Premier’s office has no records of Unity gov’t deal

| 10/01/2018 | 55 Comments
Cayman News Service

Speaker McKeeva Bush and Premier Alden McLaughlin

(CNS): The premier’s office has told CNS that it holds no documents, records or correspondence in relation to the deal between the PPM, the CDP and independent members that led to the formation of the current coalition government. The Government of National Unity emerged several days after the May general election, when no single party or group secured an overall majority. Premier Alden McLaughlin had indicated that once the agreement with his former political adversary, McKeeva Bush, was finalised, it would be made public. But seven months later, nothing has been released about the basis of that deal.

The only document that has been made public is the short press statement signed and released by both Bush and McLaughlin on 26 May stating that they had agreed to work together. It was understood that the agreement at that point was for Bush to support McLaughlin to remain as the premier while he would become speaker.

However, shortly after signing the press statement with McLaughlin, even before the day was out, Bush went into talks with the independent members and struck another deal to become premier instead. However, that didn’t last either and after several days of backroom horse-trading between the CDP, the PPM and the independents, the deal which resulted in the current political line-up emerged.

Alongside Tara Rivers, the independent member for West Bay South who was already in the PPM camp, independent MLAs Dwayne Seymour (BTE) and Austin Harris (Prospect) agreed to join the coalition led by McLaughlin, but the basis on which the final government was agreed has never been made public.

In October CNS made a media request to the premier and others for details of the agreement underpinning the Government of National Unity, which was ignored. After a follow-up request and a long wait for a reply that never came, we opted for a freedom of information request.

Officials in the premier’s office responded to that request this week telling CNS that it holds no documents relating to the agreement.

Jana Pouchie-Bush, the information manager in the office of the premier, said that “the Cayman Islands Government is not privy to discussions or agreements that led to the formation of the elected government. These occurred prior to a government being formed and sworn in.”

She went on to say that with the exception of the signed letter that was given to the governor saying that the members had agreed to form a government, there are no other documents held by the office and no other agreement has been signed. She also said the only formally agreed policy documents are the Strategic Policy Statement and Budget.

While the government presented those documents and laid out its plans and ambitions for the next four years, there has still been no details released about what policies were dropped or included by the coalition members based on the five different campaign promises.

While it is clear that Seymour, who promised that if elected he would introduce a moratorium on work permits on day one, has abandoned that campaign promise, it is not clear what other campaign promises are going to be broken in the interest of a stable government. Nor is it clear what other commitments, promises or conditions, political or otherwise, are underpinning the current coalition.

At present, the surprising coalition between McLaughlin and Bush appears to be holding, and the men seem to have been able to put aside their previous animosity for more than seven months. Their previous relationship had been so strained the men were locked in a legal battle, which also appears to have been put aside since the formation of this Unity government.

Bush, who is now speaker of the House, filed legal action against the government, of which he is now a part, in 2015, relating to his trial and acquittal of charges alleging he had abused his government credit card in casinos during the previous 2009-2012 UDP government, which he led.

Bush accused former governor Duncan Taylor of being involved in a conspiracy to unlawfully topple him from office when he was premier over the credit card case. In a private member’s motion that he attempted to get on the floor of the LA relating to the case, he also implied that McLaughlin was part of that conspiracy. In response McLaughlin had demanded an apology and a retraction, and when none came, the premier filed suit.

That was more than two years ago and it appears that all of these legal cases have now either been dropped or placed on hold.

See response to FOI request in the CNS Library

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Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Boy..that rug that everything gets swept under has a mount trashmore size lump in it now.

  2. PPM Distress Signal says:

    This whole unity rubbish is both a crying shame and a crime against humanity. These two Stooges are just extension cords, propped and joined together up by this very corrupt a foreign influence Mafia that runs this little Uk territory. Caymanians stand to loose everything under this Unity Con-spiracy including their very dignity. This smiles you see are infact a indication of exactly what both of these two idiots think of the Caymanian People which is absolutely Nuttin!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you look around, there is not a single MLA advocating for the implementation of the much-deferred Standards in Public Life Law 2014. Not one. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because of “foreign” developers. Until that’s done, it’s Pirates of Penzance time on your dollar.

  3. Messenjah says:

    CNS, you wrote the answers to your questions in the final sentence. Obviously there is more, dig a lil deeper

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have always loved when independents campaign and give out promises instead of discussing policies and proposals they are for and against
    Anyone with sense knows that 1 person out of 19 cannot get anything done, candidates who promise you anything are liars

  5. Cayman biting ants says:

    Aaaaaar oh ye pirates who will continually rob us of our dignity and respect for our litle island and our people i say make dem both live long enough to regret their stupidity and make hem walk the blank look of their dummy faces.

  6. Karl Perkins says:

    BiGG Dummy and Skinny Dummy with Brylcreem topping!! on White Carpet CNS should be charge under the terrorism act for publishing such a obcsene picture which would likely cause alarm and distress to the greater publlc!

  7. Anonymous says:

    jesus says love thy enemies…?? how about we just get along with one another…

  8. Anonymous says:

    @ 2:26,
    Do you mean like Brexit-Car-Crash-Musical-Chairs-Every-Month-A-New-Government UK government?

    Re: “sad to say….the best you have…..
    it will take cayman several generations to achieve political maturity and ability to run their own affairs……”

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have to say I totally agree with Jana’s response. The civil service should not be in possession of party politics documents.

