Alden contrasts gov’t unity with opposition split

| 06/05/2019 | 80 Comments
Cayamn New Service

Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller (left) and Premier Alden McLaughlin (from CIGTV)

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin capitalised on the division among the members of the opposition and the resignation of their leader, Ezzard Miller, as he pressed home his message in a release Monday that electing independent candidates without a shared view does not work. He contrasted his coalition government, which has held together around common policies for two years, to the infighting among members of the opposition, who do not have shared ground. McLaughlin said it was important in a democracy to have a functioning opposition because its leader has a key role in local leadership and he was “troubled to learn” of Miller’s resignation.

“In any democracy, the leader of the opposition is a serious role,” McLaughlin said in a statement. He said that in the Cayman Islands, not only does the opposition leader play “an important constitutional office, required under section 68 of the Constitution”, but the holder of the position has “several key roles, including serving as a member of the National Security Council and as chair of the Public Accounts Committee”.

He added, “And of course the leader of the opposition serves a significant role in leading and speaking for opposition members inside and outside of the Legislative Assembly.”

McLaughlin said he was concerned by the “political infighting and personal ambition riddling the current opposition group”, which “does not serve well the long-term interests of our country”.

He said, “In effect, the country is witnessing first hand why it is not practical for a group of independent candidates to get elected and then seek to come together in the country’s interest. They are too busy pursuing their own individual agendas to even try to develop a shared view. By their own admission, the preference of the opposition members is to ‘maintain our independence and the political platform we are all elected on’.”

The members had tried “to paint themselves as a government in waiting”, he said. “But if they cannot maintain any coherence in opposition, what chance is there that they could form an effective government?”

Clearly making the most of the problems plaguing the opposition benches and stressing how he has held a coalition of two political parties and several independents together, he said, “Disunity, disorganisation and dark deeds fuelled by personal, political ambition are not what this country needs to take us forward.”

Pointing to Miller’s own words in the wake of his resignation that an opposition needs a level of cohesion, industry and commitment to serve in the best interest of the people, McLaughlin said, “As premier, I do hope that the country as well as the members of the opposition learn from the lessons that the opposition members themselves are providing – it takes a committed team to govern.”

He said, “This is the way that I and the team that I lead have operated in our caucus, in Cabinet and in the Legislative Assembly. We promised to come together as a Government of National Unity and we have governed with our collective responsibility to do the right thing for the country as our guiding principle,” he said.

Claiming to have  provided a stable and progressive government, he continued, “Despite some challenges, the country as a whole is doing remarkably well. I am certainly proud of the team that I lead. Despite comprising various political factions, we have striven to find more in common than we had differences.”

McLaughlin thanked Miller for his work, particularly with regards to ongoing constitutional reform.

“I, along with the rest of the country, anxiously await the decision of the opposition as to who will become their new leader, and to know soonest who will comprise the membership of the official opposition in the Legislative Assembly,” he said.

It is not clear who will take over from Miller. CNS spoke to two opposition members on Friday following the resignation of the North Side member, who will step down at the end of this month, but neither of them knew this at the time of his resignation. It is understood that the most likely contenders for the job are Arden McLean or Alva Suckoo.

However, McLean is currently overseas and the opposition members are believed to be waiting for his return before any announcements are made about Miller’s successor.

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Comments (80)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    they all make cayman look bad especially arden, suckoo, eden and especially Dwayne the buffone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious. But isn’t this unity government just a bunch of “yes men” under their so so supreme leader?

  3. Leroy Parker says:

    I must admit that the unity government is operating like a well-oiled machine and I don’t care about what the detractors think. The one thing that I am concerned about is why they haven’t yet rescinded the decision on holding people’s pension monies in these Islands. From an economic standpoint, this is not a sustainable measure for a confluence of factors. Who will be responsible to ensure that the prospective pension recipient is still alive and kicking and answers to the same information they left on file? In the unfortunate that they are deceased, who will be contacted to ensure that the monies don’t just fall in the govt coffers?

