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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.

New gov’t to inherit lawyers bill woes

The Cayman Islands government has, once again, dropped plans to rewrite the law governing legal practitioners in the territory after repeated attempts to negotiate a compromise failed.

MLA Connolly bows out of election

George Town MLA Winston Connolly ended months of speculation Monday afternoon announcing that he would not seek re-election this year.

MLA: ‘Commission of inquiry’ needed for lawyers’ concerns

George Town MLA Winston Connolly asked Monday for a full commission of inquiry into allegations made by a number of Caymanian attorneys concerning the lack of enforcement of local Immigration Law and “discrimination” within the legal profession.

Minister: Cayman cannot ‘dictate’ global finance rules

There is no significant evidence of Cayman-established law firms moving large numbers of staff overseas to the detriment of their local operations, Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton said Wednesday during a LA debate on the controversial Legal Practitioners Bill.

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.

The recent Private Member’s Motion by Mr. Arden McLean and Mr. Winston Connolly

We would argue that it would be much more constructive and beneficial for the jurisdiction for the parties involved to focus on producing a legal practitioners law that addresses all of those objectives in a balanced way than it would be for them to focus on debating and dealing with the Private Member’s Motion.

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 – Cayman Finance: A loud and clear message to Arden and Winston

A pair of elected legislators – George Town MLA Winston Connolly and East End MLA Arden McLean – have publicly accused the Cayman Islands’ largest law firms of criminality and conspiracy, and called for the prosecution of the partners of those firms.

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.

EDITORIAL – The reckless rhetoric of Arden and Winston’s private members’ motion

Clad in the mantle of protectionism of Caymanians, the private members’ motion by MLAs Arden McLean and Winston Connolly accuses our country’s largest law firms of conspiracy and criminality. It is a broadside assault on the financial services sector, economy and community of the Cayman Islands.

MLAs urge prosecution of partners of Cayman’s major law firms

Unnamed Cayman Islands law firms are accused of “intentionally ignoring and deliberately circumventing” both the Legal Practitioners Law and Immigration Law, in a private members’ motion filed with the Legislative Assembly.

Political coalitions forming ahead of May 2017 election

At least four, and potentially five political coalitions or political parties are readying to contest the Cayman Islands general election on May 24. Both major political parties, the Progressives and the Cayman Democratic Party, intend to field a slate of candidates.

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.

These are the most-read stories on CaymanCompass.com in 2016

A new Cayman Compass website debuted in January 2016. Here is a list of the most popular stories, measured by total page views, from the past year.

EDITORIAL — Year in review

Today we are featuring excerpts from some of the most interesting, compelling and entertaining editorials that have appeared in the Cayman Compass in 2016, on some of the most important issues facing our country.

‘Not enough is being done’: Burned dog prompts call for action

The charred carcass of a dog found dumped on a construction site in Prospect has prompted new concern about the level of animal abuse in the Cayman Islands and calls for the Department of Agriculture to do more to enforce the law on animal cruelty.

Premier hopes to pass lawyers bill in final legislative meeting

The Progressives-led government will try again to pass an updated Legal Practitioners Bill in what is likely to be the government’s final Legislative Assembly meeting of its current term, Premier Alden McLaughlin confirmed last week.

Cayman’s cure for criminal recidivism

The Cayman Compass published a discussion between Premier Alden McLaughlin and George Town MLA Winston Connolly on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in which topics including the Cayman Islands Prison System, Work Placement Scheme, reoffending rate and Prison Service Vocational Training Program were covered. I feel my observations and experience on these topics may shed a unique light on the subjects, as I have been incarcerated at HMP Northward for the last 16 months.

Woman denies planning GT salon robbery

Defendant Christine Rae-Smith told the court on Monday that she did not help plan the armed robbery of a George Town beauty salon last year, saying instead she was one of the victims.

Connolly: Why I do not send my children to public school

Former education councilor Winston Connolly has acknowledged he does not send his own children to government schools because he does not believe standards are high enough. Mr. Connolly called for the “desegregation of schools” and the opening of new charter schools.

EDITORIAL – ‘Taking attendance’ at Cayman’s public schools

Winston Connolly has done it again. The George Town lawmaker’s “Diogenes” gene has re-activated — meaning that Mr. Connolly has gone and said something amazingly honest, with no regard to the political consequences. We admire and applaud him for that.

