Conolly elected deputy speaker

| 24/04/2020 | 68 Comments
Cayman News Service
MLA Barbara Conolly, the new deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly

(CNS): The PPM member for George Town South, Barbara Conolly, was elected as the deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly late Thursday evening, as proceedings were wrapped up after a special sitting. Conolly is one of just three women in the House and will replace Bernie Bush, who resigned in protest when the current speaker, McKeeva Bush, failed to resign in the face of allegations of assault of a woman.

Conolly’s nomination was made by Premier Alden McLaughlin and seconded by his ministry councillor, Austin Harris (PRO). No other nominations were made and Conolly was automatically appointed to the post. The process came at the end of a special sitting where several members appeared via video conferencing because of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement for social distancing.

The situation surrounding the absence of McKeeva Bush and his leave of absence from the speaker’s chair was not mentioned by any member. However, when Conolly made brief remarks as she accepted the position, she thanked Bush for his “advice and guidance”.

Connolly, a long standing member of the PPM, is a novice MLA, having been elected for the first time in May 2017. However, it is likely that she will be presiding over most, if not all, of the sittings that will take place between now and next March, when the parliament will be prorogued ahead of the General Election in May 2021.

Bush’s leave of absence has still not been addressed, even though there is no constitutional provision for a speaker to take such a temporary break. However, this leave was announced by Bush and the premier on the grounds of mental health issues. The news came in the immediate wake of the controversial incident in February, in which Bush is accused of assaulting the bar manager at Coral Beach after what appears to have been a drunken night out.

The RCIPS said last month that its officers have completed their investigation into the incident and have passed a file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to consider the charges. However the ODPP has not commented on the case and Bush, who was interviewed by police as a suspect, has not been charged.

See the deputy speaker election process on 23 April on CIGTV below:


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Category: Politics

Comments (68)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Go ‘head Alden. Give her one last cameo before we boot her out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “National Vote”. A Caymanian..

  3. Anonymous says:

    So ashamed that Barbara and Tara and Julie were elected. Neither one has shown any integrity or compassion for battered women. I grew up in a home where my father beat my mother every weekend literally, and I always thought that when we got strong women to represent the “weaker sex” we would get tough on woman beating, but what we got was two cabinet ministers with no backbone and a wannabe minister who will be deputy to a man accused of assaulting a woman. I want to vomit, seriously vomit, for all those times I thought I was witnessing my mothers murder, and desperately wanted someone, anyone to help us. Thank God we survived but not without lifelong scars… Thanks a lot Barbara, I mean really,, thank you. SMH

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. I’m sorry you went through that. My mother did too and I see her pain every once and a while. Truly heart breaking.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Should have elected Mary Lawrence.

  5. Anonymous says:

    She may make a good speaker unless the subject is physical assault of a woman at a beach bar…

    • Anonymous says:

      Barbara is a lost cause a puppet for Alden and Kurt. Not one to be trusted look at the smith’s cove fiasco and her defense of and support for the cruise dock when her constituents clearly did not support either project. Time to drain the swamp.

  6. Anonymous says:

    People…friends… family…status holders… Caymanians…..We can only overcome this problem by having a referendum for a “National Vote”. We cannot continue this type of governance for much longer. How in the hell can we sacrifice representatives such as Mr. Archer, Mr. Panton, Mr.Adams…to name a few, persons of integrity and value to our country, to a system that we have now adopted.(OMOV). There are other representatives with potential qualities that are willing to contribute for the betterment of our country, but is just not getting the opportunity to be elected, because we are now caught with the worse system of voting in the world. I challenge anyone of the potentials candidates to support a ” National Vote”. A Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need to get rid of the single seat constituencies/ first past the post/ One Man One Vote / winner take all, system.

      Replace the current failed system which produces the types of “heroes” we have currently with multi seat constituencies, proportional representation at both the local constituency level (say a number of 3 and 4 seat constituencies) and a single Islands wide constituency (of say 3 or 4 seats). Everyone to vote at the local and/or national level if they feel the choice locally is so poor that they can’t bring themselves to vote locally, surely there will be choice at the national level…

      At least then we’d have choice ….. at least we can hope…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else see the irony in filing a position only made vacant due to the elected governments lack of action on Mckeeva’s horrendous behavior with a woman who sat back and said absolutely nothing regarding the issue

    and did they really just appoint a Presiding Officer who for the past 3 years has done nothing of merit, and has spoken on no issues or policies except those she was instructed to do by her party
    What a mess

  8. Anonymous says:

    So Mckeeva is still speaker??? With 4 charges against him? And Barbara is thanking him? He should step down and stop his big salary. Something is not right here……..

