LA has no say on election date, says DG

| 19/02/2016 | 18 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly

(CNS): Members of the Legislative Assembly do not have any say in decisions regarding early general elections, according to the letter from Franz Manderson, writing as acting governor, to the five independent MLAs, in which he also assured them that the next elections would be conducted in single member constituencies with each person having just one vote. In the letter sent on 5 February, he explained that early elections can only be called by the governor after consultation with the premier.

Manderson noted that, while elections are to be held every four years, the constitution does provide for an early dissolution of parliament. The governor can end the parliament and call for an election based on a request from the premier. However, it is ultimately her decision and she is not required to consult the members of the Legislative Assembly, Manderson wrote.

The independent MLAs had claimed that consultation with all MLAs was required when they wrote to Governor Helen Kilpatrick to clarify the situation after Premier Alden McLaughlin had warned that Cayman could go to the polls much sooner than anticipated as a result of the desertions from the government.

Manderson made it clear the only person the governor is required to discuss early elections with is the premier.

Arden Mclean, Ezzard Miller, Anthony Eden, Alva Suckoo and Winston Connolly had expressed their concerns about the premier’s threat, especially as he had indicated that an early poll would not leave time to implement the changes to the election law provided for in the new district boundaries order. He said that if he was forced to call an early general election, it would be under the old multi-member system in the six districts as the Elections Office had said it needed 12 months to prepare the new election landscape.

They were also of the view that neither the premier nor the governor could not simply call an election without first finding out if a new administration could be formed under different leadership if the premier no longer commanded a majority.

Despite the warnings from the premier about how difficult it may be for his government to continue on until the eve of Nomination Day, when parliament is usually prorogued, Manderson confirmed that McLaughlin has not made any request to the governor about an early ballot.

McLaughlin has recently lost three members of his government, which cut his majority to just two, with only one of this on the floor of the Chamber. Occupying the speaker’s chair, PPM member Juliana O’Connor-Connolly only has a casting vote should a deadlock occur on the floor of the LA.

Eden jumps from PPM ship

Suckoo jumps from PPM ship

Connolly leaves PPM government


Education Minister Tara Rivers, who ran as a C4C candidate and has not joined the ruling PPM, is now the only non-party member on the government benches after her one time C4C colleague, Roy McTaggart, made the decision at the end of last year to throw his lot in with the Progressives and join the party.

While her loyalty to the government may not be assured, as a Cabinet member she has promised to deliver on the major issues relating to education and employment and is therefore unlikely to cross the floor before she has steered through the major legislative changes she has promised the electorate.

Letter from Acting Governor to MLAs re early elections, 5 Feb 2016

Letter to Kilpatrick from Independent MLAs re early elections, 29 Jan 2016

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (18)

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  1. well says:

    At Least the 5 Independents are not like the rest of Aldens Govt sitting quietly nodding their heads up and down….So far we have 5 who seem to want to do something besides rubber neck and rubber stamp.

  2. Kommanda Worf says:

    When will these fools realize? We do not any more politics. We want no more laws. Please leave us TF alone. We are not hurting anyone.

  3. Sharkey says:

    Batman are you implying the ppm party is the Cayman Islands Government ? NO NO they are not . I think that the acting Governor has spoken like Mr Bodden , DRIFTWOOD. This is democracy at it’s worst , maybe at the ppm party standards it’s the best .

  4. anonymous says:

    Una stupid to even vote for Alden!

  5. Sharkey says:

    Correction , MM , not BB.

    • Batman says:

      I don’t think the premier was qrong to raise this matter. The Government must govern and the day the premier forms the view that he cannot govern then we must have elections.

      We must remember that the Premier now has a very slim majority and all it takes is for one member of the government bench to vote against the government and we have a huge problem.

      I thank the acting Governor for responding in such a clear manner.

      This is democracy at its best.

      • Anonymous says:

        So Batman that means that the PPM must stick together and show up at all meetings. The alternative is to dissolve the group and call early elections. The problem is that early elections are seen by many as a sign of instability, which the Governor should not support. And PS OMOV is not ready so if early elections are called the deputy governor would have to step back from his comments.

  6. Sharkey says:

    This is really disgraceful that politicians would make legislation and after voted on and turned in law , they have no more say or can do anything about it. Who was it that brought this motion to LA ? That man / woman should be reminded of that piece of legislation ever day.
    I wonder how many other laws are made that way.
    BB I agree with your comment, if you are not running in the next election you should be, or you should be helping everyone in the Cayman Islands understand what voting is all about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, ‘all’ legislation is like that. The LA can’t just change it on a whim. They have to go through due process. Same with the Constitution. If they ‘all’ want to change it they bring a motion that it is a ‘minor’ change, support it unanimously, and then it gets assented to like normal. … What’s that you say? Such a change wouldn’t be minor nor would they all agree? Well, still no different than any other piece of legislation then. (Just a longer process, since its the constitution is more important than a normal law.)

