Opposition rejects push for local governor

| 02/08/2018 | 78 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alva Suckoo in the Legislative Assembly

(CNS): Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo has said that appointing a Caymanian governor would be incompatible with the Cayman Islands Constitution and believes the petition calling for Acting Governor Franz Manderson to be given the job is a political ploy to push the country towards independence. The member for Newlands said there were real constitutional implications with the idea, which has gathered support among MLAs, including House Speaker McKeeva Bush, the CDP leader,  who is a key figure in the current collation government. 

In a press statement on behalf of the opposition, Suckoo suggested that the petition to install Manderson as governor is “a roundabout attempt at establishing a mandate for constitutional changes on par with seeking independence”.

He added, “This politically motivated attempt to drive support for constitutional changes that would forever change the course of these Cayman Islands does a disservice to the people of these islands …The Caymanian people deserve better.”

Suckoo said it was “economic independence” and not “political independence” that Cayman needs and the two goals were not necessarily compatible at this time. The powers that the Constitution gives to the governor are very specific and not aligned with objectives of the petition in question.

The opposition member said this has led him to the conclusion that the petition is a “surreptitious attempt to legitimise changes to the islands’ Constitution while bypassing the need for legislative debate and/or a referendum”.

Suckoo said that if independence is the tacit objective behind the petition, then those driving it, including the speaker of the Legislative Assembly, should let the country know exactly what the motive is behind the move.

“I must sound the warning that this is not a matter than can be taken lightly, and I am very concerned that those who should know better are promoting this impossible idea as a plausible solution for replacing Governor Choudhury,” he added.

Suckoo said he did not wish in any way to convey the impression that Manderson wasn’t a “capable and competent leader”, but the petition was a disservice to his “achievements and commitment to this country”.

Under the current constitutional arrangements, appointing Manderson “would be tantamount to paralysing his efforts to serve his country as a loyal Caymanian”, Suckoo noted because section 31 (3) states that the governor’s office must promote the interests of the United Kingdom, while section 33 (2) states that the governor may act against the advice of Cabinet.

This, Suckoo believes, clearly establishes that the role is not designed for a Caymanian under the terms of the 2009 Constitution and that the provisions would place a local appointee in a position of serious conflict of interest. He pointed to the future potential implementation of the public register of beneficial owners.

“Make no mistake, if and when that possible ‘Order in Council’ is issued, and the United Kingdom demands that the Cayman Islands implement a public registry of beneficial ownership, the governor would be expected to facilitate the implementation forthwith without criticism or resistance,” the opposition deputy leader warned.

Suckoo said that these inevitable conflicts for a Caymanian appointee “would compel Manderson, or any other Caymanian chosen for the role, to abandon his loyalty to this country, and instead assume a role that would require him to put the interests of the United Kingdom ahead of the Cayman Islands”.

The petition to appoint Manderson as governor was posted online earlier this week and has been signed by around 700 people. Meanwhile, the ‘Bring Back Choudhury’ petition is still circulating, though we do not know how many people have signed petition as the organisers are seeking to collect signatures from verified registered electors only.

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  1. Sunrise says:

    Mckeeva Bush still pushing for independence and still denying it!! His first plan was to put the Cayman Islands in so much debt, then let Mr. Dart pay it off and own us. Thank God for Mr. Duncan Taylor!!! Please let us continue with the way it is. Why change when it is working this way? We need to have control over these elected and appointed members!! Just look at our neighbors and see the damage independence has caused!! Also, remember, these elected and appointed members can go elsewhere when the going gets tough, can you?

  2. Gray Matter says:

    WTF… All Govners should be pretty and WHITE. End of argument.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The framers of the petition are very naive, no need to say more. Choudhury or Franz Manderson! Now that is a choice between a rock and a hard place. Do not ever think you no longer need to be tough to live in this country.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thankfully Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition can tell the nation something sensible

    Mckeeva has always been nothing other than a uneducated glorified demagogue looking to stir up the next nationalistic controversy

  5. Anonymous says:

    Both Franz and Mac need to get off the Ego train! Neither of them are capable of being neutral parties and have never been, much less any one else in the LA. Franz should have shut down the petition the second it was suggested but his ego is bigger than these 3 Islands. No wonder the CS is in such a disaster and the mess there begins with Franz. We need a UK appointed Governor, whether that means bringing back Mr. Choudury or not, and new staff in the Governor’s Office.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rubbish 11:20 clearly you don’t know Franz. I have never met a more down to earth humble man in my life.

