PPM-IND coalition appears set

| 28/05/2017 | 176 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alden McLaughlin

(CNS): Alden McLaughlin looks set to remain as the country’s leader in a Progressive coalition with some of the Independent candidates, following a weekend of deals, counter-deals, backroom talks and double-crossing. While the front bench line-up is not yet firm, McLaughlin said Sunday he “expected to have a government in place” and would be “going to the governor tomorrow”. Although the PPM leader has not revealed details about the make-up of his new coalition government, CNS understands that it includes some former PPM members.

Already dubbed by pundits as ‘the weekend of the long knives’, since McLaughlin and CDP Leader McKeeva Bush signed a deal on Friday afternoon joining their parties in a coalition, there has been an enormous amount of backroom dealing to arrive at a new government line-up and a significant amount of double-crossing.

The Sunday evening agreement will probably sit well with the country, as it is believed to be a broader coalition and more reflective of what the people voted for than the first deal. The deeply controversial agreement the Independents struck late Friday night, which had Bush back as premier, did not appear to reflect the election result any more than the first deal with McLaughlin.

Sources close to the final deal have indicated that Bush, despite his about-face Friday, may have accepted the neutral position of speaker of the House.

The late night agreement that Bush struck with the Independents Friday night, which was brokered by Dr Steve Tomlinson, fell apart just as quickly as the deal Bush made with the Progressive leader on Friday afternoon. But the West Bay veteran politician left Grand Cayman early Saturday morning, and almost immediately the elder Independents made it clear they were not prepared to support Bush as premier.

Talks then went on throughout the weekend between the various groups of Independents and the PPM, with deals, demands, counter deals, offers and proposals over the premiership until late Sunday. At one point, it appeared that the 19 MLAs were going to struggle to form a government at all and a second election was on the cards, not least because of the difficulties of negotiating with the Independents, who did not come as a cohesive block.

In the end, however, some Independents have agreed to support a PPM-IND coalition, with, it is understood, subject to discussions, three cabinet seats going to the Independents and four to the PPM.

Although the deal has taken five days to broker, it was somewhat less “closed-door” than days of old, with details of the talks leaking constantly and appearing on Facebook.

The last time anything like these types of negotiations took place was before the emergence of the party system. In 2000, it took several days to get the first deal, which fell apart within 24 hours, and it was not until the eve of  ‘Swearing in Day’ that a deal was struck that put Kurt Tibbetts at the head of a coalition of various teams. That lasted twelve months, when the 2001 coup gave rise to the emergence of political parties, which has prevented this type of backroom horsetrading over the last three elections.

The resurgence of independent candidates in this national poll has underscored the problem of electing a group of non-aligned individuals who have not discussed their policy platforms with each other before being elected, leaving the question of who forms the government being answered, once again, in back rooms rather than in the ballot box.

While there is still the possibility that everything might change again, the existence of parties and the fact that almost half of the independents are aligned in a group has meant that a government that reflects the vote appears to have finally emerged.

But now that the government appears to have been settled, the next question is who will lead the opposition benches.

Check back to CNS Monday for more details of the new Cayman Islands Government.

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Category: 2017 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (176)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard, Arden and Alva proved to only be interested in themselves.

  2. Bush Master says:

    Alden and Mac should be the last two trying to be the leaders! When a ship is sinking the captain does not jump to save himself or, abandon his crew, he should be the last man to leave his ship. That’s what good leaders would do! Good leaders are Brave, courageous, and men with integrity. Both Alden and Mac have proven to be cowards. Alden showed his weakness when he set Marco Archer up to be eliminated from being elected. Marco became a threat to Alden in his leadership position because of all the accolades and achievements that Marco acquired during his time as Finance minister. Being regarded as the Finance Minister of the year in the whole caribbean for the stellar job that he was doing propelled Marco to stardom. Amongst all the chaos of members exiting the PPM party and Alden’s leadership being questioned, therefore Alden saw Marco as a clear threat. So he devised a plan to get rid of Marco, and the up coming elections would be the perfect time. He knew that no matter who in his party would run against Kenneth in GT central would surely loose. So Marco was the sacrifice that he would choose. If that isn’t the case or wasn’t the deal, Alden would offer himself or sacrifice Lucille. Mac in westbay on the other hand, was afraid of Tara so John Jefferson was his man, to run against Tara according to Mac’s plan. Though their plans were brilliant, and their asses they did saved! This country need leaders men who are really brave, not cowards and scoundrels looking for the power that these two men crave. So whatever they do or whatever they might say, put them as Backbencers that’s where they must stay.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bullshit. Marco was expected to win, and would have done so but for his own bad handling of the radio interview when Kenneth called in. The final result was 48 to 52 percent, hardly the landslide that your warped version of events would require to justify “He knew that no matter who in his party would run against Kenneth in GT central would surely loose”

  3. Anonymous says:

    When my two young children fight over a toy I give them one chance to continue playing with it nicely and sharing . if they continue to fight over it I will take it off them and neither gets it. Sometimes I threaten to give all the toys to the little boy next door because he may appreciate them more but he is only a baby and wouldn’t know what to do with them .
    Time to grow up children and find a way to work it out before ‘ mother ‘ takes your toys away .

