is not part of government’s immediate plans and is not needed at this stage, based on projections for likely student numbers in the near future, Education Minister Tara Rivers told legislators last week.

Government drops effort to cement political parties in Elections Bill

Facing pressure from one of its ministers, as well as from opposition politicians, the Progressives-led government on Friday appeared ready to abandon efforts to legally force the registration of groups believed to be operating as political parties before the May 2017 general election.

EDITORIAL – ‘Super ombudsman’: Complaints from the complaints committee

The en masse resignations of four lawmakers (Bernie Bush, Eugene Ebanks, Ezzard Miller and Alva Suckoo) from the Complaints Commissioner committee are important not so much from a “practical” standpoint as from a “political” one.

Same-sex marriage: In their own words

Lawmakers spent most of the day Oct. 6 debating whether the Cayman Islands should hold a public referendum on allowing same-sex marriage in the territory. The referendum motion failed by a 9-to-8 party line vote. Below are excerpts from the debate from each legislator who spoke in the debate.

New rules for nonprofits approved, despite concerns

Cayman Islands lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday that will register and regulate nonprofit organizations, in a bid to prevent such groups potentially being used as cover for illegal activities such as money laundering or terrorist financing. Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton said there were no instances reported locally in which charities were used to such an end.

Lawmakers resign in protest from ombudsman committee

Four Cayman Islands MLAs resigned Wednesday from the legislative committee that oversees the Complaints Commissioner’s Office in protest of the government’s plan to combine that office with other government watchdog entities. North Side independent MLA Ezzard Miller confirmed he had sent his resignation to the Speaker of the House on Wednesday.

Lawmakers: Mass of bills to change ‘lives of generations’

Cayman Islands lawmakers are set to review and approve an unprecedented number of bills in the Legislative Assembly meeting that begins Tuesday, some of which involve complex, long-standing issues that have been before parliament for more than a decade.

EDITORIAL – Being charitable, this bill deserves a decent burial

Bodden Town MLA Alva Suckoo said legislation proposed to regulate the country’s charitable organizations is going to be a “disaster.” Mr. Suckoo is correct.

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