    In the long run, it will cost the govt. far more to administrate these pension payments and keeping track of the recipients. Additionally, I cannot think of any other country where a government could just have passed a law to take what was rightfully earned. The act does not fall short of Henry Morgan Stanley and the Congo. The pension situation as we know is in shambles being under funded, therefore, the govt. is better off getting rid of this dead weight, pay the people their monies and concentrate on our people. Why are we concerned about someone who is going back to their country where they have already established themselves and have plans for their monies which we are holding hostage here in the hopes that it will keep us afloat?

    I have checked the other BOT’s and they give persons who are not belongers their pension monies back when they leave the territory.

    Let common sense prevail. We don’t want to give them residency but their money is good to stay and become caymanian?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Absolute rubbish. What we are witnessing is democracy at play. Many governments around the world fall apart. Recently the conservatives challenged PM May’s leadership and put it to a democratic vote. Stop your self-serving power-push misleading arrogance. We are better off for some semblance of democracy at play not worst off.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a self-serving, political statement to utter from an official, public office. You should be ashamed of yourself. You know that saying that those that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? Let’s see if you can keep your people together until the next election. Independents are, by definition, independent… not a part of a “collective mind” as your unity government. And thank God for that.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      That’s what Aden Ezzard and the opposition part , that electing Independent Candidates without shared views don’t make sense. I wonder if this is the first time he used those words.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This Unity Government isn’t any better than the opposition. The cost of living in the Cayman Islands is sky high – the highest it has ever been.

    Hope they will not get re-elected next election.

  7. PPM Member says:

    Some people have short memories.
    Those who now castigate Alden for pulling together the present government should remember that if he had not succeeded in doing it we would have had McKeever/Ezzard/Arden each trying to gather enough votes and a protracted wrangle that, if it ever came to fruition would be so unstable that we would end up with a new general election within six months.

    • Dave S says:

      Hi PPM Member, you are correct. On election night the govt was formed at least 4 or 5 times! Allowing a mrgin of error for UK interference ofcourse.

      Alden is now insecure, he has failed, and continues to fail. Ezzard can resign if he is tired and wants a break, its his perogative. I do lament Ezzards departure as Opposition leader because hes been lately acting more like a leader than ever…Maybe Alden’s latest fear of Ezzard is “”political paranoia”. Ezzard, now that you are really leading in major issues, this is not the time to resign, withdraw it please.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wish the remainder of the independants would realize their incompetence and re-elect Ezzard…there is really no one there who can lead.

        • Anonymous says:

          Alva and Arden will never let them. Those two have been eyeing the leader of the opposition seat for years. The bigger question is which one of those two will survive the knife fight that is to come.

    • Anonymous says:

      As opposed to the alternative which is coalition of selfish greedy men totally lacking in integrity…the Aldart One-Armed-Bandit gang.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is 100% truth, our great premier put together the unity team and leads it very strong. He is the greatest and we are so lucky to have him. Please be our Premier for life!

    • Anonymous says:

      The remnants of the UDP in the form of Mac and JuJu welcomed by Alden into the PPM has polluted the party.

      Alden for all his talk to denigrate the independents has also had PPM defectors – e.g. Arden, Kenneth, Alfonso, Wayne, Chuckie etc.

      Let us also not forget that Mac’s UDP had their defectors, e.g. Roulston, Juju, Chris, Roy Bodden, Gilbert, etc.

      The fact is that historically all of our political leaders fail to hold teams together.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, 3;52! That’s because the political “leaders” aren’t leaders and their “teams” aren’t teams.