      The issue I have with Suckoo point. Is that if you follow it to this logical conclusion then a Caymanian should never act as Governor.

      The DG can be required to do something against caymanians interest right now or tomorrow or next week. Or the next time he is acting.

      I for one have faith in Caymanians and if a Cayman Governor has go against the wishes of his people because London requires it. Then so be it. I would rather a Caymanian do it than someone else.

      The opposition simply doesn’t get it. They only want the Caymanians they like to get the best.

      That doesn’t work for me. Btw you know you have it right when the negative posters give it a thumbs down.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:16 pm, a Caymanian Governor would come about as an outcome of constitutional change.

        We are debating an outcome and have not even touched the means to get us there.

        We can’t start at the end, and make it about Franz.

        We have to examine very carefully the constitutional options and implications of each for the Cayman Islands.

        We all have to stop this madness. This petition is crazy stuff.

      • West Bay Premier says:

        1:16 pm, sometimes those nice quiet and down to earth ones , are the ones to watch very closely.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:16 pm you post is pure undulterated nonsense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well @ 1:16 As I’ve lived and seen Franz all my life XXXXX. why don’t or isn’t he looking into all this misconduct within his Government and the Authorities and their Chairmans of those Boards? What about the director of NRA whom was not charged by the Anti Corruption unit as there was no evidence to charge him with yet he is still on suspension because the CHAIRMAN decided that he will put charges to this man for taking material that personally belonged to him?…. Why don’t Franz look into this and sort all this foolishness out and set the old deputy Governor in his place.

        • Anonymous says:

          10:29 And it all started before that. When Linda Evans became CIO she took up a number of serious complaints against both staff and certain employers who were abusing the WP process that had apparently quietly been sidelined. Now I’m not saying that Mr Manderson was involved but it happened on his watch. Look what happened to Ms Evans and ask yourself what the heck is going on here?

      • Anonymous says:

        @1:16 did you type that with a straight face? I couldn’t read it with one.

    • Anonymous says:

      The whole long and short of it is:

      1. The speaker of the Legislative Assembly is not supposed to be down in the political trenches. He is to be neutral. If this or a related matter comes for a debate in the House, he cannot possibly rule impartially. What is wrong with him?

      I saw a comment in the Compass that quoted him responding to Opposition views in some basic terms like the Opposition was motivated by wanting the position for their “cronies”. (Ugh!) Seriously? That is neutrality?

      2. In addition to the questionable conduct in politicizing the Speaker’s noble status, with all his years in government, he should have insights into the kind of constitutional changes that appointing a Caymanian Governor would entail. Championing the cause of appointing a Caaymanian Governor is tantamount to trying to trigger a groundswell to independence. Does McKeeva Bush seriously think that Cayman is ready for that critical step?

      Well, he is getting the answer—we are not seeing that kind of response to this implausible proposition. So at least some good is coming out of this—and we can only hope it has not damaged internal perceptions to our detriment.

      3. What is of further concern is that McKeeva is too much of a political animal to come out on this as a lone wolf. He must feel that he is getting either tacit or stated agreement from his political alliances. We saw where he threw his weight with the recent motion in the Ahearn case. I am left to question whether McKeeva is the front man testing the waters for the government. That makes me really concerned—and every Cayman with half a brain should be perturbed.

  6. West Bay Premier says:

    After all the mud settles down , I don’t know how some of these politicians like you know who can put back on their real faces and face the PEOPLE.