    I am really impressed with the high quality of decisions coming out of the civil service these days. Including the zero tolerance on corruption and increased accountability.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Assuming there is something in writing, wouldn’t it be in possession of the parties rather than the premiers office? We dont get signed contracts for campaign promises, why is this different? Does anyone care except CNS and 25 commenters? Zzzzzzzz.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Premier’s office might not hold incriminating records there (that would be dumb), but we can be sure that there are some notorious attorneys with signed documents on file with terms between these PEPs. It all boils down to the much-deferred and yet to be enacted Standards in Public Life Law 2014. It cant be said enough.

  12. Anonymous says:

    ACC? They haven’t even enacted the minimal “Standards in Public Life Law” from 2014.

  13. Anonymous says:

    He’s just loving that wig. Freddie Mercury, I Want To Break Free when the misses is out.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Note: The Cayman Islands is NOT a country but a British Overseas Territory.

    It is the role and responsibility of the United Kingdom to oversee and ensure the “good governance” of the Cayman Islands.

    Therefore, any and all concerns or criticism of domestic matters should ultimately be directed to the actual governing body, in the form of the British government.

    The end.

    (Those tempted to reply with witty and smart-ass comebacks are encouraged to return to the top and try again. Thank you.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets get this straight, shall we?
      Cayman wanted its own parliament, elected by the Cayman people (and quite right too), but Mummy has to ensure that its fully grown elected babies don’t throw their toys out of their prams or steal all the candies?
      Try growing up and voting for people that get what it means to have an open and transparent society where education is a priority and all this kind of crap will disappear on its own accord. But don’t worry, if it gets really bad, Mummy will step in and smack your bottoms.

      • Anonymous says:

        (Clearly someone has trouble with reading comprehension.)

        The UK’s role has been to ensure “good governance” in the Cayman Islands.

        According to my personal observations, “good governance” flew out the window in the mid 1990’s, yet the UK has been there – in step with every scandal, hypocrisy and infraction leading to the current state of arrested (societal) development.

        This is the “good governance” that the UK wishes to see in her territory.

        It is really that simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone who agrees with this poster’s condescending attitude, please, address all your domestic concerns to the Governor, so that they will be delayed in reaching the responsible Minister of the Cabinet.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well you certainly aren’t going to put splitting up the booty in writing. And who actually expected “You didn’t see Nuttin” Seymour to actually keep any promises once he got in? He definitely isn’t going to rock the boat.

  16. Anonymous says:

    sad to say….the best you have…..
    it will take cayman several generations to achieve political maturity and ability to run their own affairs……

  17. West bay Premier says:

    I crinch every time I see the two of them together because I know the outcome is not going to be good .

  18. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they don’t want us to know how they really got Bush to agree to this!

  19. Anonymous says:

    it’s cayman….what did you expect????………zzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      We know what the government’s plans are. The Strategic Policy Statement made in the LA months after the election outlined what they planned to do. The budget passed in November showed what plans received what funding. Who cares if there is any other agreement or not. I suspect there is none. What matters to me is is what are the plans passed in the LA and the funding agreed and passed in the LA according to law. These are now what the Government are committed to doing.

      Let’s try not to go down into too many rabbit holes when the facts about government plans are obviously in the story and is public record.

      Lastly. I am sure that most of you, Iike me, breathed a sigh of relief when this government finally came together. The thought of the alternative that was presented brought fear or at least great concern across all communities. Let’s admit that this is the best option for Government and hope they do stay together.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s funny how nostalgic Caymanians are for the “good old days” and how much they talk about how great Cayman was in the past (before the first political parties) and they now shudder at the thought of an Independent or loosely aligned coalition government

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree. The fact is that elected members have a responsibility to the people to form the best mist capable and stable Government that they can. Those there now are there because they understand that. And their actions since has demonstrated this to be true. The alternative government option could not even last 24 hours. God help us if we had Ezzard or Arden as Premier and Kenny, Alva and Chris as Ministers.

      • Anonymous says:

        We need to demand National Elections going forward to ensure Cayman’s continued success. Catch 22 situation, this bunch will never put National elections in place, after all, if we had that system very few, if any of the present bunch would have got elected. If we don’t correct this drastic mistake quickly, we won’t survive past another term with this system. If you don’t believe me, print this and put it in a frame and hang it by your front door.

        • Anonymous says:

          National Elections for 19 seats in a Westminster system makes no sense at all
          Is everyone going to get 19 votes and the 19 people with the most votes get in?

          We need to establish a upper house with a 2 year term to provide oversight on the LA and to keep them accountable with midterms because they have free reign and the Governor doesn’t even blink at some of the things that they put through

        • Anonymous says:

          Earth calling 10.23…think you went through a space warp, we have national elections, regularly

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m sure you are kidding but we have elections by constituencies not on a national level in the sense of the whole island voting for for one set of candidates

            For those of you who may actually not realize the difference

  20. Anonymous says:

    The dynamic duo are divas in every sense of the word. Two peas in a pod needing the same things

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t expect anything less when the country is run by a bunch of clowns.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont blame those who got elected blame those who elected them. The present government is the pick of the litter

      • Anonymous says:

        A litter box that is never emptied – the turds just get shuffled around with some getting obscured beneath the surface temporarily. We need new and better instruments to scoop the stinky ones out.

  22. Anonymous says:

    In the famous words of Mr. McLaughlin and his unity government having no formal agreement though he said that this ‘agreement’ would be made public… is a “train wreck” and probably wouldn’t last too long!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Look !!!! It’s Alden and his court jester

  24. Diogenes says:

    Transparent Government they said,

  25. Anonymous says:

    Written along with this country’s morals, in the sand.

    • Diogenes says:

      Nah our morals are written on stone tablets
      with the blood of lambs
      We keep the tablets safe,
      right next to the discarded prepuces of the Jewish people


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