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Front Pages 16 Dec, 2021 Follow News


With the budget done and dusted, the borders finally reopened to international travel, cruises under consideration, Delta on the wane and Omicron still at bay, one might think the real pressure is now off the PACT government.

In fact, it might just have started.

As contradictory as that may sound, Cayman’s current amalgam of independents under the banner of People-driven, Accountable, Competent and Transparent (PACT) have no alternative but to live up to the promises of their campaign, the governing pact they signed, and deliver on its principles.

The road ahead is not smooth, and the task is huge, but for a government comprised mostly of ministers in their first Cabinet positions - the exceptions being Premier Wayne Panton (second time as minister, first time as leader) and Hon Julianna O’Connor Connolly - they can say with some degree of confidence that they’ve passed the first hurdle.

The emphasis here is on 'passed' rather than simply having 'survived'.

PACT came into power with hardly any governing experience and immediately faced with a plethora of challenges that fate threw on their path...notwithstanding the fact that they had campaigned vigorously for the job.

Taking over power at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, plus having to deal with Cayman’s first COVID outbreak and its consequences of throwing their border reopening plans off-schedule, has been a steep learning curve.

The conventional wisdom suggests that in such unusual and testing circumstances, if Team PACT hasn’t imploded under the pressures of the past eight months, they have no reason to flounder now.

Nor is it time to rest on any laurels they might have accrued.

To be fair, they have earned a few laurels in steering the good ship Cayman through the most recent COVID-induced crisis and kept it on a good administrative heading while still scoring another key political goal.

Getting former Progressives-Alliance minister Dwayne Seymour (IND) to defect from the Opposition - bringing his experience in government into play across three PACT ministries - is a noteworthy achievement.

That feat is made even more telling as he is the second stalwart from the former government to be successfully enticed by the PACT - along with two hitherto Progressive’s hopefuls (or might that have been three?).

Reinforcing their parliamentary majority with successful raids on the Progressives camp have been shrewd and astute political moves.

Team PACT now has no reason not to deliver.

Omicron notwithstanding, the road ahead for Cayman looks encouraging, though the path for the jurisdiction and the government might yet be strewn with challenges.

This calls for a display of management dexterity on the same level of the political strategy deployed to good outcomes.

In that respect, one of PACT’s biggest challenges might lie in its most prolifically stated and laudable policies, prioritising Caymanians in the job market.

The road ahead may be rough, but we believe that the Pact Government has a chance to last the entire four-year term.

However, this goal will only be achieved with effective communication and heeding the messages and recommendations from the experienced, educated, and wise citizens of these islands.

The way we see it, PACT is on track...and is ‘intact’ (to quote Premier Panton).

It just has to ‘mind the gaps’, keep the train on the tracks and their hands on the rails.

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