GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Tuesday May 30, 2017 – It’s a done deal! Tomorrow, a new 13-member government of the Cayman Islands will be installed with leader of the People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) Alden McLaughlin at the helm once again.
After several days of intense negotiations that featured three previous deals, Premier-elect McLaughlin convinced his former political rival McKeeva Bush and his teammates from the Cayman Democratic Party (CDP) Bernie Bush and Eugene Banks, as well as three independents Austin Harris, Tara Rivers and Dwayne Seymour to join forces.
Cayman Islands Governor Helen Kilpatrick confirmed McLaughlin, Bush and three other elected representatives met with her yesterday to confirm they had “sufficient support to form a Government of National Unity”.
“Accordingly, I have signed the proclamation to a call a session of the Legislative Assembly for 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, 31st May 2017 for the purposes of swearing in all newly elected and appointed members of the Legislative Assembly, voting for a premier pursuant to section 49 (3) of the Constitution of the Cayman Islands, and other attendant matters. Mr McLaughlin has indicated that he will be seeking election to the position of premier and Mr Bush to speaker of the House,” she said.
McLaughlin has indicated that another independent could join the Government in the coming days.
His PPM won seven seats in last Wednesday’s general election in which the CDP took three and nine independent candidates were elected.
However, with none taking the 10 minimum seats to form a government, several deals were being brokered over the past few days to reach agreement on who would form the new administration.
Last Friday, it was first announced that McLaughlin’s incumbent PPM had struck a deal with the CDP. But hours later, Bush announced that his party had instead decided to form a government of national unity with eight of the nine independents who won seats in the election. Joining with him and his other two successful party candidates, they were to form the new government with 11 seats in the 19-member Legislative Assembly, with Bush as Premier.
Then, news broke that the second deal was no longer on the cards and that McLaughlin would join with independents to form the new government.