Panton ousted in favour of JOCC

| 15/11/2023 | 156 Comments
Education Minister Juliana O'Connor-Connolly , Cayman News Service
Juliana O’Connor-Connolly (file photo)

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton has been pushed out as premier and replaced by Juliana O’Connor-Connolly MP (CBE), according to a social media message circulated on Wednesday by McKeeva Bush MP (WBW). After rumour and speculation about the future of PACT mounted in the wake of Tuesday’s no-confidence debate, MPs spent the day horse-trading over a new government, which, according to the veteran MP, is effectively the old PACT line-up but without Panton, under the new moniker of the United People’s Movement.

CNS was told that an official statement would be released from the premier’s office before 5:00pm. But by 7:00pm no official information had been released about the new government line-up or Panton’s alleged new post as speaker of the House.

However, just after 6pm on Wednesday evening, a press release was issued by the parliament, stating that Speaker Katherine Ebanks‐Wilks MP (WBC) had resigned from the job. This was described as an effort to maintain stability and support the government in meeting its constitutional requirements. She made no mention of her new role, which, according to Bush, is as a minister in the new Cabinet, picking up the former premier’s sustainability and climate portfolio.

“I found myself in the position where my casting vote would need to be relied on as the speaker in a hung parliament,” said Ebanks‐Wilks in the release. “Our parliament deserves better than this, and I took an oath to serve the people of the Cayman Islands so I had to make the very hard decision to do what is best for our country when neither side was able to find a solution between themselves.”

Ebanks‐Wilks was the youngest person to ever hold the office, which she held for just one year. However, she said decisions should be made based on what is in the best interests of the country and the people of the Cayman Islands. “I want to make sure that we stop this instability and that we meet our financial obligations of 31 December so our hard‐working civil servants are paid on time,” she added, referring to the budget.

If Bush’s message is accurate, the responsibility of bringing the budget process to a close will now be passed on to O’Connor-Connolly, who is understood to have been given the role of finance minister. That will now almost certainly include the money for a new high school in Cayman Brac and likely a school in West Bay. This was rumoured to have been a major sticking point among PACT over the last few weeks.

O’Connor-Connolly returns to the government top job after almost a decade. The MP for Cayman Brac East took the helm in the wake of the last government that fell following a no-confidence vote after McKeeva Bush was arrested in December 2012. She then led a government under the name the People’s National Alliance (PNA) made up of former UDP members with some support from the then opposition PPM for just a few months until the election of 2013.

While Bush indicated a number of other changes in the new cabinet, including the ousting of his West Bay colleague, Bernie Bush, the reshuffle has not been confirmed, and given the continued political wrangling and the absence of any official confirmation, the current alleged state of affairs could change in a matter of days or even hours.

CNS Note: Since this article was posted, the government has issued a release confirming the new line-up and that on Wednesday evening the governor swore in the new UPM Cabinet behind closed doors in what can only be described as a secret ceremony.

Check back to CNS later for more on the new government line-up.

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Category: Politics

Comments (156)

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  1. The word of God says:

    Allow all Caymanians to run for office. Simple solution

  2. Cayman Last Generation says:

    She has jumped more parties than a Trini Carnival dancer ! She like Mckeeva keeps threatening to quit political life my only hope is that they could carry out that threat just once please!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t she a religious nut who opposed Covid vaccines. We go from bad to worse.

  4. WBW Czar. says:

    Oompah Loompa…

  5. Anonymous says:

    We had the UDP (United for Dollars and Power). Now we have the UPM (United for Power and Money).

    • Anonymous says:

      Unemployable Pack of Morons is also an accurate statement which fits, as does
      Uneducated Pack of ?…take your pick.
      With apologies to Andre.

      • Skeptical says:

        Andre may be educated but he’s lain down with the dogs long enough to get up with fleas – he’s no better than the others, so no need to apologize.

        • Common sense. says:

          Wow people already throwing shade at Andre?? hasn’t even started the role yet. Guess getting off the grey list wasn’t good enough for some! Unbelievable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The new group’s moniker, the United People’s Movement, is SO fitting.
    Some people had a movement and out popped the UPM.
    Ohhhh, the smell!

  7. Knight says:

    So can we have Starlink internet like other progressive Caribbean countries Stop blocking progress and innovation.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ABSOLUYELY AMAZING: Not a single positive comment.