  8. anon says:

    The PPM lost all credibility when it went to bed with the UDP.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Until the SIPL Law is enacted, everyone sitting in that LA is running afoul of the Constitution Order 2009. The wider civil service, over which this Cabinet presides, continues to decline FOIs, satisfy themselves with unresponsiveness, or are made to fear for their jobs as whistle blowers. We are so far from transparency and good governance required Mr Governor, that we can’t even see it from here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is coming from a person, Alden, who is now best friends with Mac?? With their history you can’t make this up!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess you prefer them to be enemies 10.28am

      • Anonymous says:

        After witnessing the damage mckeeva has done to position of speaker of the house and how Alden has just sat back and let him do it, yes I would much rather they were enemies.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Most if not all members of the Opposition are prima donnas and have an inflated view of their own importance. They do not understand that you must work with other members of the LA to get things done.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is refreshing to read the comments by the Premier — very statesman-like. You have impressed me for the first time, Mr. Premier.

      I join you in thanking Mr. Ezzard for his very noteworthy service. Big shoes to fill.

    • Anonymous says:

      Much respect, Mr. Premier.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Arden: loves to hear himself talk
    Chris: can’t speak clearly and dismisses everyone
    Eden: all he does is read Bible
    You imagine any of these three representing Cayman in the international arena?? I don’t see a potential Leader here.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:56 am: You forgot Alva. Nothing much going on there either. I would not feel comfortable with his representation on the international scene either.

      • Anonymous says:

        I did not forget him; I simply figure that if he resigned as Deputy, he won’t have the gall to vie for the main job.

        • Anonymous says:

          2.48pm You’re wrong. The reason he resigned is what is happening now . He wants to be the big boss… it was also his reason for walking away from PPM. This man is ambitious.He is following the lead of big Mac. Mac ran with Benson in 1984 then left in 1987. In 1984 he rejoined Mr Benson and won.He didn’t get a Exco seat and by 1989 he left the Benson group again.The desire for power is strong in Mr Sukoo.

          • Anonymous says:

            Suckoo for some strange reason has a sense of entitlement. Problem is as most entitled people he has no motivation to make much effort, which means experience and growth are also minimal.

            You have to work for success, Alva.

        • Anonymous says:

          Isn’t that the whole point? He wants the job and knew that it was never going to happen unless Ezzard was out of his way!

  13. LookYa says:

    We need NEW people; people who are mature enough to be willing to find common ground for the betterment of the country. We have to choose our representatives based on their merit, not the washers or microwaves they give away or the house repairs they are willing to pay for. Let us clean our House and get rid of the rusty fixtures; the womanizers, preachers, gamblers and conmen. And during election, if you know they are not good for the country, SPEAK UP. Their private life is theirs, but if they travel on behalf of the country and their dark side comes out and they get caught, we will all pay the price.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need a Green Party led by the younger generation of Caymanians. The old boys and girls currently in the Legislature have sold out to developers and other business interests,

    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot the wife beaters and the adulterers. How many have a love child? They all need to go.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Anybody who agrees with Ezzard I would regard with an eye of scrutiny

  15. Anonymous says:

    Lets not forget Bernie who should be counted as Opposition…poor bernie he is so lost it is sad. Not to worry he will back in the bakery business in 2021.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Alden has actively deterred and impeded the Opposition in their limited effort to do their jobs or shadow the govt. Our whole system is broken from a Cabinet that also refuses to enact SIPL law – required by the Constitution!

    • Anonymous says:

      7.46am Anyone that follows procedures in the house knows that as Premier Alden has worked with the Leader of the Opposition for the better functioning of LA. I would go so far as to say this is the best organized Opposition we have had..until now. You are wrong on this one.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have people that have shared ground. You have people that are afraid of dissenting, that they blindly follow whatever you say. At the end of the day the independents made up the largest number of winners in the election. It shows the country is tired of your politics. It will be interesting in 2021. Don’t think you are above losing that one or before.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most are there t not make waves and collect the pay check with for as little effort as possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      @7.39am PPM had 8votes CDP 3 and independents 8.Even if you want to include Tara as an independent they did not ‘have people that have shared ground’ as is being shown with the break up of the Opposition.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Alden contrasted his coalition government, which has held together around common policies for two years.

