Constitution dictates speaker’s removal

| 12/01/2021 | 57 Comments

Ezzard Miller writes: The question Caymanians must answer is: Given our Christian heritage that has demanded very high standards of morals and ethics, particularly from our leaders, is it OK for McKeeva Bush to remain in the speaker’s position while serving a 60-day imprisonment sentence for criminal offences related to beating a woman?

In my considered opinion, both as a Caymanian and a member of Parliament, the answer is no. This situation is an embarrassment to the country internationally, to every Caymanian and to the Parliament.

I am not aware that this has ever happened anywhere in the Commonwealth, where a speaker is allowed to serve a custodial sentence while sitting in the speaker’s chair.

Why is this allowed to continue? Political expedience! At what price do we retain power?

One of the things that I find so revolting and repulsive is that there are other members of Parliament that will tell me privately that something needs to be done, he needs to go, it’s terrible for Cayman, but will say nothing publicly nor take any action to remove the speaker.

In this case, silence is not an option or a luxury this country can afford.

Going along to get along and stay in power, our individual benefits from silence, should not outweigh our efforts to do the right thing for Cayman and Caymanians. There are lessons to be learned from the recent occurrences in the United States by allowing constant small erosions of our standards, morals and ethics.

I am therefore challenging the premier, the attorney general and the Constitutional Commission to explain to me and other Caymanians how the Cayman Islands Constitution Order, 2009 allows this to continue.

In my view the Constitution has four sections that are applicable to this situation and these are sections 61, 62, 63 and 64.

The framers of our Constitution recognised that there should be embedded in our Constitution standards for qualifications and disqualifications to be elected to Parliament and also standards that apply while one serves as an elected member.

These standards for qualifications, disqualifications, tenure and vacation of a seat in Parliament are detailed in sections 61, 62, 63, and 64 of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order, 2009.

Section 61 deals with the qualifications to be an elected member of Parliament and this section is not relevant to this situation

Section 62 deals with the disqualification of an elected member and is not directly relevant to this situation, as the speaker is already a member of the Parliament and most of these standards apply before the person is elected.

Section 63 deals with the tenure of office of elected members, and this section is relevant to the current situation, especially subsection (g) which directs us to the provisions of sections 64 and 62(1).

Section 64 deals with delay in vacation of seat, to allow for an appeal and is also relevant to this situation, particularly the words “is under a sentence of imprisonment” (my emphasis). The only delay allowed here is if an appeal to the sentence has been filed, and to my knowledge no appeal has been filed in the Cayman courts. This section also states “he or she shall forthwith cease to preform his or her functions as a member of the Legislative Assembly” (my emphasis).

So what are we waiting for? This needs to happen now.

First we waited after the incident was reported in the news for the speaker to be arrested and charged, then we waited for the court to prove him guilty. He admitted guilt, then we waited for him to be sentenced. Are we now waiting for him to serve out the sentence or for the Parliament to be dissolved?

There can be no debate or doubt, nor can we ignore the fact that the speaker is currently under a sentence of imprisonment for sixty days. The fact that the sentence has been suspended for two years does not change the fact that he is under a sentence of imprisonment.

Therefore, in accordance with the provisions of section 64 of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order, 2009, I again call for Mr Bush to vacate his seat as speaker of the Parliament.

We, the other members of Parliament, must stop whispering behind his back and closed doors that he must be removed. If he will not by his own action vacate the speaker’s chair, we must act in accordance with the Standing Orders and the Constitution, call a special meeting of the Parliament and vote him out of office. Anything less is a dereliction of duty.

We, as members of Parliament, ought to consider the other far reaching implications, such as our international reputation. What will the OECD think about our ability to deal with international criminal activity if we refuse to deal with our own?

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Category: Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Unless your name is Ezzard Miller do not come knocking on my door for votes. I can buy my own fridge, turkey and ham. Thank you very much!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    While the majority supports you in this decision, Mr. Miller. Our Christian Heritage has demanded very high standards of morals and ethics on a host of other issues you and other elected officials have allowed to take place in this society. Much to the frustration of the indigenous population of Caymanians whose way of life is being altered to accommodate new entrants and ideals. Take some time to consider the ghastly social impacts of the “New Cayman vision” you and other elected officials are forging ahead with while ignoring the plight of the local people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If Trump can be impeached, why a convicted criminal still holds his post?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Barbara Connolly,

    Do not knock on my door asking for a vote until you have done your part to remove Mckeeva.

    GTS voter.

