SPEAKER SPEAKS OUT!
By Staff Writer
Speaker of the Cayman Islands Parliament, McKeeva Bush, has responded with a scathing rebuttal and counter-move to a no-confidence motion against him.
In a statement, Speaker McKeeva Bush said he had filed his own motion in response to a move to have him evicted from the Speaker’s chair.
A no-confidence motion had been submitted by Leader of the Opposition Arden McClean and seconded by MP for North Side, Ezzard Miller citing the Speaker’s recent conviction on assault charges.
In his own motion, seconded by Captain Eugene Ebanks, the MP for West Bay Central, Mr Bush also raises concerning issues of standards in public life in Cayman politics and challenges other MPs on their "moral and ethical" stance against him.
It also addresses the wider issue of the process of the resignation of Members of Parliament.
MATTERS OF MOTIONS, EMOTIONS AND MORALS
Further weighing into the swirling political maelstrom around him, he said he would have held the meeting of the parliament to debate the no-confidence motion against him.
Mr. Bush declared that: “If I had the chance to debate that then we would have seen where members would have voted.”
He also claimed that the Opposition motion calling for the meeting was procedurally flawed.
“If Arden and Ezzard had got seven members to sign days before the new date of dissolution, and the letter of request would have reached my desk (it didn’t and I didn’t get it), I would have set the date for the meeting and given the Deputy the chair,” he outlined.
And Mr Bush said he had submitted his own motion before the Opposition had handed in theirs.
“I gave the Clerk notice of before the Opposition motion was sent to me!”
“But I must say that seven members (is) not such a magic number,” the Speaker said.
According to Mr. Bush, “As our constitution sets the (quorum) of the House at 10…the House can’t meet without 10 members. Not 7 members, 10 members. So, in the course of all that then democracy would take its course. Either they would get 13 members to vote against me or not! That’s democracy as we have it in our constitution.”
When they submitted their no-confidence motion against the Speaker last month, Opposition Leader McLean and MP for North Side, Ezzard Miller, had based their submission on his recent conviction on assault charges.
Last December Mr. Bush was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for assault arising from an altercation in February involving a female bar manager. The sentence was suspended for two years. He was also placed on a two-month 6pm to 6am curfew and was fined US$700 for disorderly conduct.
In his statement on Friday, the embattled Speaker vigorously defended his character:
“I’m no woman-beater,” he asserted adamantly.
Referring to the incident which led to his conviction, he insisted that he received injuries and was not the aggressor.
“I was not the aggressor and I’m no woman beater!” Mr. Bush maintains.
Mr. Bush also claimed that key parts of the video evidence in his defence were withheld during his trial.
He further stated, “So now Arden McLean and Ezzard (Miller) of all people both of whom who have no moral or ethical high ground to challenge me, are using this incident against me to bolster their election chances. But the people know of them as well as they know me.”
He said, “I know this, that I have been taken to court”.
“For me it’s over. It’s over and I have lots of work to continue to do for my people as I have done over the years,” Mr. Bush added, listing his contributions to the society and his political achievements throughout his long career.
Mr. Bush will be contesting the upcoming elections defending his West Bay West stronghold.
Politics in Cayman at present is centred on the April 14th snap elections called by Premier Alden McLaughlin this week with the situation of Speaker Bush at the heart of the matter.
It pivots on the no-confidence motion against him, and the processes surrounding having enough members endorsing it to trigger a meeting of the parliament - which the government was reluctant to accommodate.
But in an abrupt change of mind this week, Premier Alden McLaughlin brought forward the election date from May 27th to April 14th which has sent Cayman Islands politics into a tailspin.
The Premier’s move is supported by Speaker Bush who will be defending his long-held West Bay West seat.
“The Premier and the Governor acted in a manner that is the right thing to do for the country,” he stated.
“No one is disenfranchised from running as a candidate as they’ve all been out all over the place from mid last year and some for years campaigning…Now to hear them crying is such hypocrisy as only some of them can be.!!!”
He also said that the Voters List is up to date.
“Let those who wish to criticize do so. We are a free country. The majority in a democracy is what matters,” he declared.
The long-standing West Bay West representative said he will be campaigning to retain his seat on his record of achievements.
“I have lots of work to continue to do for my people as I have done over the years, he said in the statement.
Look at my accomplishments for individuals and families in these islands and the vast majority of people will say so because it’s a fact. I have been in the vanguard for the people over these 36 years.”
According to Mr Bush, “Consider what would have happened to our people in this lockdown situation if I hadn’t fought years ago to put in place some kind of pension in place for the working man?”
In full campaigning mode, Mr Bush said, “My only aim and objective is to continue to help my Caymanian people - all of them including all nationalities legally here., while I concentrate more heavily to stabilize our families, jobs for our people, and stabilise businesses knocked for six because of the virus.”
He reminded that he “fought to keep taxation and property tax out when Minister Bryant wanted to push me to do so,” adding that, “I wonder where the Cayman Islands would have been today paying taxes on incomes and your house, land and on your grocery or other purchases.”
To protect our people I stood up to them and told them “I left my pen home.”
The West Bay West MP who said he will shortly be publishing his manifesto, concluded with a jab at his detractors.
“Those trying to make me the scapegoat in this election and using the incident to try to build up their political support, should tell the people what they did for them rather than to do nothing but “yap yap” all day long,” Mr Bush said.