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.

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.

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.

Independent LA members to host district meetings

The five independent members of the Legislative Assembly will begin hosting a series oftown hall-style meetings this week aimed at bringing voters up to speed on a number of issues parliament will consider when it meets next month.

MLA takes stand in Catron trial

MLA Winston Connolly was among four witnesses who gave evidence Monday in the trial of Sandra Catron, charged with eight counts of uttering a false document.

Premier ‘disappointed’ in government leavers

Warning independent Cayman Islands lawmakers not to take local voters “for fools,” Premier Alden McLaughlin directed verbal barbs Friday at two Legislative Assembly members who left his government backbench in late 2015 and early 2016.

Connolly critiques former gov’t colleagues

Former government backbencher Winston Connolly was among the most vocal critics of the Progressive administration’s final budget, calling out his former colleagues for attempting to claim credit for economic successes which were not their own.

New energy policy in the works

Renewable energy advocates have applauded the government for making a commitment to clean power and called on lawmakers to turn those words into action.

Gov’t considers new steps to attract reinsurance industry

Members of the Legislative Assembly have voted in favor of a private members’ motion to consider giving incentives to reinsurance and hedge fund management businesses and their senior executives.

Connolly: Cayman could go 100 percent renewable

Independent legislator Winston Connolly is calling on government to establish a national energy policy that sets a target of 100 percent renewables by 2035.

Ex-MLA employee unfairly dismissed, Labour Tribunal finds

A former office worker for two George Town MLAs won a $2,632 award earlier this month for unfair dismissal from her job, according to documents obtained from Cayman’s Labour Tribunal.

Auditors’ concerns remain about NRA deal

The Cayman Islands government may still be acting “without proper authority” during the renegotiation process for a major land development agreement, officials with the Auditor General’s Office said last week.

Early election up to governor/premier

Although Premier Alden McLaughlin has not officially called for early elections, the Cayman Islands governor’s office has confirmed that it will give “great weight” to such a request if the premier resolves to take such a step.

Bush: Government has to operate

The formation of a coalition among Cayman’s disparate political opposition groups seems a remote possibility at this stage, Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush said this week.

Government caught off guard by MLA’s departure

The ruling Progressives government coalition has been left with a bare majority of nine MLAs on its side of the Legislative Assembly, not counting...

MLA Connolly leaves Progressives caucus, says he’s ‘not a politician’

George Town MLA Winston Connolly announced late Monday that he will no longer be a member of the Progressives political party caucus and is...

Constitutional Commission: 9-member government bench possible

Cayman's Constitutional Commission weighs in on the Legislative Assembly numbers debate.

A month-by-month roundup of Cayman’s 2015 news stories

Top stories of 2015 in the Cayman Islands

Alva Suckoo resigns from PPM

Bodden Town representative Alva Suckoo resigned from the ruling Progressives party Wednesday, saying he believed the country’s Christian foundations were “under attack”.

MLA McTaggart joins Progressives

George Town MLA Roy McTaggart removed the “independent” from his title Tuesday, joining the Progressives political party and announcing that he would campaign with the Progressives for re-election in 2017.

MLAs: Cayman should 'take note' of global warming

Three Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly members brushed up on sustainable energy initiatives during a trip earlier this month to Trinidad.

Christmas wishes: Keep it kind, Cayman Islands

Our elected statesmen would do well to draw inspiration from the sounds of Christmas, and utilize the feelings of goodwill and politeness to temper their political discourse.

Handouts to voters: Charity or vote buying?

When it comes to standing up in the Legislative Assembly against the practice of “vote buying,” George Town MLA Winston Connolly stands alone.

At the Compass, we don't practice 'gotcha' journalism

It is never our intent to misrepresent the statements or positions of the people we cover. We don't engage in, and won't stand for, "gotcha" journalism.

Connolly cannot get backing for ban on handouts

Independent legislator Winston Connolly has voiced his disappointment at the failure of his colleagues to support his calls for an end to the practice of politicians giving handouts to constituents.

Eden's Progressives departure sets off political uproar

The departure of long-serving Bodden Town MLA Anthony Eden from the Progressives-led government last week sparked a behind-the-scenes political scramble and was viewed by some Cayman politics insiders as a potential foreshadowing of others leaving the Progressives party. Mr. Eden said he would sit on the other side of the Legislative Assembly when the House next meets in the new year.