  5. JTB says:

    Every member of the legislature bar Ezzard is accepting, by their silence, that violence against women is ok, that it can be tolerated, in pursuance of political power. That it is something which can be weighed in the balance against competing considerations.

    Every member of our legislature, bar Ezzard, has thereby disqualified themselves from re-election.

    Violence against women is an absolute wrong. It is utterly unacceptable. Anyone who commits it, or condones it, has no place in our public life.

    Shame on you all. You dishonour our country.

  6. Diogenes says:

    Whilst I would love Mr Miller to be right, I am afraid his interpretation of the constitutional provisions cited has a gaping hole in it.

    Section 63 only applies to require the seat to be vacated if any of the conditions in section 62(1) that would have prevented the individual from running (other than 62(1)(g) apply. Section 64 only applies if Section 63 is triggered. Section 62(1)(e) does prohibit a person from being elected if under sentence of imprisonment, even if sentence is suspended, but critically that sentence must either be for dishonesty, or must be for at least 12 months.

    “exceeding twelve months imposed on him or her by a court in any country or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him or her by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended, or has been convicted by any court in any country of an offence involving dishonesty”

    Mac’s sentence is not for a period in excess of 12 months, and rather worryingly could never have exceeded 12 months because the maximum for common assault, as opposed to ABH, is 12 months. So Mr Millers thesis falls apart – the vacation of seat provisions are simply not triggered, and would never be triggered once the Crown decided to charge him with common assault rather than an offence causing actual bodily harm

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not about vacating the WBW seat. It is simply about removing him from the speaker position.

      • Anonymous says:

        Miller’s article is about removing him from his seat. Removing him as speaker just requires the MPs to vote. Nothing to do with sections 61-64 of the constitution.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s not a constitution.

  8. Anonymous says:

    common decency says he should be removed.
    but welcome the neverland of cayman…where arrogance, hypocrisy and ignorance rule the day.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Constitution dictates something? Pffft.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Reading and interpreting the constitution is one thing.

    Finding 17 MLAs with a backbone and courage to do the right thing quite another I am afraid.

    • Anonymous says:

      3 decent MP s now here and the rest are all slimy chicken-livered invertebrates. All self- absorbed morons who will never be any use standing up for what’s right or indeed for the greater good !

  11. Anonymous says:

    But Ezzard, although you are right, we do not follow laws around here. That includes the Constitution.

  12. Voting civil servant says:

    Slimy. That is the word that comes to mind for every silent MP – male and female. I dare say 98% of voting civil servants want that megalomaniac bigot removed from the Chair; plus, he is a convict and therefore not eligible for running for office. Alden, Franz: take our muzzle off and let us voice our opinion in this matter. We are voters too!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This Christian heritage nonsense. How about just plain old moral values. Values that people of any religion, and no religion can attest to just being correct.

    Assaulting an innocent woman is just abhorrent. Bush should have fallen on his own sword, but he didn’t. Yes, he needs to go, but cut the Christian crap.

    • ACaymanian says:

      The Christian crap huh, well 7:40 pm and others if it’s crap to you, I pray for your souls and your deliverance from the clutches of what you believe in. God have mercy on you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Militant atheists are ok with me. How come I’m not ok with them?

      • Anonymous says:

        When I say Christian crap, I’m referring to the invoking of some nostalgia that will resonate with a few Caymanians in order to curry favor and get some votes.

        I believe Christian principles are great, but so are Islamic principles, and Sikh principles.

        You worship whoever and however, it really doesn’t bother me. Idiots beating up women, bother me.

  14. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Mr. Ezzard appears to be the only MP with the sand to speak the truth.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So Ezzard, are you going to start gathering your 7 signatures now, because I dont see the point in just writing it here. I mean, it is a good piece and a nice read and I agree with most if not all that you have written, but other than writing for CNS, what else can you do?
    The last time they (Opposition) called for the 7 MPs signatures to debate Bush’s removal was before he was charged and convicted and some used that as an excuse. Now that he has had his day in court, perhaps you should get the same signatures (+ 1) and see who refuses to sign, make it public when you do, and let the public be the final judge at the polls if you do not get your 7 signatures.