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m very disappointed! This, I believe, was a last ditch effort to sure up some support for her in GTS by the PPM but I’m not sure it will work. We are asking a junior MLA to now preside over the entire House. She is still wet behind the ears in trying to throw two words together and if you thought McKeeva spoke out of turn, wait until she starts..

    The way she has treated her people in GTS and what she was trying to do to Smith Barcadere will be her legacy. Add to that the support for the Cruise Port and her many off the cuff personal remarks and attacks..

    I’m sorry but they could have found someone less controversial, more experienced and less insulting..

    The fact that she is now McKeeva’s Deputy and will be trained by someone arrested and charged with assault on a woman, I would have thought would have been her impetus to say no to this position, just on principle alone…Power and greed are two very difficult things to walk away from and trust me in the end it does no one any good..

    In these times when we need every dollar we are paying some of the highest salaries to a Speaker, under indictment and a Deputy Speaker who will need lots of hand holding and training..

    I’m praying for my Cayman!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I would have preferred for Jon Jon to have kept the craziness alive. Much more entertaining that way.

  11. Anonymous says:

    History will prove this Covid19 lockdown was a massive overreaction.

    • Anonymous says:

      ahh…is history gonna say the deaths in the at least hundreds of thousands were caused by …say some unrelated sleep apnea epidemic?

  12. Anonymous says:

    What an awful choice. Couldn’t they have asked a former minister/MLA to do this instead?

    • Anonymous says:

      The deputy speaker must be a current MLA who is not a minister. Probably no opposition member wanted to take the job for the next year since it would mean one less vòte on bills and motions for the opposition.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Deputy Speaker role must be an elected member. Only the Speaker can come from outside the LA

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is Bernie still being payed as the DS? Think he needs to make a statement to the people that his allowance has been removed.

  14. Mythbuster says:

    Well done CNS for using a recent photo. The one in the Compass must have been taken at least 20 years ago!

  15. Anonymous says:

    History will record that she did not say: “fire him first of you want this strong Caymanian woman to do his job.” Shame.

  16. Anonymous says:

    We have now become the laughing stock of the Commonwealth by electing someone with absolutely no experience to the position of Deputy Speaker! What a reputation we mount on ourselves!

    Alden you could have done much better. You should have kept the Little Tony in the post. He knows the procedures. Despite his political failings he would have done Parliament proud in seeing that proper procedures and proper decorum were followed.

    But a few other uncomfortable questions –

    1. Where is Mckeeva?
    2. Can his absence be be explained within the propriety of constitutional conformity?
    3. Your Excellency, as the Queen’s representative, can you at least offer a comment on this matter to Her Majesty’s loyal subjects?
    4. Where is the Sea Parter?

    A real sad state of affairs all around, as if COVID-19 wasn’t enough!

  17. Anonymous says:

    If she needs advice she can always come and post a question on CNS. There is no topic under the sun that can’t be addressed by the wealth of experts scouring these boards every day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, with the amount experts commentating daily on every topic under the sun, the cayman islands should be one of the most issue-free societies in the world !

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a good choice. She is smart, well spoken and catches on quickly. She is not prone to lengthy irrelevant self-serving speeches. She might not have experience but she will learn. If you didn’t want her, who did you want?

    • Anonymous says:

      Anthony or Ezzard would have done the Country proud!

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right.
      The story did make me ‘sad’ however as it points to the dearth of experience/depth/capability on the Government side of the House. And their unwillingness to put a non-Legislator into the post.

      Of course, as you said, within the LA, who would you put?
      (And they couldn’t offer it to Ezzard because that would muzzle him in the debates. Which is why it should be an independent non-legislator.)