  7. West Bay Premier says:

    I say from the removal of the Governor and the petition to make Mr. Manderson Governor . All the politicians that was involved and supported in favor , vote them out next election, and those politicians that opposed give them your vote .
    And make sure that Bush have to go and get a job pulling bushes . I don’t know what job would be fit for McLaughlin.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not so hard to figure this one out huh? Complain on the new Governor to the UK and get him investigated so they remove him then concock a petition to the very same people that reported the governor so they can take his position.. That’s the best one I can come up with…

  8. Anonymous says:

    WTF are our career political experts in the Cayman Islands, wasting any time thinking they have ANY input on the Queen’s appointed UK representative to the Territory? Do they not know how this works?!? It’s bad enough that we have to pay top dollar for these louts to polish a seat in the LA for four years, they are too busy arguing over nonsense like this, to enact the Standards in Public Life Law, or advance any of the business that applies to their station. Jaw dropping ineptitude.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am really concerned about the Opposition. They simply can’t get anything right. I have never seen a group work so hard to lose the next Election.

      I will never vote for anyone who doesn’t support their own.

      • Anonymous says:

        I love people who try to make every issue Caymanian vs Non-Caymanians
        .And criticize any Caymanians who dare question or criticize other Caymanians

        We need more leaders who will say the harsh truths, even and some might say especially if it is not what we want to hear

        There is a reason why we don’t use a system of direct democracy and this whole make Manderson Governor petition is one great example
        Ideas are like shits, everyone has them, and most of them stink

      • Anonymous says:

        7:07 am: I had to smile when I read your comment. You have entirely missed the point. Mr. Suckoo made it clear that his comments were not about whether Acting Governor Manderson was capable or not, or whether he supported him or not.

        HIs remarks spoke to what is feasible under the current Constitution and what it would take to achieve what the petition is proposing—major Constitutional advancement or even independence.

        In taking this position, the Opposition is pushing for the good of the people and the population as a whole.

        And that position, my friend, means that you need not worry about the Opposition.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah that’s why we have so many criminals amongst us because we are not allowed to speak the truth and call our own criminals! Head in the sand mentality is rampant and alive. Support your “own” at all cost even if they suck!

      • West Bay Premier says:

        7:07am, your comment sounds like one of the old ladies from West Bay that believe that McKeeva is the Lord Jesus Christ .

    • Pit Bull says:

      Absolutely. This is a UK issue not a territorial issue. But the fact some think the DG could do the job shows how clueless many are as to basic constitutional matters. I blame a poor education. English gents are given a solid grounding in such matters at school.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh dear, Mr Bull, your last sentence is what I believe is called ‘trolling”. Quite unworthy of you, old top, eh what? An English gent would not sink to such levels.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The governor is meant to be apolitical and unbiased
    If we start letting the government of the day appoint the Governor it will just become another part of the local game

    • Anonymous says:

      8:37 pm: the governor looks after one interest—the FCO’s. And if they get out of line, they have a Matthew Forbes to sort them out.

      • Tango Flux says:

        Yes and the trouble is we have tooooo many Mattchew Forbes types around here sorting too many things out for the FCO and her corporate sponsors, which by the way are not in best interest of either the UK or her overseas territories!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Speaker is also supposed to keep his mouth closed on these matters , somebody please tell him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except the government of the day can never appoint a government. Take away your straw-man argument.

      • Anonymous says:

        They don’t now, but they want to be able to, that is why Mac is supporting that petition

        Not forgetting his bone to pick with the FCO

  10. We Are Well Able says:

    I think many do not understand the role of the governor and do not understand a local can perform the same functions as one from across the seas.

    This has NOTHING to do with Independence. We are in the 21st century, it is time we support local and know we are just as capable and competent. If the Opportunity arises for the FCO to hire a qualified and competent local, who is a British citizen to perform the functions of governor, what is the objection there? Are we at such low self-esteem we don’t want to see our own excel?

    We prefer to recall someone who has a history of questions following him and who no one truly knows about.

    Come on Caymanians big-up your locals, no one else will.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      We Are Well Able , I dont believe so, and you need to stop believe and listening in Bush and McLaughlin, because they don’t care about you . If you were Dart they would.
      Open your eyes and ears and mind , and believe what Suckoo is saying , because you are not in the big boy club .