    Just a thought

    • Anonymous says:

      working on it watch this space. Maybe you should call your MP and demand he/she sign the letter

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh my family and I have already spoken to my MP and demanded exactly that. I just hope MPs dont wait until the last week in March when to call House or gather the votes…

  16. Anonymous says:

    25th amendment!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see why they ALL so afraid of moving BUSH out of that seat he is so unworthy of holding a seat still after all the charges he been charged look at his twin TRUMP bet USA not afraid to kick up a major storm days before he is officially out of office 😞 so let’s kick his butt out before May neither of the two should hold office again 😡😡grow some balls😡

  18. Anonymous says:

    They’ll never remove him because he knows things about them that can’t get out. Don’t you see? They’re all wrapped around his finger, scared to say or do anything; there must be a reason, he must have something against them! All career politicians have something secret.

    • Anonymous says:

      One thing our representatives do not have is honor. Labeling them “Honorable” is about as far from truth as you can get!

    • Anonymous says:

      If I had to bet with my imagination, it’s because they all have a controlling stake in Cayman’s lucrative Cannabis smuggling black market.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wouldn’t doubt it and this prob why they don’t want recreational use legalized but let the foreigners import the extracts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah he may know things about dem but bush’a ole boy there are pictures a yeah busha dem ole parties busha yeah busha even well don want to give every thing away. Some things can still appear on the windshields of the Cabinet, so go ahead bypusha I know ya reading do the right thing fe ya family’s sake if nah fe country.

  19. Anonymous says:

    No shit. These folks are like Trump and the GOP, they haven’t read theirs either.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Fully agree with you, Ezzard. This government is a complete disgrace.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mr Miller unfortunately you lost the argument the minute you invoked our Christian heritage. The same Christian heritage you so gladly overlooked voting for the Civil Partnership Law.

    Whilst Mr Bush remaining in post does not suit your current political agenda, your self confessed Godly belief should not be used only when it is convenient!

    This is reason why many people stay away from religion; false tongues and false prophets like yourself!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothin un-Christian about the Civil Partnership Law

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Agree. Whenever we embrace civil rights and equality, it could be argued that we are being as Christlike as we are capable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would be wonderful if we could just all agree the alcoholic beating up a woman in public was someone who shouldn’t hold public office without needing to cite the sky fairy or try to have a competition to determine who is the one who is properly following the sky fairy’s supposed teachings or principles.

      Say what you want about atheists and agnostics but we can figure that sort of stuff out without having to decide which part of a 2000 year old collection of texts is the right part to rely on to make a decision
      Not to mention, if we are going to be citing the Bible as the source of moral righteousness and guidance then women are really up the proverbial creek without a paddle
      and sinking fast
      Have you actually read what is in that? Women aren’t exactly treated fairly or given much at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        “True morality is doing what is right without the threat of divine retribution nor the possibility of divine reward.”

        – Arthur Paliden

        It is better to give a homeless man a meal for a handshake than for a like on social media.

      • John Harris says:

        Well said

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard is the messiah and I should know.
      I’ve followed a few.

    • You get an F in equality says:

      12:11pm: the partnership bill was about law, not religion. Next!

  22. Anonymous says:

    No it is not OK for him to remain. His own alleged religious beliefs should tell him that.

    Ray Farrington

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Well said Ray and thanks for putting your name to your reply. More people need do this.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The OECD naughty list is one thing, the FATF, who have the authority to regulate CI Entity access to international custody, settlements and payments systems, is several magnitudes more serious. The CFATF made us a short list of our problems in March 2019, with political corruption, illicit transshipment economies, and associated money laundering, all being near the top of the domestic crime list, and thus far, completely unaddressed since the report was published. We do it to ourselves.

    Page 9/274: “Domestically, the NRA identified theft, corruption and drug trafficking as the main generators of domestic proceeds of crime”

  24. Anonymous says:

    Well said Mr. Miller. Those members that remain silent is as quilty as he is. Thank God we have you to stand for the country and do what must be done. You have my respect and allegiance 100%.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Power grab. Nothing to see here

  26. Anonymous says:

    Does Bush get 3 months severance if he is removed from his seat?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard, you’re the only MoP in that bucket that I respect.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Bush attacked her supposed sexuality in a written post – that’s a hate crime he wasn’t charged with or prosecuted for. Retrial.

    • Anonymous says:

      @10.55 The protected characteristic of sexuality was very conveniently left out of the Bill Of Rights so prosecution for a hate crime as such is non existent.

    • Anonymous says:

      No hate crime law in the CI apparently.

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem is that in Cayman if it goes against the “bibles teachings” then its ignored……pretty much like everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        I swear Christians in the past year have made the church look less and less appealing in a world where fairytales like religion is dying anyway

      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly most, maybe even all, churches pick and choose what is to be plucked from the Bible to serve their own agendas.

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