A week after he was arrested on suspicion of corruption, Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush was ousted yesterday [Dec 18] in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence filed by Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin.
Legislators from the governing party and opposition joined in voting 11-3 in favor of the motion, which effectively ended Mr Bush’s role as premier.
The Opposition needed four members of the sitting United Democratic Party [UDP] for the motion to pass, and had five UDP members vote to support the motion.
The Opposition Leader started the meeting saying: “I am deeply saddened that we have come to this point,” he said according to CayCompass.
“I cannot say how disappointed I am that the premier has brought us to this point…the reality that faced with all of this, the premier will still cling … to the Office of Premier.”
CayCompass reports that the next step is for the Governor of the Cayman Islands Duncan Taylor to either revoke McKeeva Bush’s appointment as premier or to dissolve parliament, in accordance with the constitution.
“The Cayman Islands should know Wednesday morning if it still has a UDP government with a new premier at its head or whether there will be early elections,” their report said.
The 57-year-old leader of the British overseas territory was arrested last week on suspicion of theft, alleged misuse of a Government credit card, breach of trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest.
After two days of questioning, Cayman police released him on police bail until February 2013 “to allow further investigations to take place both here and abroad in connection with the allegations made against him”.
Speaking to reporters after his arrest, Mr Bush said: “I think this is a political witch hunt, and a very vindictive one, lead by a petty and jealous Governor.”
Update 3.09pm: Cayman Governor Duncan Taylor has appointed former Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor Connolly as the new Premier. In 1997, Ms O’Connor-Connolly became the first female to serve as a Cayman Cabinet Minister, and she is the first female Premier of the Cayman Islands.
The full statement from the Governor of the Cayman Islands is below:
Following the passing in the House yesterday of the Motion of lack of confidence in the government, I consulted the Honourable Premier, as required under Section 51(1) of the Constitution.
The Premier responded in writing this morning suggesting that I dissolve the Legislative Assembly. After careful consideration and using my discretion as the Constitution entitles me to do, I have decided not to dissolve the Assembly but to revoke the appointment of the Premier.
Formal notification of my decision has now been given to him. As a consequence, all Ministers have vacated their office, as required under Section 52(2) of the Constitution.
Section 49(2) of the Constitution states: “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.”
Following representations made to me by a majority of UDP MLAs advising that they support the appointment of Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, JP, MLA as Premier of the Cayman Islands, I have this morning appointed her in this capacity. I await her advice on the appointment of Ministers.
I am satisfied that the Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly can form a stable, functioning government.I would like to congratulate the Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly on her appointment as Premier. I will issue a further statement following the appointment of Ministers.
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