Indie PACT cracks under donor pressure

| 16/04/2021 | 222 Comments
Cayman News Service
Isaac Rankine and Sabrina Turner

(CNS): Sabrina Turner, the newly elected MP for Prospect, and the new member for East End, Isaac Rankine, have been picked off by the PPM-Alliance from the Independent PACT group, according to PPM Leader Roy McTaggart, who released what is claimed to be the signature page of an agreement document last night. According to sources close to the backroom horsetrading, the pair were subjected to pressure from campaign donors not to support Wayne Panton’s PACT. While Jay Ebanks has yet to sign on to the PPM deal, his name was on the document. The decision by the two independents to sign has met with massive voter backlash, as the public does not accept McTaggart’s claim that the election was a vote for continuity.

Panton told CNS that he was surprised by the turn of events, given that it was only a matter of hours since the three members had signed the document that he took to the governor. He said all of them had simply walked away and turned off their phones, and by Friday morning he had still been unable to speak with any of them about the issues that have made them renege on the original agreement to form a People driven, Accountable, Competent and Transparent (PACT) government.

“I am willing to have that discussion but at this stage I do not know what became the problem for them. They are grown-up people who are responsible for their own actions and we can only wait now and see what they ultimately decide to do, given that they have signed two different agreements.”

The PPM has not said if the letter supporting McTaggart as premier has reached the governor’s office yet, but when it does, he will be faced with two competing documents that claim a majority of support for two different premiers under two different sections of the Constitution.

McTaggart issued a short statement late Thursday evening saying he was pleased to confirm that the PPM had an agreement with ten elected members to form the government and to elect him as premier. “This will allow the country to have a stable Government and continuity as we address the rebuilding from Covid,” he said.

McTaggart is assumed to be requesting he is appointed premier under section 49(2) of the Constitution. But in reality he does not have a majority party as it remains a coalition, and so he should, as Panton has done under under section 49(3), request a meeting of Parliament for a vote, which would be a much fairer way of resolving the competing letters that Governor Martyn Roper is expected to be in possession of this morning.

This would give the opportunity for the electorate to put some pressure on their MPs to counter that being applied by special interest groups. CNS understands that protests are already being planned in opposition to the PPM forming the government and specifically against Turner in Prospect, given the fact that she was voted into office after the electorate rejected the PPM-Alliance candidate.

The result in Prospect was a clear vote against the continuity that McTaggart claims the electorate voted for. Turner was elected in a close race but one that was an evident rejection of Austin Harris, the incumbent and unequivocal supporter of the PPM-Alliance. More than 70% of voters in that district voted against Harris and the PPM-Alliance ticket on which he was running. 660 people voted for one or other of the two independents on the ballot, both of whom had claimed no allegiance to the administration. It is impossible to reinterpret that to mean that the voters had actually voted for a PPM-led government.

Turner has now announced a constituency meeting at 7pm Friday evening at the Seafarers Hall.

It may be more nuanced to make the case for Rankine, as he ran against the incumbent Arden McLean who had campaigned in opposition to the Alliance. In addition, Rankine had met with McLaughlin early in the campaign and issued a statement indicating that his goal was to serve in government. However, that opportunity was given to him by the PACT group, which is aligned on a clear list of policies that Rankine had agreed to on Thursday when he signed the document supporting Panton as Premier, which has been submitted to the governor.

But Rankine, like Turner, as well as Jay Ebanks in North Side, whose position is not yet confirmed, have been placed under significant pressure and reportedly offered a number of inducements not just relating to Cabinet positions. While the pressure has come from the Alliance itself, CNS understands that it has also been applied by external wealthy and powerful individuals who were banking on the PPM-Alliance remaining in power and went out on a limb yesterday using various proxies to ensure that pressure and persuasion were used to get the numbers for McTaggart.

Chris Saunders had raised his concerns on the eve of the election that the non-political forces that have had undue influence over governments of late were already doing what they could to undermine efforts that he and Panton were making to bring an group together on their shared platform that could present a viable alternative to the PPM-Alliance. The men were clear on their policy positions relating to curbing excessive over-development, prioritising the environment, introducing a universal single-payer healthcare system, consumer protection and fair trade, among other goals to improve the lives of ordinary Caymanians.

CNS has attempted to contact the three independents but they have all been unresponsive.

Since this article was originally posted, Turner has called a constituency meeting for this evening at the Seafarers hall at 7pm.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (222)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Rankine,

    You have balls and leadership skills. Never give in just to please a hand full of people who has no clue what your district suffered these pass years. Fight for East End and never give up on the best interest of your people no matter how much noise Sandra and her crew brings.

    The events displayed by her in East End and threats being made was not called for. She should be ashamed of herself, but I guess the word SHAME don’t mean a thing to her.

    Do what is right for your people up there.

    God Bless you and your family.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Moment of honesty…

    I was truly upset and disappointed in Alva Suckoo, incumbent of Newlands

    However, when Mr Suckoo stated [after running the entire campaign as IND], “…what would I look like the day after the Election joining the PPM-Alliance knowing all along it was the intention?…” knowing whatever it would cost him. That took balls.

    What these 2 caused will have some irrevocable damage to these and future candidates who wish to run as genuine independents.

    But anyway. That’s what the intention was I guess. Plant a seed of doubt.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thier faces should be plastered across the island with the large bold words “SELL OUTS” above and below their faces. Disgraceful. You run as one thing, convince the people of it and they vote for you because they want change and you stab them in the back. I will NEVER vote for you again Sabrina. Enjoy your term, it will be your last.

  4. Anonymous says:

    THE comment of the Day: “… lowered yourself to embracing Mac , for the sake of power.”


    • Nays Boy says:

      Ppm had no problem giving him speaker of the house Third highest position in the Island !Give it a rest bobo sounds like sour grapes to me Wha bite u Mann ?

    • Anonymous says:

      and then Sabrina goes back to independent. ok folks is this what you really want. you give me more and I will come back. disgraceful

  5. A Pact of Hypocrites says:

    The PACT of Independents claim to be new and different, principled and a do the right thing group. Yet when things appear out of their grasp they seek to align themselves with Mr. Bush, a person which all of them condemned as a result of conduct for which he was convicted. Violent conduct against a woman. But all the PACT of Independents including the women seem to have no issue with it. They are prepared to hug up Mr. Bush. How convenient to throw all your morals and principles out the window for the lust of power. I wonder what you will do if actually given power. PACT you are all hypocrites. This is not about us who voted for you it is about you and your ambitions at any price. You are no different than the other side.

    • Anonymous says:

      You think it’s only Bush who lacks morals up in there lmao? He’s just been the only one exposed. I say bring him in than subject us to 4 more PPM years. I don’t care which one of them said hell no to forming a GOV’T with him, eat your words, swallow your pride and save us from Alden, as we all know he will be telling Roy what to do and say.

  6. Kadafe says:

    Everyone just needs to calm down. These MPs are just doing what they need to do to ensure that their constituents have representation at the right table. Where they will be able to get motions passed and actually be able to do some good for their constituents. Answer me this, what are you actually able to achieve from the backbench? Break the world record for blowing hot air? They are just ensuring that they will be able to help their people as best they can.

    Saying that prospect does not want PPM might be some persons opinion. What the polls say is they definitely didn’t want Austin any longer, it’s two different things. They voted for who they believed would represent them best and trust her to do so and that is clear by the fact that they didn’t even have faith in someone that actually lives in prospect and ended up voting for someone who doesn’t even live in their voting district. Does prospect want Austin? Nope. Does prospect want PPM? Hard to say. Would prospect like to have representation sitting at the right table? Surely they do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Kadafe. However, flip flopping S Turner is clearly a newbie & not interested in serving her constituents! One who can go from Independent to PpM & back to the TOTALLY INEXPERIENCED UNEDUCATED independents compromises her credibility immensely. She is absolutely aiming for 1 term MLA-ship. Other than Panton no one else in the group of Ind morons have the experience. I guess the rest will learn to wash his feet & be YES men while he leads. Key Problem: 8 years of prosperity growth & a great economy will be wiped away in the name of serving Caymanians. Crime will rise as Some of the dim wits that voted Ind realize that they are worse off with Ind. in the mean time; let’s hope it all comes crashing down as the many Egos of the Ind. fight it out for ministry posts. My 2 cents; there will be another election very soon. Seen it many times over.

  7. slacker says:

    Time for by-elections in those districts, so voters can make informed decisions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, Sabrina, Kathy and Heather is with PACT and now with MAC.



      • Anonymous says:

        Sabrina Kathy Heather, Mac is now your best friend right..?

      • Anonymous says:

        I appeal to Mr Panton not to be coerced into to taking aboard Mac. It is not worth the cost. It will not end well.

      • Truth says:

        You are full of shit with the MAC crap.

        He is done.

        He is a HASBEEN.

        • Anonymous says:

          He keeps getting in, so…. shows a lot about this island who think they are so Christian that gays can’t marry but men can beat up women. You disgust us.

      • Dave says:

        How is #shesupported with this behaviour. What example are these women showing to our young people. Disgusted. Kathy I understand she has a long relationship with McKeeva, Heather??? Sabrina Turner I wouldn’t trust anything she says or does after her recent behaviour. Prospect you’ve sure jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

      • Anonymous says:

        She is supported? If y’all are getting flustered over Sabrina’s performance thus far, wait until Heather gets a ministry to run! Gonna be a rough ride folks..

  8. Anonymous says:

    If you voted for Sabrina, then turn up to the Seafarers’ Hall this evening and peacefully request she respect your vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      I tried. But there were too many blowhards shouting that she shouldn’t. (I voted for her to to reject Austin and go with the best coalition possible. Which is not Alric Lindsey et al.)

      Her, Andre, etc., should sit back and say ‘una have this ego fight without us and call when you’re ready for a real coalition govt.’

    • Anonymous says:

      How can you respect votes when it’s already been given away

  9. Anonymous says:

    Shame on you Sabrina and Isaac for letting down your Constituents even before you actually got sworn in. But I guess it is better to show your true colors now right? I always thought though that Sabrina and Isaac both were selfish people and only had their best intetest at heart and this now just makes me see how right I have been about them. They are both sharks. I really do miss having Ezzard and Arden. They were both fighting for Caymanians. The people in Prospect should have elected Michael Myles. He has always been fighting for Caymanians. Both districts should call for relections. While I am on that topic can’t help but mention about the majority in WBW in voting for that convicted woman beater. Shame and disgrace.

  10. Anonymous says:

    That makes absolutely NO sense at all. Did you know there is a mute button? Caller ID??
    Oh good lord have mercy on their souls…

    This entire debacle is ALL you need to know about the Cayman Islands.

  11. Dexter Layman Ebanks says:

    Hello folks – I like so many more Caymanians just over 24 hours ago – felt a breath of fresh air and now today we all feel like we need oxygen = this question to Sabrina Turner and Isaac Rankine, can you truly look in the mirror and see the same persons that was campaigning = I don’t think so = how can you honestly look at your families – relatives / friends and your supporters the people that trusted you = where has your integrity – honesty and loyalty gone too = you have hurt so many persons with both of you joining the ( ppm ) cartel = do you think that they have any loyalty to both of you = all they are doing is using you both for their convenience and power = the good and wonderful thing right now is – that I am alive and will be when the next general election comes around = to see and hear of all your apologies but it will be too late = god don’t like the dark so he made light and remember when you lose your integrity and honesty you have nothing left and remember your word should always be your bond.

    Dexter l Ebanks
    916 – 0754

  12. Anonymous says:

    I see the lunatic fringe is out at the Town Hall.


    Dear Sabrina,

    Ask Roy and Gilbert what happened when they played turn coat. Sure, some people play that game and slide in for successive terms, but some politicians never recover. You’re new to the political arena, so let me offer up some unsolicited advice— watch Beast Of No Nation. What happened to Idris Elba’s character is going to happen to Mac and most of those PPMers in the next election. No grand fireworks, just an inevitable slide into obscurity ie no relevance or power. But… if you only want a one-term go at this game— and that might be all you’re really after given the concessions you were offered to play both sides— then keep on keepin on with the PPM dictatorship. You’ll fit right in with that machinery.

    But, if you value political longevity— reel and come back to reality. Look, I know it’s a tough time for women, always feeling like we’re at the mercy of all these men folk. Some of them so calcified by prehistoric ideals and misogyny that they can’t see beyond their beer guts. But, sis you still have to read the room. The majority of Caymanians that did come out to vote, wanted change. And, no matter who’s promising to crown you queen now, please understand that Cayman politics is fickle. Choose wisely.

    It’s not too late for you. Be smart. I wish you well. I wish us all well.

    Dear Cayman,

    Here we are… and once we are reminded that we desperately need other alternatives to the electoral process. Politicians— or would be politicians— show us time and time again that the best interest of our country will be always be second to personal gain. And where does that leave us? What are we willing to do to ensure our way of life is protected? To ensure young Caymanians— our children and grand children— will have a country that is really their own and not be at the mercy of a single developer with a megalomaniac dream to own and control a country. Is Cayman a monopoly board?!

    Caymanians must have a right to public spaces, whether that’s along the shores of West Bay road or East End. We have the right to a clean and viable environment. We have the right to see own culture reflected in every segment of our lives and our culture should dominate all others in importance and we should be free to celebrate the best of yesteryear and the future— an inclusive future. We also have the right to excellent educational and employment opportunities without having to beg private sector Massas and keep jockeying for position like we’re living in a foreign country. We the people of these tiny Islands deserve so much more than we’ve been handed. We deserve so much more than living off of a trickle down economic scheme that only really benefits the rich. We deserve better social systems too. Why are disabled people still having to work like dogs just for decent health insurance coverage? Why are so many young Caymanians leaving school unprepared and slipping through the cracks? Why are rich developers continually given concessions and free reign to obliterate the natural environment for projects that do not benefit the average Caymanian beyond door man jobs and the occasional birthday trip to the spa? Why are people enjoying champagne brunches when many Caymanian children have to rely on charity just to meet their basic nutritional needs? On an Island this small (and so rich) we have hunger problems?? Come on, man.

    Cayman is not an equitable society and there are far too many suffering daily and all we can hear about is who’s leading the horse trading show and how many thousand$ has passed from hand to hand? How’s that helping those poor children in the Boys Home?

    I honestly don’t have the answers, but I do know we can’t keep wringing our hands every four years. There will always be horse trading and politricks. This game will never end. Not when there’s more empty promises than stars. So, I think it’s time for us ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions. Because if we keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome, what does that make us?

    • Anonymous says:

      More Empty Promises Than Stars

      As an expat, I agree completely with your Dear Cayman letter, however, the only people to sell out Caymanians are Caymanians. I can’t as I have no vote and no power. On Wednesday you had the chance again to make changes and 2 days later it is same old, same old. Let’s see if 2025 will be any different. I fear not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here is the thing..there are certain expats now Caymanians with deep pockets that have supported the PPM and spent a large amount of money on them. One even had a candidates signs on his shopping centres.That is the first time I have ever sen them be that bold but they knew they had to pull out all of the stops to get the PPM re-elected. Most of these are some of the largest developers on the island and they fund the Planning Authority to ensure developments are approved, mangroves can be removed for a $500 fine and after the fact approval, Variances on set backs can be approved,moving beach accesses to put in their new hotels and the list goes on. These people cannot afford for this government to be gone. They are easy pickings..

        Sounds like conjecture and innuendo right? Well I was offered it. To this day I still know people who are still on the payroll and living large not realizing that what they are getting paid for is to screw the country over. I don’t love money that much, sorry. They could not buy my loyalty or make me lose my ethics.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have always said that big money runs things in Cayman. It has never been about the need of the average resident or votes. Big money is all that matters in Cayman.

  15. Johann Moxam says:

    Fellow Caymanians: Understand who owns or sponsors the candidates, politicians & political party…

    Read the rest of this comment here.

    • Anonymous says:

      All you holier than thou “independent” people have now lowered yourself to embracing Mac , for the sake of power.
      All that integrity talk was just a sham right ?

      • Soon to be voter. says:

        If Moxam was voted in this wouldn’t have happened. I don’t wanna hear any of you lot complaining about anything anymore when you keep voting in losers every time. Also, it’s not ex-pats that are screwing you it’s your own people so stop blaming us as well.

        • Anonymous says:

          Elvis would have a been a better option

        • Anonymous says:

          Agree 💯, Sammy too. They ran an honest campaign. The political bribery here is about the only thing that is transparent in our politics right now.

      • Anonymous says:

        You do realize that the independents were running with hopes they would be able to form a government of their own? Meaning due to the two “independents” candidates switching sides they have no other option but to include Mac. It is not “for the sake of power”. That is what the PPM is trying to do to maintain power. The independents were voted in by the majority of the islands because the islands wanted a change in it’s leadership. So why should the majority voted in by the people turn back benches because two candidates that were not loyal? At the end of the day with Mac on their side they should still be able to do a lot for the people that put them in there versus allowing the PPM to steal their opportunity once again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very sad you didn’t get in. Keep trying please!

    • Terry says:

      Can you make transparent who was/is funding and or making promises to Andre and Alric (win or lose) Kenneth, Mac, Chris etc? The “premier elect” has deep pockets too and so does the person who owns the former DMS house.

      You aligned yourself with realtors and their partners that made billions on the destruction of the mangroves they now seem to care so much about. Are they your sponsors?

      The people voted back the PPM members who ran as PPM in 2017 and in certain other districts, candidates they thought would have worked with them.

      Had the independents on the PACT (which are not accountable or transparent) made their position clear about who they would or would not work with clear many voters maybe would have chosen Malcolm and Raul and not the lot not holding mac accountable by entertaining him. This is especially true in Andre’s case. He should be beholden to the people that voted him in and not whatever Wayne has over him. #isshestillsupported or nah?

      Like the word or not you were a party when you decided you were sticking together and formed alliances a year ago but failed to make that known. Alric said out of fear? It’s okay for the PPM and their alliance to get plastered by social activist morons who have more time than sense but you snowflakes can’t take a little criticism. You and the people you ran with are responsible for inciting violence and putting out the fear Alric is referring to by using CMR to carry out her attacks on innocent people.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Sabrina and Issac!

    Common sense prevailed, don’t listen to the dissenters. You are doing the right thing.

    The “PACT” led by Panton was a guaranteed train wreck waiting to happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      If that was true, there could have been a vote of no confidence. But you know its bullshit so they have to nip it in the bud before the people see proof.

    • Kadafe says:

      Absolutely 100% agree with this. Best comment on this article!

  17. Anonymous says:

    The mob mentality of those who seemingly feel as though they have lost tells you precisely why the current iteration is what’s best for Cayman.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Lol! They literally made your vote worthless and don’t care.

    Show their true colors within minutes and these are exactly the worst type of politicians that have come before them. Same old.

  19. Opinion says:

    🔴 Hmmmm … we have to ask questions like – Why so many construction projects happening on the island at the same time? Are there kick backs? Concessions? If the bribes are true, how does PPM have get the monies? I think there needs to be an investigation on how they acquire so much monies. I have not seen so many projects in my life during this Covid 19 time.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s why Sammy and Johann should have been voted in. This all would have been exposed. Cayman got it wrong. We’re going to continue to suffer the consequences.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the economy stupid …
      Kickbacks..? Who to , what for, the law allows developers to develop.
      Idiotic comment 12.57.

  20. Anonymous says:

    “They are grown-up people who are responsible for their own actions and we can only wait now and see what they ultimately decide to do, given that they have signed two different agreements.”

    Are they really grownups? And you elected these kind if people? Why?

  21. Anonymous says:

    So if I offer someone something for their vote, whether it’s case, goods or even a “treat”, it’s a criminal offence. But if I offer an elected representative an inducement to support a particular policy or party, it’s absolutely fine? Hey, lots less work in bribing or threatening one person than trying to subvert enough people to get your preferred candidate elected.

    Anywhere that actually cared about appearances would at least say the ACC would investigate what happened here, but given the ACC said it was unfair to confirm who had refused to sign a candidates pledge that they wouldn’t break the law, I have no great expectations that they will even bother with the lip service of pretending to investigate. At the same time we try and persuade CFATF that we are a jurisdiction where law and order applies, yet wonder why we can’t get rid of the perception that the country is a shady place for shady people to do business.

    • Anonymous says:

      You lost, get over it.

    • Rick says:

      Silly comment. Not really worth commenting on except so many of them loves this forum. Democracy is messy but it is good. Eventually, people will agree and form a government. Meanwhile the losers will keep moaning.

  22. Anonomous says:

    Sabrina turner and Isaac is a sell out by the PPm losers

  23. Cowards! says:

    Turner and Rankine are cowards. Full stop.

  24. Anonymous says:

    One thing for sure, the Sister Islands have just come back in from the cold!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Do better Sabrina!

    Personal interest or the interest of our people?

    If you want to get back in next term make the right choice.

    The people will not vote for you again after this betrayal.

    What God has brought you to, he will bring you through. Make the right choice!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thank God the clown show has been averted.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Y’all think they sold out, watch and see what’s about to happen next.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Although I think that the PPM members elected plus the named independents will make a much better government than that proposed by Wayne, I also believe that the senior leadership of the PPM screwed up badly by not moving quickly after the election to settle their alliances so as to avoid this ridiculous situation. Shame on them for missing deadlines – both the EU deadline and now this.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think you can infer that the rejection of Austin is a rejection of PPM.

    More likely that he was rejected because voters don’t like men who beat on women.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and West Bay West….?

    • Prospect Voter says:

      12:14 pm: I agree that there is a possibility that the rejection of Austin may be just that— a rejection of Austin. Or it could be both—a rejection of both Austin and the PPM. I actually think it is both.

      But the question is— what did Sabrina campaign on and what were the expectations of voters?

      No one expected that the PPM was fielding two candidates. So all voters had a right to expect that the opposing candidates to the PPM candidate would not be pro PPM—especially if the candidates ran on an anti-PPM platform, which she did.

      And the further insult to the voters is that she had a chance to make a profound difference towards achieving change —at least to give it a flying chance— and she turned around and kicked the voters in the teeth?

      I am afraid that Sabrina has already out-stayed her welcome.

      Enjoy it while it lasts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahahaha Foofoo. Voters LOVE that sh!t!!
      This is evident from the fact that Mac is back in!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Just one question – where is the evidence that nefarious big money people had any involvement. Could it not be that the people involved just saw that their electoral districts would have better representation with someone inside Cabinet rather than looking in from the outside?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for a common sense response.
      People are trying to criminalize these actions when it’s a matter of politicians making calculated decisions.
      This has happened in several prior elections and will continue to happen within our young democracy, especially with the lack of truly defined parties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Insanely naive. What election anywhere in the world does not have donors that try to influence elections?

    • Cheese Face says:

      They would have been in had they stuck with the original independents, as agreed?

      Oh well, looks like a need a new immigration adviser.

  31. Anonymous says:

    They PACT it up and PACT it in, now let it begin.

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