      • Priscilla says:

        Thank you Ron, someone said it…. only constitution they believe on gthe republic of the mighty $$ to the victor (highest bidder) goes the spoils.

    • Anonymous says:

      @7:49 You are missing the point. Did you not read “Suckoo noted because section 31 (3) states that the governor’s office must promote the interests of the United Kingdom, while section 33 (2) states that the governor may act against the advice of Cabinet.” or more to the point “states that the governor’s office must promote the interests of the United Kingdom” or as he was saying about the register “the governor would be expected to facilitate the implementation forthwith without criticism or resistance”.

      He would have/be forced to give up any and all loyalty to Cayman. You honestly believe that if he is appointed and the instant he doesn’t want to do, or show any hesitation to what the UK dictates, that he is going to remain in the chair?

      All this petition is doing is showing the rest of the world that Cayman is entering the fold of countries with political instability. A small colony rejecting the political wishes of it’s stable and trusted parent country to facilitate it’s own fledgling agenda. I cannot believe MLAs are backing this. Mac jumping on board is no surprise, at least his opportunistic nature is honest. He couldn’t care less about a local governor as long as he get the chance to be it one day and then God really help us. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he was part of the driving force behind all of this. I wouldn’t put it past him.

      • Anonymous says:

        7:48 am: Well said. As Suckoo said, the petition is proposing a most implausible outcome, as its realization can only mean one thing—independence.

        Do Caymanians really feel that they are ready for that?

        And, yes, the implications of the petition are such that it does show a level of political instability, and that usually spells trouble for investors.

        People need to think much, much deeper—this is not a simple as it appears on the surface.

        And I can very well see Mac salivating about the prospect of he himself becoming Governor. God help us!

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about

      You act as if anyone in Caymanians want to be held responsible for crime and national defense among the other

      The constitution allows for the roles of the governor to be assigned to members of the elected Government they simply need to ask


      The Deputy Governor as we have seen is perfectly fine picking up his fat salary and doing nothing to change the civil service

      Covering for all their shortcomings like Jennifer Ahearn as we saw during the last legislative session
      He doesn’t want to change anything in the civil service
      People want to put him in the Governors house so he can start handing out favours and benefits without oversight

      • Anonymous says:

        Totally agree with you on this 8:21. Then you will see the true colors of what we call CAYMANIAN?.

    • Pasha says:

      Being appointed Governor isn’t just another job, you moron. He/she is the Queen’s (UK Govt.’s) representative.

    • Anonymous says:

      I assume you personally knew all Governors previously appointed to these Islands….

  11. Just saying says:

    Well maybe the plan is to create an independent Dart Islands and make him the owner and Governor

  12. Anonymous says:

    i knew mac was behind it…says it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac is the front guy. Check behind him and you will find Alden.

      • Anonymous says:

        Alden should let his position be known. His party used to stand for transparency. Not now. What we now have from him is just the opposite. As frightening as it is, the only ones I can now trust are Miller and Sukoo. Like it or not, they say who they are are, and what they stand for.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why don’t we hear a word from the Premier about all this or who were the people from the glasshouse that wrote the complaints on the new Governor???

  13. Anonymous says:

    Your blind allegiance to the acting gov is going to be your downfall. Who do you think is behind the removal of the governor? Mac would love to position himself to lead this country again and you short sighted short memoried colour struck folks are willing to sit back and hand it to them.

  14. Anonymous says:


  15. Renegadestar says:

    Kudos to Mr. Suckoo and the opposition for this, its a matter of checks and balances you do not want the faith of the country to fall into the hands of a fraternity.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hear, hear, Mr.Suckoo. Well said.

  17. Caymanians Forward says:

    Why shouldn’t a Caymanian enjoy the substansive power and financial benefits?

    Regardless to allegiance, why someone from outside has to come and get the BIG jobs?

    The next should be CoP and all the other top foreign held jobs.

    A Caymanian in an acting role is carrying out the same function, therefore Mr. Sookoo rational doesn’t ring right.

