Premier confident PPM will ‘choose’ McTaggart

| 02/02/2021 | 9 Comments
Roy McTaggart (left) and Alden McLaughlin, with senior civil servant Jennifer Ahearn

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has said he is confident the People’s Progressive Movement will choose Roy McTaggart as the new party leader at the PPM conference, which is expected in the coming weeks. During an address at the Chamber of Commerce AGM last week, McLaughlin took the opportunity to campaign for a third PPM-led government. But he also acknowledged that it is not him but the rank of file of the Progressives who are supposed to chose the new leader.

Constitutionally, McLaughlin is not allowed to hold office as premier for a third consecutive term. But speculation that Planning Minister Joey Hew was the heir apparent ended last year in October when McLaughlin effectively anointed his finance minister instead.

Since then, little has been said about McTaggart’s prospects of becoming the next premier. However, he is well liked inside and outside the party and could be a solid choice to lead any coalition government, whether or not it has a PPM majority.

As he promoted McTaggart, who had originally joined McLaughlin’s first coalition government in 2013 as an independent with the Coalition for Cayman (C4C) political group, the premier said he was confident “that not only will he be returned by the good people of George Town East, but that his colleagues will support his leadership as premier”.

McLaughlin made a major pitch for the PPM to lead government once again with McTaggart at the helm, saying that “strong and effective leadership remains essential” for Cayman to emerge from the health crisis and restore prosperity, and that the official opposition was incapable of leading anything.

“I can think of no one better suited to the task that lies ahead for our next premier than Roy McTaggart,” he told the business community. “His stewardship of the nation’s finances has been integral to the achievements of my government… but it also created the resilience that has allowed us to cope with the crisis so positively. Throughout his time in public office, Roy has drawn on his long and successful private sector career to inject business discipline into public service.”

Describing what he said was “an assured and patient style”, McLaughlin said the finance minister “has won him admirers inside and outside of government”.

McLaughlin said only the PPM members and “those aligned with us have the kind of coherent vision and record of team work that this country needs for its future”, as he made his free pitch to the business community, claiming his government had worked tirelessly to win and maintain their confidence.

He said he was making the case for a third PPM-led government because of the “external uncertainty and risk” and this was not the time for newcomers. Listing what he claimed were his government’s achievements, even some that have not actually happened yet, he argued that the “strength and stability of the Unity Government” reflected a willingness to put the country’s interest first.

“Never has the strength of leadership and unity of purpose been more important than in the current crisis. Every member of Cabinet has stepped up and made sure that their ministry is delivering the priority actions that the country needs at this time,” he claimed.

Making the case against potential challengers and existing opponents in a ‘better the devil you know’ pitch, he said, “Now is not the time to gamble with Cayman’s future.” The premier added, “We cannot gamble on the utopian promises of untried, inexperienced want-to-be politicians who cannot tell you who they will choose to lead this county and with whom they will form a government.”

However, McLaughlin did not say prior to being elected in 2017 that he would be prepared to form a government with the Cayman Democratic Party, led by McKeeva Bush, his long term nemesis in order to retain power.

The premier also made it clear that he would not be retiring to his East End farm and that he would be running again to retain a seat, though he did not expressly say that he would be fighting in Red Bay.

With the future so uncertain, he said that he felt “a deep-seated commitment to continue to do my part”, as he described government as a “team sport” and said the new leadership would need experienced hands in support.

“I will be pleased following the elections in May to offer to serve my country in whatever capacity the new premier sees fit. Indeed, he deserves the support and the allegiance of all experienced heads on the government bench when the new government is formed following the May elections,” McLaughlin said, making it clear he will be seeking a front bench seat.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Everybody seem to have forgotten that it was Kenneth who screwed everything up. If it wasn’t for him, Mac would have probably been ousted. The reason the Premier isn’t doing anything more is because he knows that Kenneth will vote with Mac again so he would just be wasting his time.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    All but one condone violence against women! Including Roy McTaggart?

    If he, or any of the gang is elected, that would mean voters are no better.

    Frankly, how any of them can look into the eyes of voters, cayman residents and visitors! What a shameless bunch!

  3. JTB says:

    Like the rest of them, Roy McTaggart condones violence against women, and has forfeited any moral authority he ever had.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Roy is Alden’s puppet but the best of a bad choice for ppm. After this election ppm is finished. Alden destroyed this party. Joey must be gutted that Alden cut him loose are telling everyone he was the next leader.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    How much are they going to charge this time for their special interest VIP pow-wow? It was $200pp at the Ritz in 2016; also the last previous recorded instance of Ezzard championing the topic of campaign finance.

    https://caymannewsservice.com/2016/05/miller-time-to-address-campaign-finance/

  6. Anonymous says:

    No weed! No Vote! Everyone wins when it comes to Cannabis legalization, except law enforcement who need it to stay illegal for easy arrests. Either make it fully legal or shut down some of the bars on the island.

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    • That’s IT says:

      Truth be told with the exception of Hon Roy McTaggart there is no other person within the So called Progressives with the credentials to run this countryside that includes the sitting Premier period.

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