Upheaval in the Cayman Democratic Party as the deal made with independent members to form a Government is off and one party leader resigns.
Multiple sources close to the negotiations confirm with Cayman 27 that the deal struck between the CDP and independents that would make McKeeva Bush Premier has fallen through.
It’s the second time since the 24 May elections that the CDP has struck a deal to form a Government only to have those agreements collapse. The first time involved a joint Progressives and CDP coalition. That agreement was announced Friday (26 May) afternoon but was called off later that night when Mr. Bush and Independent’s supporter Dr. Steve Tomlinson announced those groups would join forces to form a Government.
Cayman 27 understands The Progresssives are now in talks with independent members to form a Government as several independents balked at the notion of supporting a Government with Mr. Bush at the helm.
George Town District Council chairman Matthew Adam Sunday (28 May) confirmed his resignation from the party citing Bush’s about face on coalition with the Progressives as the reason.
“I cannot endorse the sudden reversal and actions which took place Friday night by the leader of the CDP, the Hon. McKeeva Bush, after having made an agreement with Progressives leadership to form a government of national unity,” he wrote. “I believe that when a person gives their word, that word should be trusted and that people should be able to rely on that word.”
Since Saturday there has been speculation that more CDP executives have resigned but Mr. Adam is the only one who has confirmed this.
He added, in the statement, “Our country needs strong, responsible leadership. We need people who are prepared to work for the best future outcomes for everyone in our nation, not just a select few or to fuel their own ego or self-interests.”
Mr. Bush, in a statement to party faithful, defended his decision to drop the Progressives deal.
“After numerous calls from my West Bay constituencies and from voters across the wider eastern independent representative districts, I, William McKeeva Bush and my colleagues have therefore withdrawn our support for the PPM to form the next government and have agreed to form the next government with the independent candidates.”
At present there are a number of discussions ongoing as the Progressives and the independents, as well as the CDP, try to hammer out a coalition.
It is unclear when the public will be informed since all involved have committed not to leak any information so as not to jeopardise discussions.
Following Friday’s announcement, Progressives leader Hon. Alden McLaughlin, in a comment to a local newspaper, said he did his best to form a government.
In that statement, he reportedly said, “I am going to stand back and watch this train wreck of a Government happen. I have done my best to form a good stable government but the unelected Premier Dr Tomlinson has brokered another deal that serves McKeeva’s ambition but will also allow the good doctor to stand outside cabinet and dictate policy.”
Fresh elections are a possibility with all the uncertainty. That call, however, can only be made by the Governor if no agreement is made to form the Government.
George Town North member Joey Hew, who successfully won his seat, took to Facebook to urge calm.
“With uncertainty often comes fear, confusion and even rage, but know that we as your elected officials stand with our country and people as our beacon,” Mr. Hew wrote. “We all believe in working to the greater good for our country and that is why we chose to serve you- the people.”
Mr Hew confirmed discussions were ongoing as he urged the public to prayer for agreement.
“As we meet with our fellow representatives to agree on the members of your government, we humbly ask for your prayers and trust that your votes will prove the strength of our mutual love for country. Now is the time for unity and not division, for trust and not callous actions or statements, but for love of country,” Mr Hew added.
Cayman 27 will provide further updates as they become available.