Tara’s allies back André in WB South

| 05/03/2021 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service
Mervin Smith speaks in support of André Ebanks

(CNS): At the official launch of his campaign to represent West Bay South on Thursday evening, André Ebanks was introduced and endorsed by two former West Bay political allies of the incumbent, Tara Rivers, a PPM/Coalition member who is not running for re-election. Paul Rivers and Mervin Smith are not appearing on their own hustings for the 2021 elections but both said they supported Ebanks’ campaign to fill the seat left vacant by their former campaign running mate.

With no alliance logo on his poster and having reportedly left the Progressive some time ago, Ebanks is running as an independent.

As he offered his support to Ebanks, Smith said that when he became aware that Tara Rivers was vacating the seat, he was worried because he was one of the individuals who had fought hard in West Bay to make the change that they succeeded in doing in 2013 with her election.

He said that once again he wanted voters in WBS to vote for someone because they are qualified and not because they are told who to vote for, as had been the case for decades in West Bay. Endorsing Ebanks as Rivers’ replacement, he said he was not doing it just to better his own life but for the good of the district.

Ebanks recently resigned from the position as the Cayman Islands’ representative in London, and before that he worked as a policy executive in the community affairs ministry.

Calling on that inside knowledge when he took to the hustings, Ebanks said that government had failed to invest in and implement the necessary policies that could massively improve social services. He said the staff were overwhelmed because they did not have the modern technology they needed to improve that department.

Meanwhile, his challenger for West Bay South, Raul Nicholson-Coe, is also running as an independent. While he was previously associated with the UDP and was once a close friend of McKeeva Bush, he has not indicated who he is likely to work with.

During his campaign meeting, Nicholson-Coe criticised Rivers for not connecting with the people over the last eight years and said she was “afraid to come back and face the voters” for a third term because she knew he would beat her.

He also criticised his opponent, saying that Ebanks would not be as effective as him because he had run a multi-million dollar company. Nicholson-Coe also made a commitment to re-integrate government schools to enable expatriate children to attend them.

Both candidates laid out their wish lists, but neither explained what revenue raising policies or cuts they supported.

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Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    At 3:45pm André’s robotic campaign team finally puts out a matching sentiment for International Women’s Day. Raul seems to have beat him by 6 hours on that front. It shouldn’t require a full day’s campaign calculation to be seen to be doing, and saying the right things. Still, it is deafening that neither self-ascribing “Independent” pro-empowerment candidate has chosen to renounce McKeeva Bush, his history of trespass, violence, criminal convictions, and ongoing victimization and denials, or the bewildering inaction of the Unity Cabinet – or indeed anyone from today’s Parliament – to file the necessary complaint to remove him from politics forever. If these guys are truly Independent, this would be a step one voter refreshment on the campaign trail. You need only hear McKeeva on the record last week stating the CDP/UDP are supporting at least one candidate in WBS…I think it might be both.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Raul for someone who sent their kids to the most expensive private schools, you are full of it.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Listening to these speeches reminded me of almost every episode of Restaurant Impossible. The menu of promises is far too long and puzzling, and it’s not even the menu desired by most of the starving customers.

    The winner in WBS will need to prepare and serve just a couple things well:

    1. Renounce Opaque Governance, and promise/deliver hope for Transparency. To be credible, this aim is not for delivering the required minimum levels of failing-grade transparency, but surpassing that to international best practice, or world-leading transparency. We should be able to do that on an island this small. That includes the dismantling of decades of conspiracies of silence, culture of redaction, shredding of documents, and holding past illegal/criminal actions to account.

    2. In question period, don’t hand the microphone to the crazy lady, wearing your shirt, who wants to regale the crowd with your body-shop treating exploits for district DUIers. Not a good look. See #1.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I find the comments regarding soon to be ex-Minister Rivers quite interesting. She is a WBS voter. As she will not be voting for herself in the upcoming election, is she not allowed to attend meetings to determine how she wishes to vote?
    The same applies to any previous public supporter. They are now free to support and vote for who they decide is the better candidate.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No, this is very different: this is André’s agreement to accept a current Unity Cabinet Minister, and serving WBS district leader’s endorsement of successor.

      If, at any time, André wanted to retain any perception of being neutrally-minded, or self-determining vis-a-vis future policy orders, this was a very mystifying alignment to welcome on the first outing.

      Further, there has been no public renouncement by either so-called “Independent” WBS Candidate about the muddling opacity, corruption, and inaction/silence of the current Unity regime members and previous governments. Unless we are a big developer, with surname Dart, that is what we want changed. Is there any lower fruit than that, if you really are an independent self-determining, and mindful candidate?!?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ever occurred to you that these folks may have decided to support Andre even before Tara made her decision? Maybe that assisted her decision.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    This will be disqualifying for some of the voters that are unhappy with Tara’s performance or her stance on holding the speaker of the house accountable for his recent actions.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Raul. Expats are allowed in government schools. At one point George Town Primary had more expats in attendance, than Caymanians. These include the children of expatriate government workers, of Permanent Residents, and the spouses of Caymanians and Permanent Residents.

    No expatriate with substantial money and love for their children is going to send their children to a government school. Even were safety and cultural pressures not an issue (and they are) a CXC simply does not have the same standing as an igcse or IB in international circles – which is where our children have to be able to compete.

    Reintegration of the schools is critical – but at this stage privatization is the only mechanism that is going to work. The children of poorer (means tested) CAYMANIAN families, who can pass the entry requirements, should be given scholarships to attend the private schools. That is the only viable way to achieve reintegration – and it will save government money.

