Cayman parliament gains autonomy

| 22/10/2015 | 6 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly

(CNS): A government motion has passed unanimously through the Legislative Assembly that will see the separation of the country’s parliament from the executive arm of government and confers autonomy on the LA by handing its management over to the office of the Speaker and the House Clerk. Presenting the motion on Wednesday evening, the premier said the separation of powers would enhance local democracy. Explaining the long historic road to independence, Alden McLaughlin said the move created administrative autonomy for the business and budgets of the Legislative Assembly.

The premier said he had the support of the deputy governor, who currently has responsibility for the parliament, for the change, which was described as part of the ongoing development of the country’s democratic institutions. He added that all three branches of government — the executive, the judicial and the legislative — are equally important but they all have separate responsibilities and the legislative arm needed clearer delineation.

“We need to separate the legislative and executive branches by making the House entirely autonomous,” he said, before outlining the long history and efforts to try and separate the branches.

East End MLA Arden McLean presented an amendment to the motion on behalf of Ezzard Miller, which was accepted, to include a June 2016 deadline for the process to be completed.

Presenting the motion to the House, which was accepted unanimously, the premier said his administration had striven for good governance and the move was another way to live up to the commitment.

Fully supporting the move, McLean said it had been difficult to achieve the goal as people were “afraid of relinquishing the power”.

To prove the point that the executive was prepared to let go, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson offered his full support for the very important separation and promised that the civil service would not hold up the process of transition. He said that for him to have authority over the Legislative Assembly did not sit well with good governance, and the administration of the House should rest with the speaker and clerk.

Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, who said he was also in full support, talked about his experiences battling with the executive during his more than thirty years as an MLA. He also said that when he was premier during the last administration, efforts to spate the powers then were thwarted. “There were elements all around us that would not help,” he added.

The move is more than administrative. As well as giving the Legislative Assembly autonomy over how it spends its budget and utilizes resources, it gives power to the speaker to manage the business of the House, including what makes it on to the order paper and the management of the parliamentary timetable.

While government still dominates the Business Committee and will ultimately control what government business is brought and prioritised, the ruling party will not be able to pick and choose the opposition or private members’ business it wants to deal with.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (6)

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  1. Ping Pong says:

    PPM playing into Macdaddy’s hands as ever.

    Another decision they will come to regret.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Glad this was done, but somehow I don’t believe they did it on their own!! this is another mandate by you know who




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Now that that responsibility has been removed from the DG, we can rewrite and re-evaluate his job description and try to make some savings by reducing the salary.




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  4. Bob says:

    Exodus.




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