    That may be true for Alden as a politician, however, the PPM has suffered because once Alden and the other PPM MLAsheep joined with UDP after the last election, they lost a lot of respect and support. I know they lost my support.

    Tell me, how can you berate and castigate the UDP for umpteen years, just go through an election campaign where you were tearing them down, and then join with them on a whim just seven days after the election? What was all that talk before?

    PPM are done. Those who follow Alden are done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aldart needed some fancy footwork to get in last election….he realizes it’s his last term and is focused on security for his own future. So slippery

    • ppm Distress Signal says:

      Alden proved he has no integrity or principles. He would sell his soul and his party for power. His job now is to keep McKeeva Bush or else!

    • Anonymous says:

      @7.31am You ask “how can you berate and castigate the UDP for umpteen years…. and then join with them on a whim just seven days after the election?” The answer is can do it when you put country before self.

    • Anonymous says:

      So tell me then 7:31am, would you have preferred Arden to be the Premier with the support of Mac and his 2 colleagues?

      Unless the different factions had buried their egos, (and mind you the Independents were in the strongest position), they could only make the govt with the support of Mac/UDP.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Alden is a good one to talk… everybody forget how he because best friends with Mac just to hold on to Power ?

  20. Anonymous says:

    You got to feel it for the Opposition …can these guys get anything right?

    Saunders you better join the Government or be dragged back into the private sector in 2021.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The fight for leader has just begun. Which one of them thinks, “country first”? Let’s wait and see.

    • Anonymous says:

      Non of them think “country first “. They think “my wallet first”. You will be waiting for eternity for a “country first” platform. Sad but true.

  22. Anonymous says:

    independents are a waste of space.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The government is only united as they have to do what the de facto Premier wants done.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Government is not made up of a single party with a shared vision and shared values. PUH-LEEZ, The ‘Government’ is made up of Progressives, Cayman Democratics and Indepents (Austin, Tara, Dwayne etc.). Alden is only the Premier because MCKEEVA agreed to let him be.

      McK remind Alden YOU allowed him to be Premier.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are wrong 12.57pm. Alden became Premier because 12 other MLAs supported him not because Mac ‘allowed him ‘.

        • U.N.I.T.Y says:

          McKeeva Bush and Dart now own Alden McLaughlin and PPM.
          The Premier understands if he does not keep the Speaker happy at all costs he and his party will not be in power. This marriage of convenience has Bush holding hard end in this game while Premier Alden dances around to the beat of McKeeva’s and Dart’s drum. This is a true marriage of political expediency.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:41 who do you think should be the Premier?

  24. Wannabe Cyclist says:

    Obviously Alden has had too much cool breeze riding bicycle in Monaco… as it has buffed up his arrogance even more and he ain’t shy to show it! Well Alden since you got so much to say… tell us how much of our money did you sponsor and spend on your latest jaunt in Europe!?! *crickets*

    • Anonymous says:

      10:29pm oh boring Monaco 🇲🇨

      Send your WhatsApp and he will take you the next time that he goes👍🏽

  25. Anonymous says:

    We are about to witness a serious bout of backwardness.

    Harden Arden can never let anything go
    Slow Suckoo says it all
    Misfit Saunders is a leader in his own mind and would be a better fit in Jamaica
    Anthony is ???

  26. Disgruntled Newlands voter. says:

    Whilst we may not agree with how Alden and Ezzard does things, this statement by the Premier is a clear indication that at least he respected Ezzard as the Opposition Leader and does not look forward to having to deal with Larry [Arden] Curly [Chris] or Moe [Al]. Ezzard will have the last laugh in all this and I congratulate Alden for his candid, forthright and honest statement. It is times like this that this country could use a recall vote. To Chris Saunders, while I did not vote for you and I thank God for this, you have lost 11 votes from extended family in BTW so make good of the last 24 months of your term. Arden, it is hoped that this is your last term as well and Al, only advice I have for you is to do like Chris and enjoy the last half cause you are done for. I say this as I voted for you, but I would much prefer to go camp out on Booby Cay next election than to waste time coming to vote for your sorry-self.

