‘John-John’ to get seat at Cabinet table

| 30/05/2017 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dwayne Seymour

(CNS): Dwayne “John-John” Seymour has joined the PPM-led coalition government and has been offered a Cabinet post, PPM Leader Alden McLaughlin has confirmed. Seymour held a town hall meeting in Bodden Town Monday night, where he asked his constituents if he should take the offer to serve in McLaughlin’s government, and was given a resounding ‘yes’. Having been returned to office in Bodden Town East, ousting incumbent Osbourne “Ozzie” Bodden, it is likely that Seymour will get his social affairs portfolio but it also means that he will be bound by the collective responsibility of Cabinet and the PPM policies.

He last sat in government on the back-benches in the 2009-2012 UDP administration, but held a Cabinet post for a few months with the interim People’s National Party administration in 2013, which held the fort until the elections after McKeeva Bush was arrested. The arrest set in motion the controversial charges, trial and subsequent acquittal of the then UDP leader in relation to the misuse of a government credit card.

Seymour lost his seat in the 2013 election, not least because of the controversies surrounding the Bodden Town dump proposal.

He had his own courtroom challenges during a controversial trial in 2011, when he was accused of using his position of an MLA to avoid arrest following a fight with his wife’s lover. Represented by Steve McField in a well documented case, Seymour was acquitted.

Back on the campaign trail this election as an Independent, Seymour won a decisive victory in BTE. His popular support emerged to a large extent from his emphatic position calling for a freeze on all work permits “on day one”, a policy opposed by his new Cabinet colleagues.

Premier McLaughlin has also confirmed that Austin Harris will be sitting on his backbenches as a ministry councillor, though it is not yet known if that will be in support of Tara Rivers, who is expected to retain her education and employment ministry, which includes gender affairs. If that proves to be the case, there may be significant concern in the community, as Harris pleaded guilty to domestic abuse in 2015 after beating a woman at a social event in a drunken rage, which he claimed he could not remember. However, the conviction was not recorded and Harris received no punishment.

In a social media post last night, Harris announced he would be justifying his move in a radio broadcast on Star 92.7FM on Tuesday evening, in which he will outline the events that “took place over the past five days that lead to my ultimate decision”.

The full Cabinet line-up and backbench supporting candidates are expected to be revealed today in the now firm PPM-led coalition. A mix of CDP and Independent MLAs will be shaping the administration, headed by McLaughlin, who has retained the post of premier for a second term.

If the new line-up holds for the next four years, McLaughlin will have to step down from the top job at the next election, as the Constitution does not allow an individual to serve more than two consecutive terms as premier, though it leaves room for a return provided there is at least a one-term break.

Despite all of the twists and turns over the last five days, the ultimate shape of government closely reflects the original deal made last Friday afternoon, though there are no guarantees it will hold for the next four years.

Cayman Islands voters also got a glimpse of the old days of backroom horsetrading, which underscored the reason why many local politicians favour the concept of party politics rather than the disparate self-interest and lack of leadership shown during the negotiations by MLAs who claimed to be Independent.

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Category: 2017 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    ” His popular support emerged to a large extent from his emphatic position calling for a freeze on all work permits “on day one”, a policy opposed by his new Cabinet colleagues. ” Say anything to get elected. Worse yet, the people fell for it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    natural born caymanians- like myself!? love it?

  3. mark panton says:

    I think it was a great loss to Cayman when Archer and Panton
    loss their election. I wish the new govt.well.

    I don’t think you can blame Tara for poor showing in exam results etc. You can spend millions on school buildings etc. but until the home takes responsibility for their children it will not get better. Students who have heavy parent concern in ed of their children are the ones who will do well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    MLAs who have previously used their position to influence and or benefit thier personal gain should be banned from politics.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I can not agree with the “No Tara” plea more. Teachers morale is at an all time low and standards/results are dropping. When are we going to develop a system that includes effective votech training???

  6. Anonymous says:

    Please Alden I am on bended knee, don’t give Education back to Tara; give her employment or something else but not Education. Thank you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    John John can’t barely speak legibly and you’re going to give him a ministry? Really Mr. McLaughlin?!?!?! Even you must realize this is a very ill thought out move on your part.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Take the Dump John John

  9. Sharkey says:

    I hope that these young Men Austin and John , see and have learned from their past experiences , and see that people have given and forgiving them and is giving them another chance in life .

    So my advice to you , don’t let no one get between you and the Country and your people . Be satisfied with your big salary you’re going to get for the next 4 years .

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a waste! He can’t handle his personal life and affairs how can he manage a ministry. Please for God’s sake don’t give him Education as he is lacking that himself so its no way he will be able to manage that. It was extremely noble of Alden to offer this to him and looking at it from a fair and equitable standpoint in terms of the IND securing the majority seats. Poor poor choice Alden.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It should be a fresh face in the ministry of education. A humble request, please!

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    Can someone please help me decide who would be the better manager of our $600 million budget…
    Our choices for this position are Harris, John John, Kenneth, Capt Eugene, or Bernie…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Jon Jon for caring enough to ask your people what they want!

    Well done on how you have conducted yourself!

    • Anonymous says:

      He may have asked because he did not know what to do. Dangerous if so, he might at some point ask Mac what to do with credit cards..

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you people want. Ok thanks. And thanks for the hundred grand. I’ll get back to you in 3 years and 51 weeks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    good to see you back john john…remeber your natural born caymanians?

    • anonymous says:

      anonymous 2:15pm,are these ‘natural born caymanians’ going to be just sitting and waiting for “hand-outs” or are they going to be willing to WORK. I mean work, like construction, security, gardeners, domestic helpers or are they going to be demanding high paying jobs for which they are qualified. You can’t stop the work permits if “natural born caymanians” are not willing to do these kind of jobs too. Best of luck with that.

      • Anonymous says:

        4:16pm, he may be taking up residence on the public beach with his associates. Figure the caliber.

    • Anonymous says:

      2.15 not sure where you are from, but clearly not an English speaking country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Born by c section. Am I still a Caymanian?

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyday racism.

  15. Anonymous says:

    They must need quite a few large seats….

  16. Anonymous says:

    Offering this seat to Mr seymour even after they have enough seats to form the government shows the willingness of this new administration to work with as many people as possible.

    It also shows that the independents are not one party and he is acting in the best interest of his constituents and not being selfish like the rest of the eastern block of representatives.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I can comment Dwayne for holding a meeting an asking the people who voted him in to voice their desire. Austin didn’t show his voters that respect. Making a statement on the radio after the fact shows he does not regard the desires of the people who took a chance by voting for him. I don’t respect that approach.

    • Anonymous says:

      This doesn’t mean they’re going to get their desires met or that he’ll offer the same respect in the future. My guess is that someone whispered in his ear what to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:09pm, check how many status holders were in the mix. The handouts will increase and the entitlement will over power the position. Keep cooking and partying for your followers.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Security, you nah see nuttin.

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