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Editorial: A Tough week for Government

Opinions & Editorial 10 Feb, 2021 Follow News

Editorial: A Tough week for Government

In the ebb and flow of the political tides, last week was a good week for the People’s Progressive Party-led Unity coalition government.

After riding a wave of appreciation over a plenitude of announcements packaged in a safety net of support for businesses and individuals, there was little in the forecast to suggest serious headwinds ahead.

But politics, like cricket, has its moments of 'glorious uncertainties'.

After a series of setbacks this week, not many people were quite prepared for the political riptide that has swept aside a series of events that had dulled the glow of the People’s Progressive Movement-led ruling coalition over the past days.

When Premier Alden McLaughlin called the polls early on Wednesday afternoon that sent shockwaves throughout not just the political community but the community of voters as well.

The government was already on the backfoot from a series of setbacks.

A Grand Court judgement had rocked the government over what the court ruled was an illegal raid in 2019 on Doctors Express to stop the sale of medical cannabis vapes - which they were licenced to sell.

They government also found itself on the wrong side of the Ombudsman who ordering the release of key documents in the discarded Smith Barcadere Development Project.

Then came the decision to again close the recently re-opened Cayman Craft Market which has also not gone down well.

All told a series of developments that have wiped some of the sheen off the government’s shine this past week.

That was before the opposition in Parliament, which a few weeks ago seemed on the verge of further fragmentation, found common cause in requesting a meeting of Parliament to move a motion of no-confidence against Speaker McKeeva Bush.

Mr Bush was found guilty last year and received a suspended sentence for assault on a woman.

Premier Alden McLaughlin’s reluctance and then refusal to call a meeting of the Parliament at which the motion would have been debated became a political sorepoint.

With the Opposition on Wednesday arguing that the government was constitutionally bound to hold a meeting of the current Parliament at least once a calendar year, it was hard to see how the government would have navigated its way out of what had become a political cul de sac.

Seven MPs were required to sign the request for the meeting.

By Wednesday, they were just one short - with indications that a seventh, George Town Central MP, Kenneth Bryan likely to come on on board under specific conditions.

Premier McLaughlin had been daring the Official Opposition Leader to find the requisite support at a time when the opposition seemed to be moving further apart.

Just a few hours later, Premier McLaughlin dropped the early election political bombshell. Strategically?

The 2021 election campaign just went into overdrive.

As former British prime minister Harold Wilson said: “A week is a long time in politics”.

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