Age proves no barrier for young Bodden Town community activist

A young girl’s concern for her community is turning heads and causing a stir.

Premier McLaughlin stands up against populist pandering

We applaud Premier Alden McLaughlin for his response to intemperate, irresponsible and divisive remarks made by his elected colleagues.

Premier condemns anti-business rhetoric

Premier Alden McLaughlin admonished legislators for anti-business, anti-expat rhetoric that he warned risked hurting the island’s economy. The premier supported an amended version of a private members’ motion from backbencher Winston Connolly, who called for changes to business licensing laws to encourage training, development and ownership opportunities for Caymanians.

Call for greater ownership opportunity for Caymanians

Caymanians are being prevented from getting to the top in the best paying professions in the country, MLA Winston Connolly claimed as he proposed changes to legislation governing business in the territory.

'Fundamental change' for Cayman politics

Not all lawmakers support 'one man, one vote,' but all agree it will profoundly change Cayman Islands politics.

Premier questions election 'checks and balances' proposal

A legislative motion that advocates the enactment of term limits and seeks to outlaw “vote buying” in the Cayman Islands may not see the light of day following government’s approval of sweeping voting changes ahead of the May 2017 general election.

Bush: Public Accounts Committee removal motion ‘hypocrisy’

Replacing the opposition leader on Cayman’s Public Accounts Committee and leaving what he termed a “junior minister” on the committee amounted to government hypocrisy, West Bay MLA McKeeva Bush said last week.

Legislators approve ‘one man, one vote’ for 2017

Cayman Islands lawmakers have approved a long-debated change to ‘one man, one vote’ for the British territory’s next general election cycle.

Divided house boots Mac from PAC

A majority of government and independent Legislative Assembly members voted late Thursday in favor of a government motion to remove Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush from his position as a member of the assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.

McKeeva Bush: Government ‘undermining’ Public Accounts Committee

The Progressives-led government is making a “direct attempt” to undermine the functions of the Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, weakening good governance standards in the Cayman Islands, Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush said Tuesday.

Government seeks to force Bush out of Public Accounts

An effort to remove Cayman Islands Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush from the Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee is under way.

Lawmaker wants 'non-legal' distinction between 'Caymanians'

A lawmaker wants a non-legal distinction between 'Caymanians' when it comes to hiring lawyers.

Law Society on 'Caymanian hiring'

The local attorneys association responds to MLA Winston Connolly's call for law firms to commit to hiring Caymanian lawyers.

Heroes for Hannah: Cayman is full of them

Three cheers for everyone who pitched in to support childhood cancer research at the Heroes for Hannah event last Friday. Heck, make that 320,000 cheers.

Gift of dictionaries from Rotary Sunrise boosts junior literacy

Students in government primary schools got a boost on Literacy Day last week when the Rotary Sunrise Club donated almost 700 illustrated dictionaries to all Year Five students.

'Heroes' raise nearly $300K for child cancer research

Almost 100 people made the bold choice to go bald on Friday night at the third annual Heroes for Hannah shave event in support of childhood cancer research.

MLA: Lawyers law must address Caymanian hiring

The Legal Practitioners Bill must promote Caymanian hiring at law firms, a George Town lawmaker says.

More than 100 ready to shave heads for Hannah

More than 100 people have signed up to have their heads shaved at the third annual Heroes for Hannah shave event to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Students explore medical field at Health City camp

Nineteen students between the ages of 12 and 14 took part in Healthcare Explorers Day Camp, hosted last month by Health City Cayman Islands.

Marriage debate was 'hate speech,' rights commission says

The Human Rights Commission accused certain MLAs of using their elected positions to espouse “poisonous hate speech and threats of violence” against homosexual men and women.

Audit slams Nation Building expenses

A report by Cayman's auditor general is highly critical of the former Nation Building Fund, but the country's former premier defends the program.

MLAs' secretary arrested in home invasion case

The secretary for two George Town MLAs and a man were arrested last week in connection with a June 26 home invasion and robbery in which a baby sitter and a 5-year-old girl were held at gunpoint, while a boy, 9, hid in his bedroom closet.

Most MLAs not ready to take sides

The members of the Legislative Assembly are not yet revealing where they stand on the issue of whether a cruise berthing facility should be built in George Town Harbour.

This week