      • Anonymous says:

        Deputy speaker is always an MLA only the post of speaker can be held by someone outside the house.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I forgot she was ever elected. Hear nothing from or about her at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Barbara Conolly is my rep and I also voted for her. She has been accessible and visible, and I’m happy with her as my MLA. I’ll be voting for her again.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not. She will pave the way for developers to pave Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmm. where you privileged to into her whatsapp group? The only time I saw her was when she was campaigning and even then she never came to see me, I had to go see her..Last time for that though…

    • Anonymous says:

      ….surely you know she recently wanted to destroy Smith Cove ….?

      • Anonymous says:

        and wanted the Cruise Port built…oh how we so easily forget..

        • Cayman Forgotten says:

          Since the current Speaker, is burdened with legal and personal problems and will have to vacate the position permanently, I think Shirley Roulstone should be made the Speaker.
          She is already a Hero.
          And she can get great advice from the CPR group!

      • Gray Matter says:

        Reply to the idiot above related to you who has never heard of her.

    • Gray Matter says:

      You are an idiot then.

    • Anonymous says:

      She certainly has not been in touch by WhatsApp or any other way with her constituents in GTS during this crisis or before like other representatives.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Jon Jon has been robbed! This is his calling in life!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Who???

  22. Anonymous says:

    Why?

    The future looks very dim for the following MLA’s that will lose their seats in 2021

    Barbara Connolly – GTS
    Austin Harris – Propsect
    David Wight – GTW
    Joey Hew – GTN
    Dwayne Seymour – BTE
    Tara Rivers – WBS
    Arden McLean – EE
    Alva Suckoo – Newlands
    Anthony Eden – Savannah
    Alden McLaughlin – Red Bay

    They have done nothing this term and failed to listen to their constituents.
    Voters are smarter and will take the handouts and still vote them out. Cayman is desperate for change. The only problem with the list is McKeeva Bush and Eugene Ebanks deserve to go but WB is full of crazies that worship Big Mac and his fries.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can take Alva, Arden, Joey and Alden off that list, they na going nowhere but back in !!

      I noticed you didnt mention, Kenneth, Ezzard, Saunders, WTF have any of them done besides make noise ?

    • Anonymous says:

      11.37am Nice wish list. But its only that …wishful thinking.

      • Anonymous says:

        This government works for rich people. We is smarter now. The people must to take the money that gets handed out by the politicians and party supporters, take the groceries, take the beef ham turkey or turtle and the loads of marl and top soil then on Election Day vote them out. Let these mla’s need go find a next job and understand what it is like for most Caymanians suffering because of they no good actions and fake promises. I waiting for them

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you’re wrong, 11:37. At election time they will all say how Christian and God fearing they are and how marriage must be preserved for only a man and a woman and the voters will sweep them back in

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re approaching a time in the islands history where the expats who have picked our economy up out of the mangroves are now caymanian and can finally help guide the government out of the depths of corruption and nepotism. Congratulations to the Canadians and Brits that have invested so much in our country and are proud to now be caymanian. I can’t wait to wote for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        6.58pm I think you mean the expats who came here and flourished and became more successful hete than they ever could at home. But your racism is really astounding..biting the hand that has fed you and is feeding you. Ungrateful and bigoted. Wow

        • Anon says:

          11.12pm “expats biting the hand that fed you”, you have this the wrong way round. Expats have had a very significant hand in building our economy. Have you read the comments above, denigrating almost all your MLA’s, a common theme on CNS. Are you aware that two of the UK’s most senior Ministers are of ethnic origin along with dozens of Members of Parliament and the House of Lords. This is how democracy works, except in the Cayman Islands.
          Has it ever occurred to you that the large number of expats who have lived here for decades and have status/permanent residence have the right as in any civilised democracy to have at least one representative in the L.A. This can only improve the questionable standards of our current politicians.

    • Capn Blackbeard. says:

      11.37am Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Rum, that leaves us with expats, may they soon come.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Do you think the DPP is hoping we forget about the beach bar assault case?

  24. Anonymous says:

    When does Bush get his promotion?

  25. Anonymous says:

    You have got to be kidding!!!

    This woman is a first time member of the LA with absolutely no experience whatsoever in such matters. She hardly knows how to address the Chair properly.

    What a mockery! What a sad day for parliamentary proceedings in the Country.

    Shame on you Alden. Shame on you! All the good work you have done fighting the COVID-19 will be overshadowed by this one mean and stupid act.

    Shame. Shame.

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