    Tells you something, doesn’t it ?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Am waiting for the peoples front of Judea, or is it the popular front. Its all Monty Python in the end. A complete circus.

  10. Hancock says:

    Remember Ju Ju when looking at the budget figures debit is always nearest the window.

    • Anonymous says:

      60% of govt income goes to pay the civil servants (Juju that’s $6 out of every $10.)
      So out of your Billion dollars budget, you have $400million to fritter.
      $100Million for Kenny CAL expenses and terminal.
      $100Million plus fees waste of money for resort prison not needed.
      $100 Million for Kenny beach and Kenny land.
      $100Million left for Jay, Seymour , Sabrina , Brac, NAU, Christmas supporters handouts, and many others to fight over.
      How WILL your shiny new UDP manage..?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Complaints from PACT supporters everywhere.
    Thought this was the Government you all voted for….

  12. Anonymous says:

    When is the next postage stamp conference?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t vote for this!

    • Anonymous says:

      No surprise here. Did this happened lately? With Mac, anything is possible.

      • Hubert says:

        Mac is a gift to the Cayman people that just keeps giving.

        A knighthood in 2024 for Cayman’s best and brightest.

        As good as it gets people wise in Cayman politics. 🤡

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously???? God help us.

    • Anonymous says:

      What did YOU vote for? Because all people did was vote for MPs. The PACT administration was forced on this country – a bunch of independents with no joint manifesto. NOTHING accomplished in 2.5 years, except Andre getting over the finish line with our removal from FATF grey list, which as he admitted was through collaboration and years of hard work that pre-dated the so-called PACT. Da what yuh get.

      • Mother nature says:

        I won’t mention names but I remember a certain lady holding a sign outside of parliament next to GT library the day PACT were elected voicing support for the group who achieved precisely nothing.

        A ship with no rudder sailing aimlessly around the seven seas for 2.5 years.

        Kirkeh 2024.

  14. Anonymous says:

    a very sad day….

  15. Been There When It Was The Other Way says:

    I wish I could be a fly on the wall at caucus when Juju throws Big Mac out for swearing and calling people really bad names.

  16. Anonymous says:

    for this group to put United in their name is the biggest joke of 2023.

  17. The worried Caymanians says:

    Corruption continues unabated!Old wise school master Mrs Joanna Clarke of Savannah Primary School God rest her soul. Once said those who don’t care are made to care,Governor Owen.

  18. Anonymous says:

    if there is as much dissatisfaction with the new government as expressed in these comments maybe the Civil service and businesses should organize and stage a protest ie a community act of no confidence in the new government

    • Anonymous says:

      Never happen. Civil Service just breathed a collective sigh of relief that their holiday bonuses are secure.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It’s a great day to savor the frustration of liberals. Thank goodness for common sense; it triumphs over educated fools. Sadly, there’s an ongoing effort to suppress the use of logical thinking. Don’t worry; master suppression techniques are no longer effective.

    I may not appreciate everyone at that table today, but I hope and pray that these Caymanians guide us in the right direction. As long as they don’t compromise our sovereignty, I’ve heard some of you urging local NGOs to demand the UK take control, just because we may not be aligning with #UN2030 or WEF ESG climate control. This, to me, seems like an imposition, and I would have the feel of considering such words as insurrection and treason.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Waiting for laws that will require everybody to attend church on Sundays; all woman must wear skirts below the knee and homosexuals are officially deemed as second-class citizens with limited rights.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t expect that the Premier minds if us sinners are left behind. After all, SOMEbody has to pay the vig for the expensive Civil Service cost. We can’t all have the CIG CINICO.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t know about the yard parties in Watering Place!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Waiting for the edict that will require everybody to attend church on Sundays; all woman must wear skirts below the knee and homosexuals are officially deemed as second-class citizens with limited rights.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dwayne John Seymour for Premier

  23. Anonymous says:

    My top 5 PACT Accomplishments.

    1. Dwayne “The Rock” Seymours victory over Shamrock Rd. light pole.

    2. Cocaine Kenny Beach

    3. Empty Flights to Barbados

    4. Successful Roll out of digital ID Cards

    5.  21M budget that saved our beaches

    Any honorable mentions?

    • Anonymous says:

      “Emancipation Day” Cancels out 200ish Prior Years of Discovery Day and History before that.

      Bernie forgets the national motto of “He Hath found it Upon the Seas” and Bob Marleys
      “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
      None but ourselves can free our minds” were all that was neccessary to remind us where we started and where we should no longer be.