    Good luck to any candidate who will do the right thing for these Islands.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Minister Rivers did an excellent job as a Representative for WBS (regardless of what the haters say or want to admit). Her supporters are gravitating to Andre because he too has the qualities to make an excellent Reprentative. Raul on the other hand sounds desperate and unsure of himself (his arrogance is not appealing).

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  8. Anonymous says:

    And there you have it folks..like Tara he will be another extension cord for Alden or McKeeva, as the case may be..

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Heard him on mark road this morning avoiding all serious questions, tip toeing around the mckeeva issue. A vote for him is a vote for the status quo. I think the ppm have put out “fake” independents in areas where they know their party isn’t in favor. Once elected he will just join them.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    This was always my fear that Tara would be his handler for Alden and Mckeeva. So he will turn out to be just another “yes man” for the PPM/CDP just like Tara was.

    I voted for her twice and I swore if she ran this time she wouldn’t be getting my X again.

    As a woman I am totally ashamed of her not speaking out and taking a stand to condemn McKeeva after beating that poor girl in public.

    The whole reason that I and most people in WBS voted for Tara was to get someone that could stand up to Mckeeva and release the stranglehold on West Bay but she proved herself weak, useless and without conviction..

    Andre, I was hoping you wouldn’t be for sale too..This hurts my heart.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Attend a meeting. Make up you own mind. Not based on an article. I can safely say that Andre does not have any “handlers”.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Raul also doesn’t know what he is talking about. Did anyone hear his comments about stamp duty. I’m only 23 years old, and recently received my waiver for my house. When he said the waiver was 200,000 about 20 years ago and hasn’t changed in 20 years, I was floored and got up and left.

    Andre, is not a choice for WBS either. He isn’t a people person, is very narcissistic and a brutal person as a manager. What the shell was that next crazy fool, Mervin Smith talking about Andre’s community service. He hasn’t done any. Working as a civil servant and get a hefty salary is NOT community service!

    Why Tara why. So many persons in WBS are talking of sleeping in and not voting as they don’t have a worthy candidate. Tara represented us proudly and was great whilst accomplishing a plethora of tasks. WBS will not get that with Raul and definitely not with Andre…..he isn’t even a “Baya”!!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Andre is very arrogant and narcissitic. He believes he knows it all. He does not care about people he just believes that he should be a leader. Speaking well is not all that is required. Putting people first is the mark of a true leader.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly you have never met the man. You must be thinking of another Ebanks or another Andre, but I don’t think even the most unkind description of this gentleman could be deemed as arrogant or narcissistic.

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      • Anonymous says:

        clearly you’ve never actually met andre?

    • Anonymous says:

      10:34. Raul loss my vote when he started the soup kitchen during the Pandemic and never declared he was running for office.

      I am voting for Andre his work in the community services ministry places him in a unique position to understand the needs of Caymamians.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    If I was registered in WBS, my vote would go to André. Running a million-dollar company is about profits; running government is about providing quality services on limited revenue. In addition, Nicholson tries to come across as laid back, but comes across as cocky and full of himself. Not my cup of fish tea.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    4:36.

    Agreed. Plus Andre has civil service experience and Raul doesn’t.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Civil Service experience isn’t anything to add to your resume as something good..That just means they are used to the system and have no clue about what we in the private sector go through..

      When was the last time you saw a civil service member get fired? Civil servants get bonuses and raises not to mention medals from the Queen just for doing what they were hired to do..

      The rest of us are out here fighting to put food on the table, getting laid off and the only thing the government can do is tell us to go to NAU..Tell me how many civil servants have been laid off since covid started and how many of them are struggling financially? NONE!!!

      I don’t want anyone representing me that doesn’t understand the private sector and has been entrenched in the gravy system better known as the civil service.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Andre started his career at Appleby and then Walkers. He has private sector experience.

        As for Raul, Digicel is nothing to brag about. XXXX

        Raul, Rolston, Eugene and McKeeva, puppets for the same masters.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I worry about his connection to walkers- I would love to know if he has any agreements with them for future job security.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The fact that no civil servants have been laid off is a good thing, because that would add to the NAU line.

        BUT the 300+ Civil Servants who make over CI$100,000 a year could have taken a 5% or 10% pay cut. Instead they got a RAISE.

        POLITICIANS gave them that raise. Politicians approve the budget.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know Andre but I heard from people in London in financial services who met him that he was doing a great job over there promoting Cayman. Hopefully he gets in.

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  14. Follow the Cash!$ says:

    I’m Not buying anyone’s fluff now.
    Where are the nuts and bolts?
    I want to see clear viable plans for the key issues.
    Will any MP revamp or refuse the lucrative MP salary and benefits package? Big salaries.office allowances. Monthly jollies around the globe.cars and drivers.home security packages.golden parachutes.
    Big LIFETIME pension and health coverage after only 2 terms!
    Can all these benefits be made public?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    No good choices in WBS. André didn’t even have the sense to keep radioactive Tara off his stage. Alienates most of the district voters on the first outing!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Andre planned to run for office well before Tara made her intentions known.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Andre is the clear winner!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear, Raul. Big mistake criticising Tara at your meeting. Tara us still very popular in WBS and would have beaten you hands down. No question. Everybody knows your character my friend, and WBS has rejected that twice already. No going back now. Besides, all you have managed to do is alienate her strong base of support. You must be campaigning for Andre! LOL.

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