    • Observer says:

      I thought that Mr Suckoo explained it very well. Take another read. These decisions should not be about money for the elite—it is about the economic well being of the many and the country as a whole.

    • Renegadestar says:

      Think before you speak(or write)

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t you think the Caymanian CoP should come before Governor – any appointed Governor at this juncture would be there to protect the interests of the United Kingdom. I received an invitation to sign the petition and deleted it. We are NOT, IN ANY WAY, ready to move towards Independence from England and this is what this would instigate. I agree with Mr Suckoo. Be very careful what you sign.

      • Anonymous says:

        Any appointed governor, past or present, is here to protect UK’s interest period. Did you not read that section?

      • Anonymous says:

        We already had our “first Caymanian Chief of Police” with all the accompanying cheering etc. How well did that work out?

    • Anonymous says:

      Our government refuses to be transparent and accountable

      They refuse to put into place the standards in public life laws
      and you somehow think that we would be better off
      With a government lackey without oversight

  18. Anon says:

    Great comments Hon. Suckoo. You are right.

    • Caymanian born says:

      I believe in showing people respect no matter who they are.

      But when are we going to stop being followers?  When is Caymanians going to stop addressing frail human beings with titles like –


      Must we forever bow down to the pagan European systems, as if a good thing?!

      Let us teach our children truth. These titles belong “ONLY” to God and nobody else!

      • Anonymous says:

        I see nothing wrong with calling an honourable man “honourable”, ease up on the herb there Rasta it a mess wit u head likkle bit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sir or Madam, my respects to you. But these titles exist to remind us of the extreme importance and gravity of key positions in our society. These positions should not be taken lightly. And those who bear such titles that are attributed to God, should out of fear and deep humility perform their duties the best they can, and not see themselves any better than the average person.

      • Anonymous says:

        that is called PROTOCAL, get yourself some manners

  19. Anonymous says:

    Are you sure it’s not more a case that a Caymanian Governor would be incompatible with the ‘spirit’ of the Cayman constitution?

    • Observer says:

      2:23 pm: Although I am opposed to the appointment of a Caymanian Governor General at this time (and that is what the appointment would have to be), I find your comment repugnant. Your prejudices are handing way out, undisguised. In fact, it is your attitude that drives countries to independence before their due.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Finally someone with some sense! Do any of the people who signed the petition even know who drafted it ? Why put your signature to a document and not know who wrote the document and what their objective is ? I smell a rat!

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe they should have signed to bring back a governor they don’t know, who appeared in the land a couple of months ago and claimed fame for getting things done that the civil service already had in the works. That might sound like a better option to you?

      At least we know Franz and we also know that beneficial ownership is going to happen – why try to make it seem like we would think it’s Franz fault or tear him in half? Which idiot in this country would blame him then for something that has already happened now? Suckoo lost on that point, sorry.

      You’re right – I smell the rat too and his name is “it will say anything to stop caymanians”.

  21. Giggles says:

    Economic independence??? I didn’t know there was such a thing separate from politricks!

    • Onserver says:

      2:19 pm: you need not look very far. Check out Jamaica: a clear example of “politrics” that has absolutely nothing to do with economic independence.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Could you imagine being independent with set of idiots that we have in Government? We would become a welfare state and the poorest nation in the Caribbean. Especially with no resources to sustain ourselves. Shame on Alden and his PPM Government on trying to be greedy. I guess with independence he can make himself dictator.

    • Anonymous says:

      caymans becoming independent would be a starvation state, and crime would be 1,000 fold. It would be a sad sad day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Totally agree with the comments. Crime would skyrocket here in Cayman due to the people in need. We would for sure lose the value of our currency as we would no longer have the UK to back us. No natural resources, no defense, we already broke and imagine the people taking their money out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Franz Manderson for governor? Which Lodge is he connected to? Those lodge brothers are our disaster and down fall. Too many devious people.

      • Anonymous says:

        The disaster here would be worse than Jamaica’s decline after independence. We are NOT anywhere close to being able to function as an independent nation.

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