Six of the seven opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) have sighed a request calling for a meeting of Parliament to debate a motion of no-confidence against the Speaker McKeeva Bush.
In a press release on Wednesday, Leader of the Official Opposition, Arden McClean, said he had written to each of the 18 MPs individually inviting them to sign the request, which requires seven members in order to be triggered.
Six opposition MPs had signed by mid-afternoon Wednesday.
They are: Mr McLean, (East End), Alva Suckoo (Newlands), Anthony Eden (Savannah), Chris Saunders (Bodden Town West), Bernie Bush (West Bay North) and Ezzard Miller(North Side).
None of the MPs on the government side - neither People's Progressive Party members nor independent pro-government MPS, have signed the request.
Also not included on the list of signatories up to publication time was Kenneth Bryan the independent MP for George Town Central, who would be the crucial seventh signatory unless one of the MPs on the government benches broke ranks.
The Official Opposition is led by Mr McLean and includes five of the seven opposition MPs, except independent MP Ezzard Millar - who has signed the request for the meeting), and the other independent opposition member Kenneth Bryan.
Meanwhile, the Official Opposition expressed its disappointment that Premier Alden McLaughlin has said the government did not intend to schedule a meeting of parliament before the May 26th election.
In the press statement, Mr McClean said, “The Official Opposition expresses its disappointment and grave concern with the announcement by the Premier that Parliament will not be sitting for the remainder of this session of Parliament, despite there being work to be conducted on behalf of the people.”
He said they believe this to be a deliberate move to avoid debating the motion of no-confidence in the Speaker.
The statement also refers to a clause in the constitution stipulating that Parliament should meet at least once per calendar year.
“The Opposition therefore is of the view that the refusal of the Premier to call a session of Parliament for this calendar year is in breach of Section 83 (2) of the Constitution,” it said.
Opposition Leader McLean said the Premier was “reckless and cavalier” and breaching the constitution “in order to facilitate his political objectives and avoid debating a motion of such magnitude and public importance as to challenge the continued tenure of the Speaker.”
He said it creates public distrust and political division. Mr McLean also stated that it was false for the Premier to suggest that the Government may fall if he calls a meeting of the Parliament and debates a Motion of No Confidence calling for the removal of the Speaker from that position.”
“This is simply false,” he stated. “To remove the Government, it would require an affirmative vote of the Parliament of no less than 13 members, the same number required to remove the Speaker.”
He calculated that even if the Speaker is removed from that post, the Government would still have a clear majority and could continue to function as normal for the remainder of this administration.
The Opposition Leader also pointed out that “to achieve 13 votes, the Official Opposition would be required to participate in those numbers.”
He declared that it is not their intention to vote to bring down the Government and that they have not sought to bring a No-Confidence Motion in that regard.
Mr McLean termed the Premier's stated concerns " baseless and intended to confuse the public so as to create some sort of excuse for not taking the right and honourable action regarding the Speaker.”
Meanwhile, with Cayman due to participate in a meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association later this month, Opposition Leader McLean felt it was “embarrassing” that the jurisdiction would be participating in the session discussing best practices of legislation and protecting women from violence across the Commonwealth.
“How can we add value to the process when one of the highest post holders on our island was recently convicted and found guilty of violence against a female and so many MPs remain silent?” he asked.
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