      Only to now ensure at least one day of the year the Nation will celebrate “Mental Slavery” to go along with the Economic and Emotional Slavery the rest of the Year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Waste to Energy project still not sorted

  24. Anonymous says:

    UDP has regrouped

    • Anonymous says:

      The U in the name tells it all. My surprise is Panton and Heather Bodden have gone along with it.

  25. Jus Dis says:

    Cayman politricks – rearranging the Titanics deck chairs.

  26. Anonymous says:

    A mockery of democracy. An absolute travesty.
    We just lost the most decent Premier Cayman has ever had.
    Disgusted by those I thought better of – namely Andre and Kathy.
    Par for the course for the rest of them – the egotistical and xxxx.
    I make exceptions for Sabrina and Heather, who showed their loyalty but ultimately had no choice.
    Unbelievable that the old xxxxxx McKeeva could pull the strings to create UDP the sequel.
    Wish I could leave but have no where else to go. God help us.
    The Cayman Brac school is not needed and will cost us tens of millions if not a hundred.
    Judasanna as Finance Minister is laughable. Or I would laugh if I could stop sobbing.
    Telling myself it is only a year and a half. But oh the damage they will do in that time.
    A distraught Caymanian

  27. Anonymous says:

    They’ve chosen the most crooked, self-serving, dumbest and egotistical of the bunch and formed a government with them. God help us all.
    We’ll now get a series of crazy proposals and sound bites to appease the uneducated voter for the next elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      Juju will agree to all their wish lists.
      The Port lost money last year, due to irresponsible spending added pay and board stipend increases..400% ffs.!
      Increase in port fees will be next to cover their behinds, and we will ALL be paying for this.
      Thanks Kenny and UDP board.

    • Anonymous says:

      She wasn’t elected by people. Neither was Sunak.

    • Anonymous says:

      yep UDP No 3

  28. Anonymous says:

    God help the Cayman Islands. This is going to get rough. Literally hand picked the worst of the worst.

  29. Anonymous says:

    the worst government ever just got worse
    time for cita, chamber of commerce and dart to petition the governor or uk to come in and sort out this mess.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Reminder to anyone having mixed feelings or in support of the UDP, I mean UPM.

    “Unfortunately some people were not put here to evolve. They are here to remind you what it looks like if you don’t”.

    Let the circus continue.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Jon Jon in control of immigration, the joke is on us.

  32. Un-Fit says:

    The unity displayed by both the PPM and the PACT Remnants is interesting. Even more so that no one wanted Kingston Chris on their team.

    OMOV has been a total failure and resulted in the creation of garrisons that will forever put the unqualified into political office.

    The only hope for democracy in Cayman is a nation wide vote. One Person Ten Thousand Votes!

    • Anonymous says:

      Kingston Chris indeed.. he showed us what a danger he poses to Cayman and Caymanians who don’t want to live in the new Jamaica he dreams of creating.

      • Anonymous says:

        Arrogant uneducated chip on shoulder danger that Cayman has to suffer for years….Go away Chris Saunders , your very high opinion of yourself is unjustified and only impresses your dumb supporters.

    • P&L says:

      Amen! It is the ONLY hope! OMOV nationally with a wider pool. It must be done. The challenge is the garrison leaders will need to vote in this change… so basically we’re screwed.

    • Moi says:

      Good grief, no!

    • Anonymous says:

      They saw the most dangerous and sinister man in parliament , and wisely crossed the road to avoid him.

  33. Anonymous says:

    this experimental group, the ultimate oxymoron, – indirectly entrusting themselves to a territory swearing to uphold responsible Govt.

    its so far fetched, its lunacy, shocking, and everything else I can’t find words for. I’d be much happier if they took Fox News stance, – its not real Govt, but rather entertainment’. unfluffingbeliveable, yikes.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is the worst news. Literally the dumbest of the already dumb group in office.

  35. Anonymous says:

    an absolute embarrassment

  36. Anonymous says:

    If JuJu achieves just one thing during her time at the head of the trough, please, for the love of God, let it be the leaf blower ban!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mother Country, please cut this island adrift and let it float away. They are an embarrassment.

    • Anon345 says:

      I’m a born and bred Caymanian, and under any other circumstance this would highly offend me. But honey in these trying times, I’d bring the machete, flame thrower, knife, scissors,jack hammer, my grandmother’s false teeth to help cut that rope!


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