  4. Anonymous says:

    There’s a much simpler solution. If the MLAs can’t sort this mess out amongst themselves by Wednesday the Governor takes over then the FCO runs the islands until everyone grows up and starts acting like adults.

  5. Haranguer says:

    As firm as warm Jello

  6. Anonymous says:

    We cannot afford to have Arden as Premier, his stance on expats would drive international business away.Give him the Speaker’s role or the Ministry of Planning/works , and Ezzard Minister of Health and Alva Minister of Community affairs,Youth and Sports, Tony Deputy Speaker and that’s it. Alden-Financial Services, Tara –Education and Gender Affairs, Roy for Finance Ministry,Moses-Tourism,The rest of the non aligned can form the opposition with CDP.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got that right, “DOOM’S DAY” for Cayman Island’s if they ever put Ezzard and Arden for premiere. TARA already mess up the education system. What a mess ot is in? They claims they are for the people but their actions speak louder than their voice. All these years tell me what have they done for these Islands? NOTHING!!!! But here talk. They put down expat to the lowest, and now they fighting there very own for leadership. Growing up I always hear my mother says “learn to dance at home before you go abroad to dance” They need to go prep themselves how to become leaders this is not an overnight course. And frankly if they don’t get it now how to become genuine leaders when are they going to.
      They just need to go sit down and chill.
      I have never seen anyone so power hungry, So many up for the chief position but no Indians. They are all gold diggers every one wants that fat pay check and don’t work for it. Wonder if they all sleep at night’s knowing there are many of us Caymanians struggling trying to make ends meet. Selfish sets They are.
      Hope Alden know the higher the monkey climbs the more it expose. GIVE TIME ! TIME!. Who feels it know it.
      I wasted my Vote.. disappointed much

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Alva will listen and even consult those in the Ministry with real expertise.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A house divided cannot stand.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Tara, the teachers will never forget that speech you made to us. Also any advances we have made in Education, had nothing to do with you but were rather despite you.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The really scary stuff is that in 4 years time nobody will remember the lesson everyone should have learned with this election mess. The voters will have forgotten and the politicians will have forgotten……….

    I can’t believe so many people act surprised with the scrambling around – what did you expect voting for “independents” who have NEVER worked on anything together?

    Alden – if you can hang on, I hope you also learned your lesson and stop stalling everything the Independents try to push forward just because. You also will need to have learned to work as a team and you also have to respect the will of the people who have spoken loudly by sending a slate of independents to sit in Government.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I agree, Ezzard is one of the few who stands up for Caymanians. he is educated and qualified to be Premier, although apparently he has never sought that post. He was an excellent Minister of Health in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s (check his achievement record). Among many other things, he implemented a huge AIDS awareness and protection campaign, thus heading off what may have been more AIDS cases in Cayman, implemented mandatory health insurance which all employees now benefit from, implemented rules to prohibit smoking in public buildings, which was later expanded. Clearly helping with reducing smoking in general and thus lowering health care costs for the country.

    Ezzard’s only drawback is his unpolished speaking style, but the business powers who really control Government claim he is anti-foreigner. He is not anti-foreigner, simply pro- Caymanian. There is a big difference!

    He, with Arden’s backing, would make sure that Caymanians found rightful employment and opportunity in our own country. Alden & Mac both are sell outs !!

  12. Anonymous says:

    The voters will be back in 4 years after this debacle is over, just in time to create the next debacle.
    The system stinks. There are better ways.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The trouble is that in Cayman we accept underachievement as success. So when real underachievement presents itself, we settle for the lesser of two evils.
    The entire Caymanian system of politics has always been open to abuse.

    The government needs to be accountable to the people, not the other way around.

    It’s bullshit.

  14. Unison says:


    Now we have a situation where PPM ministries are still actively in power because the new government has not form yet. Still they can’t come up with 10 solid members …

    And there is no law in our Constitution of a deadline for this formation …

    So this uncertainty could be for a very long time beyond Wednesday, seeing you have many with an ego – problem!

    Do you see now why supporting a party is less chaos? ! I hope folks see this!

    But … my I say, THANK YOU DOCTOR TOMLINSON FOR HELPING US TOO SEE HOW EGO-DRIVEN SOME OF OUR POLITICIANS ARE! I know you are not the only donor – many others hiding ?

  15. Oh The Irony says:

    I do hope Anthony Eden is involved in these “Backdoor Deals”

  16. Anonymous says:

    With the egos of Alden, Arden and Ezzard in the mix, it is hard to see how this group can hang together for four years.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why the Compass website is so far behind with coverage, no updates today. Maybe the owner isn’t too happy right now. Just a thought.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Critical error if they give Alva Education. With his brother entrenched in the dis-function at DES it will mean the nail in the coffin of public education in the Cayman Islands.