    Kudos again to Alden and a big thank you to Ezzard for his statesman service.

    • Anonymous says:

      How many people you voted for you mentioned BTW and Newlands, were you registered to vote in two constituencies ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Disgruntled never claimed to have voted in BTW

      • Anonymous says:

        Numb nuts I clearly stated that I voted in Newlands and that my EXTENDED family voted in BTW. As it is apparent you dont understand the meaning of extended family, I will decode it for you… means an uncle, an aunt and various cousins. It does not infer ME. Hope its clear for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is obvious that comprehension is not your strong suit. Where in the posting above did it say they voted for anyone except Al…

      • Anonymous says:

        Can you kindly show me where in the above post you read anything about the person voting in 2 constituencies??? The writer was clear and concise with his posting and did not infer anything such as you claim.

        Only proves that we have persons on this who read to be negative rather than read to understand.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Both PPM and CDP lost the last election, and we don’t know what deal that was hatched to put the gambler in the Speaker Chair.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Alden is so right here..and believe me I don’t always give him any credit..

    If they wrote to Ezzard saying that they wanted to individually remain independent how can they have a cohesive group? Secondly if they are all independent how can they have a leader.. WOuld every one then be the leader…I think this bunch has just lost the plot and their seats in the next election.

    As far as Ezzard goes, I have to swallow my pride again and give him credit because for the first time in history someone actually brought some semblance of order and sensibility to the of of the Leader of the opposition.

    I think it quite humbling to see that Alden could step up, recognise the efforts and say thank you to Ezzard and wish him well..Haven’t seen that type of civility in between to leaders in the Government in a long time..

    • Anonymous says:

      Give Alden his credit, he didn’t win a majority in 2013 and used the independents to make the Government and make him Premier. In 2017 he again did not get a majority but got some independents and his arch enemy to join him to form the Government and he has been able to keep them together. That takes quite a bit of finesse, Mac couldn’t keep his group together after 2009 and neither could Ezzard. Even after the last election Mac has lost Bernie so now it is just him and Eugene.

  29. Time to retire in the Bush Alden! says:

    A spade is a spade and ain’t no one surprised that Alden would say this! But go ahead Alden and point fingers at the issues of the opposition but what you should really be doing in examining the many ‘cracks’ in your so called ‘Unity Government’ and the ‘glue’ that is holding that together! #2021sooncome

  30. Inspector Clouseau says:

    Things has to be bad in opposition camp if you see Arden turn against Ezzard.

    • Anonymous says:

      Arden was jealous of Ezzard being Leader of Opposition from day one. He never supported Ezzard and did not even want to sign the initial letter to appoint Ezzard. His ego and bad mind is the primary catalyst behind this opposition predicament.

      He even trying to side up with Big Mac and that where a lot of the undermining is being pushed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Arden like Mac turns against everyone if he can not have his way. I often asked Ezzard why he was so loyal and supportive of Arden when Arden never had any loyalty to anyone.

      • Anonymous says:

        6:38….I said from day 1 that this is a mastermind plot of McKeeva Bush to unseat Alden and become Premier. So to your point, back stabbing 101 at the direction of the big man from the west

    • Anonymous says:

      9:10 pm: You are joking, right? Arden who supports no one?

    • Anonymous says:

      Bad in the camp??? It was bad from day one of the negotiations that Arden was trying to lead after the election. He claim that he was the leader then. But alas the other persons in the group did not want him to be leader and he then set out to back-stab his biggest supporter in the back.

      I see in some of the posts above saying that he siding with Mac now…he not the same one that said that he would like to see mac in cuffs being led away to jail???

      Mac…your memory short or wha?

  31. nauticalone says:

    I definitely agree with both the premier and the leader of the opposition here.
    The other opposition members are a sorry bunch!

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