September 24, 2022

Message from The Cayman Islands elected Independents

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Monday, 29 May 2017

We the duly elected Independent candidates wish to set the record straight. Following the General Elections held on the 24th of May 2017, the voters returned 9 Independent members, 7 People Progressives Movement (PPM), and 3 Cayman Democratic Party (CDP) members. From the onset, it was clear that Tara Rivers was with the PPM, giving both sides 8 members of the Legislative Assembly with Mr. Bush’s CDP deciding the government.

The 8 remaining Independent members met with the Leader of the CDP on Thursday the 25th May 2017 and offered 1 Cabinet Seat for Mr. Bernie Bush, Speaker for Mr. Mckeeva Bush and One Councillor position for Captain Eugene Ebanks. This offer was rejected by Mr. Mckeeva Bush.

Late Friday evening, we were informed that Mr. Mckeeva Bush chose to accept a lesser offer made by the PPM of Speaker for Mr. Mckeeva Bush and 2 councillor positions. On Friday night, based on negative feedback received from many constituents, we met with Mr. Mckeeva Bush and offered him the position of Premier, 1 Cabinet seat for Bernie Bush, and 1 councillor position for Captain Eugene Ebanks. This offer was accepted.

During the course of finalizing the deal, concerns were raised over the outstanding lawsuits that Mr. Mckeeva Bush was involved with and some members believed that it was important to have those questions answered before moving forward with Mr. Mckeeva Bush as Premier. Members felt it would be an uncomfortable situation for any government to start and that there were more questions than answers. It was decided by some members that this was not in the best interest of the country and chose not to proceed with offering Mr. Mckeeva Bush the Premiership.

On Saturday 27th May, 2017 the Independents offered the PPM, Deputy Premier, 2 Ministers and Speaker. Their negotiating team of Ms. Juliana O’Connor Connolly and Mr. Moses Kirkconnell agreed that Mr. McLaughlin’s ability to lead was untenable following the election results where 3 of 5 PPM Cabinet members on the ballot lost their seats. They believe that the election results were a rejection of the PPM leadership. They agreed to take the proposal to the PPM but no response was received. Instead, they chose to meet with several Independent members separately as they also agreed it was not in the country’s best interest to form a government with Mr. Bush who could not be trusted following his reversal of position from the previous night. Only Mr. Austin Harris chose to break ranks and join the PPM coalition.

On Monday 29th May, 2017 the 7 Independents decided to remain together as they believe that it represented the will of the people. After much deliberations, it was agreed that the country would best be served with Mr. Eden as Premier. The position of Deputy Premier was offered to Mr. McKeeva Bush, 1 cabinet post for Mr. Bernie Bush, and a councillor position for Captain Eugene Ebanks. Mr. Mckeeva Bush rejected this offer and opted to take the Speaker’s chair with no cabinet position for any CDP member.

The Independent members wish to assure the public that we made ever best effort to form a government that reflected the will of the people. It is clear now that neither the PPM nor the CDP negotiated in good faith and the questions surrounding the outstanding lawsuits remain unanswered. Further details of the five days of negotiation will be revealed later in the appropriate arena.

The remaining Independents will therefore form her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and look for the answers as to why Mr. Mckeeva Bush would accept a lesser offer that was clearly not in the best interest of the Cayman Islands, the people of West Bay, or his party. We will provide the necessary checks and balances in our democratic system while representing the people of the Cayman Islands.

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