  7. Anonymous says:

    #You see..NO to Lifetime Political Pensions after 1 term!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Alden, the Acting Governor has caused you another embarrassment again. This started before you was even sworn in as Premier. He makes you know what time of the day it is.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Premier himself started this up. He got on TV and talked about the possibility of calling elections before the specified time next year. He is always trying to get one step ahead and tripping himself up.

  10. MM says:

    Here again, a prime example of the people placed to moderate and amend legislation not even understanding the legislation themselves! The Caymanian people need to stop voting in their friends and family members and actually listen to the substance of the speeches during election time and truly weigh whether the candidates promises, thoughts and platforms are even achievable.

    As I commonly express – the party-politic system is a croonie system and cannot be trusted in any way. Having a Government that is manned by buddies will always be problematic for any society, but our people have no knowledge of politics, politricks or how our LA system is even run!

    I speak to so many of my people who cast their vote term after term and barely understand what they are doing! The do not know the names of the Ministries, what those Ministries do, have never read a government budget, have no care for the local law, cannot name the Attorney general and cannot even explain the precise duties of their own LA, the members thereof or how the laws of this country are made and how the people of this country can utilize the said laws to protect themselves – ignorance is bliss!

    We have lived generation after generation putting an “X” by our friend, mama, cousin, uncle name because Aunty Jonella said that “he is a good and honest, church-going, family man” – there are many good and honest men, but can they run a country?

    Here we have 5 LA members who did not even take the time to check the law that governs their LA tenure in order to first ascertain their thought before going public and humiliating themselves and the people who voted for them by showing obvious ignorance to their very own job post and duties!

    It is obvious our people do not take the time to do the research required to make informed decisions on anything much less who should run the country! Most of our people do not even have a clear picture of what this island’s problems are much less the solutions for them and that can easily make them ‘victims’ to unjust political campaign bribes, and let them sign away their voters rights to the candidate who their friend is voting for, who their mother told them to vote for or the one they went to school with!

    This island is more than able to sustain everybody living on in with even a few more, opportunities can be created for everyone to benefit from, we as a Caymanian people must simply prepare ourselves to accept those opportunities and stop wasting time pointing fingers. Days gone by our people made a way for themselves, even children went out to find work for pocket money! I remember sweeping my aunts yard for $2 when I had to travel for a school field trip and had no pocket money! Now even our 5 years olds feel so entitled that not even $10 can appease them!

    We have developed a sense of entitlement instead of hard work, we have created enemies for ourselves by raising propaganda against the wrong parties. If we should be trying to clean anything out of this country it should be politicians who sit back as we throw stones at the expats while they are making deals and signing away this country’s money to duty concessions for billionaire investors!

    As we Caymanians unite against the expat force, we forget that the ones who own the companies that hire them are Caymanian owned, the companies holding the most work permits are the “Caymanian, family-owned businesses”… the ones on the work permit board are Caymanian, the ones signing the permit approvals are also Caymanians…. the expats come here to make a better life for themselves too, and when your life and your family are in mind and an opportunity arises, we all would grab at it!!!

    If you were an expat would you turn down a job offer in this country because you knew a Caymanian that could have it???

    It is the job of our elected officials, NWDA and immigration department to enforce the regulations that protect our people from being pushed out of the job market – we are all blaming the wrong ones while the real ones kick back on leather seats collecting salaries WE pay them and being happy that we are not firing our shots at them!!!

    Instead of fighting through the crowd and proving ourselves worthy, we stand on the mountain top screaming blasphemy and waiting on someone to throw us a slice of bread! The world is a cruel place and the best thing to do is stop wasting time and start preparing to deal with it! Instead of spending time on the car drive home with your children cursing expats spend time discussing philosophy and life lessons so that they can be that exceptional Caymanian that climbs the ranks of an international firm or builds a successful business!

    • Anonymous says:

      MM, the members who wrote to the governor were well aware that they had no say in when the election was called, that is why they wrote to her. The members did what they knew they could do when they voted in favour of OMOV which was passed in the LA. The Premier was the one who came out threatening to change the rules when he talked about early elections and that it would be under the multiple vote system and not OMOV. “I think the group of five” have shown much restraint because since you are so smart you should realise that they have an alternate , which others of lesser values would not hesitate to take. Sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs lay. Perhaps you should be writing about why the Premier has not convene a session of the LA so far this year and it is already almost March.

    • Anonymous says:

      You had me right up until you suggested all employers are Caymanian owned. You plainly have no idea how rife fronting is.

      • MM says:

        Still takes a Caymanian to get the “front” going… it also took Caymanians to create the “Local Companies Control License” that non-nationals and foreign companies can use in lieu of Caymanian partnership …

        So either way we check it… the work-permit holder versus Caymanian for the job has been an issue created by Caymanians themselves…. and it is very simply alleviated, though it takes strategy, patience and time… talents our MLA’s do not possess

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you acting Governor- crystal clear!

    • An Old Caymanian says:

      The most sensible and accurate comment in the Cayman News Service I have ever seen! The eighth paragraph tells it like it really is!!!

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