Independents Capture Majority Again
By Staff Writer
There will be several new faces in the Cayman Islands Parliament following Wednesday’s general election.
A string of upsets have been recorded especially with several of the old guard of Cayman politics being pushed aside and close-calls in some constituencies.
Notably, Arden McClean (IND) who lost his long-held East End seat to Isaac Rankine (Independents Alliance/Progressives), and North Side stalwart Ezzard Miller(IND) who caved in to Jay Ebanks(IND).
McLeary Frederick was an also-ran in East End with Justin Craig and Debra Broderick also losing in North Side.
In West Bay Central, Katherine Ebanks-Wilks(IND) was declared the winner by a wide margin over longtime incumbent Capt. Eugene Ebanks(IND Alliance/Progressives).
Across in West Bay North, incumbent Bernie Bush(IND) retained his seat as did West Bay West veteran McKeeva Bush(IND) - around whom much controversy swirled on the decision by ex-premier Alden McLaughlin to call snap elections.
Mr Bush managed to hold off a strong challenge from Mario Ebanks(IND).
And in West Bay South, newcomer Andre Ebanks (IND) edged out Raul Nicolson-Coe (IND) for the seat vacated by Tara Rivers, a former minister in the Progressives-led government.
The other seat vacated by the incumbent for this election, Savannah, held for years by Anthony Eden, went to Heather Bodden (IND) over Malcolm Eden (IND) who had hoped to continue his father’s legacy of representation.
Jeanna Williams (IND) was an also-ran for Savannah.
Dwayne Seymour (IND Alliance/Progressives) held on to his Bodden Town East seat with a clear victory margin over Osbourne ‘Ossie’ Bodden(IND), as did Chris Saunders(IND) in Bodden Town West with victory over Vincent Frederick(IND), with Kenneth Bryan(IND) securing his George Town Central stronghold against a challenge from Frank Cornwall (Progressives).
Prospect chose Sabrina Turner(IND) over incumbent Austin Harris (IND Alliance/Progressives) and Michael Myles(IND).
George Town North stays with the Progressives as incumbent Joey Hew held off a challenge from Johann Moxam(IND).
Ex-premier/former Progressives leader Alden McLaughlin won his Red Bay seat after a close fight with challenger Sammy Jackson(IND).
George Town West also stays with the Progressives with David Wight holding to his seat against challengers Pearlina McGaw-Lumsden (IND), Dr Kenrick Herbert Webster (IND), and Ellio Solomon (IND).
A similar outcome was recorded in George Town East with new Progressives leader Roy McTaggart comfortably seeing off four opponents; Emily Decou (IND), Christina Hislop Rowlandson (IND), Dr. Frank Swarres McField (IND), and Richard Alexander Bernard (IND).
A close battle for George Town South between incumbent Barbara Conolly (Progressives) and Alric Lindsay (IND) saw that seat staying in the Progressives camp with a victory for Barbara Conolly.
For Newlands, Wayne Panton (IND) scored an upset over incumbent Alva Suckoo (IND Alliance/Progressives), Raul Gonzalez (IND) and Roydell Carter (IND).
The incumbents in the Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman retained their respective seats.
Moses Kirkconnell (Progressives) easily held on to his Cayman Brac West and Little Cayman seat against Maxine McCoy-Turner, while Juliana O'Connor-Connolly (Progressives) returns as the MP for Cayman Brac East defeating Elvis McKeever (IND).
“All election results for the 2021 General Election were officially in before 11.30pm on Wednesday, 14 April 2021,” the Government Information Services reported.
It said: “This election is the first time voters chose who they would like to represent them in Parliament since it changed in 2019 from the Legislative Assembly., adding that “the results saw 12 incumbents and 7 newcomers including three women win 19 seats.”
With independent candidates amassing 11 seats and the Progressives/Alliance joint campaign taking 8 seats, keen talks will commence on a coalition formation for the next government.
This will either be a coalition amongst the independent candidates - within which there were campaign ‘teams’ and expressions of solidarity by other independents - while the Progressives will need to top up their number by at least two to gain a clear majority.
The Progressives again lead the next coalition, Roy McTaggart will be the next Premier of the Cayman Islands.
In addition to a governing majority, a Speaker will need to be chosen along with a Leader of the Opposition from among the elected MPs.
Section 49 of The Cayman Islands constitution stipulates that:
(1) The Premier shall be appointed by the Governor as follows;
(2) Where a political party gains a majority of the seats of elected members of the Legislative Assembly, the Governor shall appoint as Premier the elected member of the Assembly recommended by a majority of the elected members who are members of that party.
(3) If no political party gains such a majority or if no recommendation is made under subsection (2), the Speaker shall cause a ballot to be held among the elected members of the Legislative Assembly to determine which elected member commands the support of the majority of such members, and shall record the vote of each member voting; and, where such a ballot is held, the Governor shall appoint as Premier the elected member who obtains a majority of the votes of the elected members.
The Leader of the Opposition is appointed under 68 of the Constitution.
(1) There shall be a Leader of the Opposition who shall be appointed by the Governor.
(2) The Governor shall appoint as the Leader of the Opposition—
(a) the elected member of the Legislative Assembly recommended by a majority of the elected members of the Assembly who are members of any opposition political party whose numerical strength in the Assembly is greater than that of any other opposition political party;
(b) if it appears to the Governor that there is no such party but that there is an elected member of the Assembly who would be acceptable as Leader of the Opposition to a majority of the members of the Assembly in opposition to the Government, that member; or
(c) if it appears to the Governor that there is no such person, then the Governor shall appoint as Leader of the Opposition that person who in his or her opinion would be acceptable to the greatest number of members of the Assembly in opposition to the Government.
(3) If at any time between the polling in a general election and the next following dissolution of the Legislative Assembly the Governor is satisfied that, if the office of the Leader of the Opposition were then vacant, he or she would appoint to that office a person other than the person then holding it, the Governor shall revoke the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition