Ebanks-Wilks voted speaker, Seymour as deputy

| 25/11/2022 | 128 Comments
Kathy Ebanks-Wilks takes the speaker’s chair

(CNS): Katherine Ebanks-Wilks (WBC) is the new speaker following a vote by MPs in parliament on Friday. Although she has been an MP for just 19 months, she beat the only other person nominated, opposition member Sir Alden McLaughlin (RED), who has served in the legislature for more than 20 years, by ten votes to six, as MPs voted along party lines.

Ebanks-Wilks’ previous position of deputy speaker is now filled by Dwayne Seymour (BTE), who crossed the floor last year to join the government benches as an independent. The only other nomination for the post was for PPM member Barbara Conolly (GTS), who served as a deputy speaker during the last administration.

After taking her seat in the speaker’s chair, Ebanks-Wilks said she was “filled with gratitude” to have been appointed to the position.

There was some confusion at the beginning of the special meeting as to who should preside over the process of electing the speaker. However, McKeeva Bush, as Father of the House (the longest serving MP), eventually chaired the election. At a later point in the proceedings, Bush, who resigned as speaker in the face of a sexual harassment scandal, confirmed the announcement he made earlier this week that he would not be standing for office at the next election.

As the newly elected speaker, Ebanks-Wilks oversaw the election of Seymour as her deputy and then the proceedings to replace her on the Public Accounts committee with Joey Hew (GTN) from the opposition benches.

Although a political novice, Ebanks-Wilks will not only be refereeing the proceedings of the House of Parliament but also overseeing the continued evolution of its independence and the changes that will entail. In her first speech as speaker, she paid tribute to the women speakers who had paved the way for female parliamentarians.

Ebanks-Wilks is the fifth and youngest woman to sit in the speaker’s chair, and she said she never expected to hold such a high office so early in her political career. She promised she would be fair and discharge her duties “diligently, firmly and fairly”, and pledged to still advocate for her constituents despite the rules surrounding the position.

See the full proceedings below on CIGTV below:


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Category: Politics

Comments (128)

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  1. anonymous says:

    omg. I can only imagine Jon Jon as the speaker……..he has the attention span of a mosquito and would never sit in the house for a whole day – Wayne – sort out your team please and get a deputy speaker who can actually speak!!

    • Anonymous says:

      John John is a nice guy, but, spells trouble as Deputy Speaker, his maneuvering to get there makes him watchable and questionable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Kathy is out of her depth and will be a disaster as Speaker. She getting a big pay raise for the role but this will not end well for PACT or her next election.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Wayne is staying true to form. All Ministries have already been given away to secure votes. Now he’s dealing prestige and pay cheques for his own job security. Shame on you Wayne. How do you sleep at night knowing you have sold out Cayman for your own blind ambition?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope it’s a new wig or it has at least been deloused.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry I still don’t know who this woman is.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    This is not intended as a slight against Kathy because Wayne and his PACT grouping should indeed know better and not put someone who does not have the legitimate parliamentary experience to steer the ship of proceedings. Does anyone now remember the travesty that was Speaker Mary Lawrence, again a person completely out of depth in a seat that she did not have the experience for? Made terrible decisions in that Speaker role, was the laughing stock of the LA and the country. It was a debacle, and not her fault because again, she simply did not know the way of the Westminster parliamentary system with all of its rules and standing orders.

    Shame once again on you, Wayne. You have again put yourself and hatred for Alden/Progressives on displa, putting the country at a disadvantage as a result. You have set up Kathy up for failure in the worst way possible, and she will now have to suffer through the heckle and the jeers of the public when she makes her inevitable mistakes. These will not be her fault, because she doesn’t have the necessary experience – but Wayne, you do know better. Shame!!!

    We need an early election now before this government takes down the country. I go to bed every night, worried for our country’s future because we don’t have the right leadership in place to take us through what will be a tumultuous 18 months of recession, inflation and hardship. Mortgages are expected to reach double digits before the year is out and this is government leadership at the helm?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I sympathise with most of your points but you know that most western governments have quite limited control of mortgage rates and CIG has literally none, right?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Julie refused to be Speaker. Did you want Jon-Jon?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, Jon Jon would have been hilarious as Speaker. What a joke. 🤣😂

      • Anonymous says:

        7.38am Actually Julie didn’t vote for Kathy or Jon Jon because she wanted to be Speaker. She also now doesn’t have a Counsellor to do all the Ministry work.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:20 pm: I have never heard that former Lawrence was any where near a “laughing stock.”

      I find it hard to believe that that was so given her brilliant mind and depth of relevant knowledge.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Surely you jest 8.36…”Brilliant mind”?
        I believe she ran in 8 (?) elections, not elected once.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    We were actually in a better position with McKeeva as Speaker – he knows the system inside-out at least

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  8. Anonymous says:

    I have never seen such a bunch of dysfunctional Parliamentarians in all my life.

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  9. Moi says:

    Benny Hill theme tune playing in my head as I read this. Next up, Monty Python.

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  10. Moi says:

    Surely this is a joke?! Cayman is now a complete joke. Sad.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Poor Barbara, she needs to leave PPM now. Can’t she see all they use her for is embarrassment?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    The speeches at the end get me! My how they all jumped at the chance to kiss the ring. Everyone knows there were people on either side who didn’t agree to this foolishness! Caymanian woman is not a qualification for one of the highest paid and esteemed positions in the country! Especially not after her nonsensical unethical and biased rulings on the MacBeater motion.

    Stupid is as stupid does

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  13. JTB says:

    Could you please try to find out CNS if McKeeva still has the use of that chauffeur driven Range Rover with the flag on the hood?

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t she the one that blocked a “Motion” illegally. WTF Wayne???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats Cathy, do your best and pay no attention to the detractors and want to bees.

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    • Anonymous says:

      She was the one that illegally blocked a motion of no confidence in McKeeva Bush as Speaker.

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    • Anonymous says:

      She did what she was told. So now she gets a reward. Don’t you know how things work around here?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Anyone watching the video of proceedings at the bottom of the story will quickly realise that Ms. Ebanks-Wilks is completely lost and out of her depth in this important role. This isn’t something that you can “learn on the job”. PACT should have put party politics aside and allowed someone with real parliamentary experience to take on the job of speaker.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone with half a brain cell appreciates that she was not selected for her ability to do the job properly, but for her loyalty in following instructions. Look at the rejection of the no confidence motion in the Speaker – she either didn’t understand the rules (despite having a clerk to tell her what they are) or she deliberately misunderstood them. Take your pick – not competent, or a sock puppet for the PACT

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    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t be too harsh on her, 90% of them don’t belong in a Parliament.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just remember, her backup is Dwayne The Brain. Be careful what you wish for🤔🤔🤔

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Replace them all with app, everyone gets a vote on everything.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Reduce their salaries to what you would be willing to pay for an app that does the same thing they do.

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  17. anonymous says:

    I doubt any media house will tell the real story on why she was put into the speaker chair – not a role she wanted or felt comfortable taking given her lack of experience. Just ask her -she has been telling people freely how she has been treated by her PACT colleagues. A sad day for this country and national embarrassment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If that is true she had the perfect get out once Alden was nominated.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They put her there so that Alden didn’t get the job.
      Pure childish vindictive banana republic behavior.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly, if that was the case, it was needed. Very poor result for Cayman.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I heard that she pulled a Jon Jon and threatened to jump ship if she didn’t get the job. The high salary being the only reason for the fight over the job.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Alden should never be in a position of power again.

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  18. Two Cents says:

    I had really hoped that whoever replaced the former Speaker would have done away with the disgusting robe and wig. Disappointing to see the the new Speaker chose to continue the practice.
    Her UK counterpart doesn’t. That’s thanks to Betty Boothroyd, the first female UK speaker, who declined to continue wearing them in 1992 when she replaced Bernard Weatherill who had been Speaker from 1983-1992 and who like our former speaker had fancied himself in them.
    In fairness to her though, she is a member of the local legal clan who are sadly also still steeped in the practice. Was disappointing to see our new CJ likewise opted to stick with the nonsense, and so refreshing to see the judges of the Privy Council here recently sitting without it.
    Poor us. No one will accuse us of blazing any trails; we can’t even keep up with those that have been blazed for us.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Ms Ebanks-Wilks is wasted as Speaker. Why not accept Alden? Or even Ezzard (if interested) as he would favour neither side.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard Miller would have been the best choice.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ezzard might have been a better choice for family retirement Miller, his number one Caymanian constituent. For how many years was he quietly signing off on incredible holes while “Chair” of Public Accounts Committee? Rarely did he blow the corroded whistle around his neck then, so it’s strange to assume he would be impartial now, unless it served his interests to pretend not to be leaning. Not many good choices.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    should i know who this woman is?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The woman who stopped the opposition from bringing a no confidence motion in Mac that would have caused Wayne all sorts of problems in negotiating a soft exit for him.

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  21. Stupid Circus says:

    Just play the dang Benny Hill theme song and get it over with.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did ‘dang’ and Benny Hill come in same sentence…

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    • YES says:

      Congratulations to Madame Speaker, stick to your principles and you will do well . Bless.

      May we always have a Generational Caymanian as Speaker and as z members of Parliament. If na like it then pump it!!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Oh my days! Duhwayne as DS. We have most certainly hit rock bottom. The pool of talent is so shallow, you wouldn’t get the soles of your feet wet.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same person that backed McKeewa?

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Turtle Donkey Express

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  25. Anonymous says:

    In the proceedings video, is this what these people really do for work ?

    Astonishing

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    • Anonymous says:

      A non job which requires no qualifications. Just be selected by your buddies and you get paid the top salary. What a good life it must be.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ebanks-Wilks may not be the most experienced parliamentarian yet as the youngest ever Speaker, she represents the future.

      The great grand mother of the house, O’Connor-Connolly was obviously against the appointment of Ebanks-Wilks as speaker. In an unmistakable red dress, O’Connor-Connolly was petty and petulant during Friday’s proceedings. She was an embarrassment to the Clerk, the Premier, the incoming Speaker. She revealed that hers was the lone blank ballot. O’Connor Conolly did not vote to support the new Speaker. In contrast, even after voting for Sir Alden McLaughlin, the Opposition was gracious with the outcome and pledged to support Ebanks-Wilks.

      Which begs the question – why would O’Connor-Conolly behave so unprofessionally?

      Possible answers:

      1. She wanted to Speaker position for herself

      2. She is vehemently opposed to the younger woman’s appointment

      3. She wanted to show off her knowledge of Parliamentary procedures and embarrass the Premier and the Clerk

      4. She is a control freak, who wants things her way all the time

      5. She is against progress, and was disruptive for no good reason

      O’Connor-Connolly was first elected in 1996 and went on to become the country’s first female Minister. She has been a former Premier, former Speaker and a Minister. A political hustler determined to stay in power, she has switched political allegiances every single election since 2009.

      Perhaps the better question is: ‘is it time for O’Connor-Conolly to step down?’

  26. Anonymous says:

    Christ Jesus, when will we stop putting Seymour into roles where he can embarrass us further? It’s bad enough that he’s an MP.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ask yourselves who and why…you all know the answers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing could have been worse than have Dwayne Seymour as the Minister of Health during the COVID pandemic, when the whole world was focused on how well Cayman was keeping COVID away (or minimal exposure), and this guy is saying stay home in different languages (every day), crying in live interviews (because his feelings were hurt) and the Mary/Joseph/Donkey thing really did happen.

      I mean you just can’t make this stuff up.

      Lastly, when Jon Jon joined that PACT and he was speaking to his constituents, he (literally) said: “Anything that I am involved with, I will make it worse…..work best…. And I know that some may have problem with I know.”

      Jon Jon is the gift of comedy, which keeps on giving. I just wish we could be laugh with him, instead of laughing at the utter nonsense that comes out of his mouth.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    welcome to the greatest show on earth… sorry, shiiiii show on earth.

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  28. Clarie says:

    The seat that is intended to command the House of Parliament and command respect of all the communities of our Cayman Islands. One that should be unbiased, fair and transparent in their thoughts and actions.
    They elect a newbie and one who is learning herself? And who has been seen to be swayed in any given moment?

    What a mockery indeed of what our forefathers built. The foundations that were so strong now start to crumble from those that merely seek the power and not willing to do the work and uphold the honour.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Kathy!

    Follow your heart and principles, do what is right and not necessarily what is popular. We know you can do the Job.

    Congratulations to Wayne & PACT for giving a young West Bay woman a chance instead of recycling the same ole!

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    • Anonymous says:

      This comment is just ridiculous. This is why we need civic studies in school – we have a population who simply does not understand how our parliamentary system works and why this move to put Kathy as Speaker is doing nothing more than setting her and the country’s parliamentary proceedings up for failure.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    congrats Kathy.

    just listen to Bernie’s contribution today and you will see that Dwayne is definitely a better choice for Deputy Speaker. Says alot

    also listen to Julie’s intervention. All is not well.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    does this broad know anything about the traditions of Westminster democracy?

    Jon jon as the deputy!! I can’t cope. Just resign, promote him and lets all get the direct rule started sooner rather than later.

    CNS: The use of the word “broad” suggests you are a misogynistic, Neanderthal pillock and negates the impression of intellectual superiority that you were trying, and failing, to convey. The dreadful grammar does not help your case.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Would suggest you learn some respect towards EVERY wonan before you are labelled a disgusting ‘male’ word that would not be published.

      Thank you CNS for publishing the post to show the attitude of some still exists.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait to hear Jon Jon make a ruling in Tagalog.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Going to need a bigger wig if Kathy is out sick one day.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Kathy Ebanks-Wilks. Please work hard to bring honor and respect to the position, to yourself and to the Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And earn your nearly $200,000 a year salary.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately she has been set up for failure. This role needs to go to a seasoned politician who knows the standing orders like the back of their hand. This seat is too important and Wayne put love of power and hatred of Progressives over what’s right for the country – once again.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    😂😂😂😂
    Dumb and dumber . Seriously !?

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  36. Anonymous says:

    What a mockery of our system!

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Freshman MP over veteran!

    We’re not in Kansas anymore!

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    • YES says:

      Veteran huh? Veteran who signed agreements to spend the orioles money thinking he was going to be re-elected . That’s the kind of Sir we want our children to look up to?, is that what good governance is supposed to be?, He too like the departing Speaker have done much that has been tarnished by their most recent actions.

      It’s time we start speaking the truth round here. People stop the madness and elect people with sound characters, who are principled who are knowledgeable and who will carry this country forward honorably in all aspects . Inshallah!!!.

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      • Anonymous says:

        ” elect people with sound characters, who are principled who are knowledgeable and who will carry this country forward honorably in all aspects ”

        Are you kidding? It is obvious that Caymanfolk do not elect such persons! It’s all about friends and relatives or money!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Right! Where are they???

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      • Anonymous says:

        Do we have people like that? I’ve never heard anything about them.

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        • Anonymous says:

          11.44 None so blind as he who will not see. You haven’t heard of them? I sure hope you wete not granted PR or status.

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        • Anonymous says:

          We do actually. It’s like the old adage “those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach”. We have seen too many public-minded Caymanians with good intentions bust their balls, metaphorically speaking of course, only to see incompetents elected because they were much better at pretending to have good intentions.

          Voting creatures have short attention span and memory, so over-promising and under-delivering has always been the hallmark of every successful politician. And quite naturally, blame the last government and/or opposition for all failures and take credit for every success, even for the most mundane of things beyond their control like not having a hurricane hit Cayman this year.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Don’t stop the carnival!

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Amateur hour EVERY. SINGLE. HOUR. of this government.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    Better than Alden but who is she? Who is backing her?
    Dwayne Seymour as Deputy SPEAKER? LMAO

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  41. Anonymous says:

    I am speaking on my own behalf by saying that I never expected that she would be appointed speaker so early in her career either. Just imagine they could have had a well experience qualified Speaker but there is so much hate and animosity on the PACK side they would rather make fools of themselves than to embrace the former Premier’s expertise. Being the Speaker of Parliament is a very important position and the expertise and dignity of the Speaker in carrying out his/her duties is of paramount importance in the order of the legislature.

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  42. WBW Czar. says:

    Praise the Holy Almighty! You will nail it, Kathy! WBW supports you

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    • Anonymous says:

      lol. I mean, lol, with all due no respect.

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    • Anonymous says:

      what did Allah do???

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    • WBW Skeptic says:

      Is geographic origin the only criteria under consideration here?
      She’s already shown that she’s not impartial.
      She certainly hasn’t impressed with her debating skills.
      It’s ok for us to have high expectations for our politicians and those in power. I wish they would all strive to be better.

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  43. Anonymous says:

    We already know if you have more than two brain cells you can’t fit in with the PACK of nimbeys. I am wondering if the donkey was also voted on ?

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  44. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Kathy!!!!! Do us proud!

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    • Sally says:

      she has already disrespected this position when was acting speaker.
      I don’t have much hope for an improvement in ethics now that she has the post full-time.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    You can’t find a better definition of “Banana Republic”

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Poisoned chalice.

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  47. Anonymous says:

    What does it say that a career paralegal and rookie MP beat out Sir Alden and Dwayne? Scary.

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    • Anonymous says:

      She is certainly better than Dwayne Seymour and Alden needs to sit down and say nothing.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Alden like most other human beings is not perfect but whether at home or abroad we didn’t have to worry about him embarrassing us on home grown turf or the world stage. He can get up and speak to people of all walks of life , he has a very good understanding of the English language, knows how to present himself and always made a good impression. We are in dire straits and it seems as if not many of us are even aware. We deserve better.

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        • Anonymous says:

          What??? “Always made a good impression” ? How wrong can one be? Did you write the above, Alden?

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        • Anonymous says:

          He was great buying expensive watches in Heathrow Airport

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        • Anonymous says:

          And most importantly is a veteran politician who understands the parliamentary system that the Speaker seat needs to know!! What has happened here is terrible! How short and fickle our memories are, do you not remember what happened when Mary Lawrence was speaker – a person who had no experience as a legislator? We never learn our lessons.

    • CG says:

      Selecting a speaker from inside the house limits the representatives ability to debate. Why not consider someone from outside the house? We have more qualified outside the house than inside. Roy Bodden, Gilbert McLean or Ezzard Miller could do the job. If you wanted elder statespeople, Linford Pierson or Mary Lawrence. Then there is Mr George McCarthy just to name a few.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Christ, now that you mentioned all of those fossils, Im glad they went with Kathy. We really dont need any of the aforementioned back in politics in any shape or form! I do wish they had given Alden the job.

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      • Anonymous says:

        They have too much qualifications and common sense to fit in.! The PACK would not be able to understand. I can hear them now – wha he jest say? Wha he talkin bout outa oda , must be talking bout hisself. Nah time to oda food yet.

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      • Anonymous says:

        God above, 8:05, we don’t need Mary Lawrence, Mac’s choice, again. As for the others, Linford disgraced himself in PAC over his greed in Ofreg but I suppose the others are worthy enough.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Roy, Gilbert, Ezzard – yes, maybe even Linford. Dear God, not Mary again, she who did not have parliamentary experience and made an absolute mess of the LA for the four years she sat in the chair.

    • Anonymous says:

      What it says is that PACT have a majority and voted to control the speaker.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Please Mrs. Ebanks-Wilks, please never take a vacation when a session of parliament is scheduled. Please do your best to never be sick.
    Mac in a wig in that chair was the most we could take. Jon Jon in the same position will be over the top. Plus we would not know what he is talking about.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I heard her debate- not so bright!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hey! she got a public education here so she must be okay!

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      • Lomart says:

        Not bright at all. Just wondering if and when any sense of normalcy will return to our House of Parliament?

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        • Anonymous says:

          How can any sense of normalcy return when we have a limited pool of people, mostly uneducated to any significant degree and/or failures in private or public service employment running to be elected to a cushy high paying job?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t wait to hear Jon Jon mess up, if he has to be acting Speaker, because he’s absolutely hilarious. Speaker Jon Jon 🤣😂

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  49. Anonymous says:

    Comedy gold.

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    • Anonymous says:

      True, until you stop and think how much we are paying for it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No worse than the PPM was, which has forced it to change from the “Progressives” to the “Oppressives”.

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        • Anonymous says:

          What a stupid comment. The oppression and wool over our eyes have been no greater than PACT in power.

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