  19. Anonymous says:

    A leap to the narrow minded.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What happened in 2001 was not a coup.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard has to be primer ……intelligent ,honest …………….people want independent …..

  22. Anonymous says:

    Latest news coming from INP/CDP coalition new government meeting at 10:30 am 29/may/2017
    New government is formed with IND- first led with 3 CDP( W. Mckeeva Bush Speaker and Anthony Samuels Eden Deputy Speaker)
    Premier : Arden V. Mclean
    Ministry: Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Home affairs (PLAH&A)
    Deputy Premier: Alva Horatio Suckoo
    Ministry: Education, Employment & Gender Affairs (EE&GA)
    Member: Ezzard Denison Miller
    Ministry: Health & Culture, Commerce and Environment (HSYC&CE)
    Member: Bernie Alfredo Bush
    Ministry: Tourism & Transport, Youth and Sports(TTY&S)
    Member: Christopher Selvin Saunders
    Ministry: Financial Services, Finance & Economic Development (FSF&ED)
    Member: Kenneth Vernon Bryan
    Ministry: Community Affairs, District Administration(CA&DA)
    Member: Dwayne Stanley Seymour(John John)
    Ministry: Housing and infrastructure(H&I)


    Member:Capt Eugene Ebanks
    Member: Austin Osmond Harris Jr

    Sorry Alden you got blinded by the light.

  23. Anonymous says:

    deputy – Moses
    speaker – Juliana
    tourism & Cayman Airways – Moses
    councillor Austin
    finance – Roy
    councillor – Barbara
    councillor-Dwayne or Chris
    councillor-Antony or Austin
    labour/planning & works – Arden
    councillor – Kenneth

    Cayman we stand divided we fall

    • Jotnar says:

      You have missed 2 important ones – Home (which includes Immigration) – and Financial Services. And note that the Education brief currently includes labor (not planning, as you suggest). Putting Alva in charge of labour and NWDA would send an “interesting” message to the business community.

    • Anonymous says:

      Austin & Kenneth – Hell NO definitely NOT and Tara deserves to remain in Education & Labour.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hell No to Tara with education. You don’t see the mess education is in right now? Probably not. If you have child/children in school them you would understand. The curriculum is in a big mess.
        No bobo not Tara for education.
        Put her to back bench.

    • Anonymous says:

      I really think that the general concensus of the Cayman people is that Moses should be premier and will work better wih the independents!

    • Anonymous says:

      Roy for Health

  24. Anonymous says:

    PPM/IND coalition Government fell apart couple of minutes ago stand by for more info….IND members are increasingly impatient to distance themselves from the unpopular Premier and her governing PPM Party, which has been in office since 2013.

    This coalition government will fall; it cannot survive with Alden on the top, either we abandon ship now or go down with it.

    Stay tune

  25. Anonymous says:

    Need to fly down Jeff Probst to solve this pickle…I can’t tell who is holding the immunity idol.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If Ezzard and Arden are Ministers we are still in a mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nonsense. Take the time to listen to them. They are not the monsters popular expat prejudices often portray them to be.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are much worse than feared.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excuse me, 11:00am, but I am a multi generational Caymanian and many of us see Ezzard and Arden as people not representative of the values that we cherish. So don’t try to pass it off on the expats.

      • Anonymous says:

        Independence is the answer to all of our problems just ask Ezzard.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can some one close to Alden pinch him and wake him up. WE don’t want him as Premier, that one of the reason we voted against this three top cabinet ministers. You don’t have the majority. WE also don’t want Mac, how in the hell can 3 form 19. Wake up smell the roses. Both of you RETIRE from any leadership role. Now step up INDEPENDENTS that why we voted you there.

      • Anonymous says:

        speak for yourself. A govt. of independents would be a nightmare

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean Dr. T”s Dependents?

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        We need educated people to run the country. We don’t need a corrupted person to lead our country. ALDEN is the best candidate

      • Anonymous says:

        That really doesn’t make any sense. If you didn’t want Alden as Premier surely you would have voted him out, not three other ministers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who is “WE”? You certainly do not speak for ME.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought independents were the answer to everything

  27. Anonymous says:

    At the end of the day, it’s the voters that wield the power – none of these clowns or their cronies. If you don’t like something, or want to see systemic change, do something about it. Start a voter-led petition for that thing and circulate it. The Cayman Islands electorate must be more active in dictating policy/action, and determining territorial priorities rather than put things on cruise control for 4 years, and pretend they have no say in what happens to their money or with regards to administration policy. It takes minutes to set up a petition on change.org and seconds to circulate on social and published media.

    • Anonymous says:

      How do you recall Dr. Steve

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously Its Dr. T that has wield the power.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed! I’ve been speaking with various MLA’s and other Powers since; months now in general and this past Friday night in particular.
      Let them know – stop being fearful of them!

    • Michel says:

      Time for accountability and need to start somewhere before others decide for us It’s high time to unite as a people and pay attention

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment should be placed on top of each on-going political directorate discussion. Power to the people!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Will refreshments be provided?

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