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Caymanians go to the polls on April 14

Caymanians go to the polls on April 14

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GEORGE TOWN – The Governor of the Cayman Islands, Martyn Roper will be issuing a proclamation to dissolve the Parliament in this British Overseas territory, as the citizens will head to the polls on April 14, one month earlier than previously planned.

The Governor, in an announcement on Thursday, said Parliament will be dissolved on February 14. The decision to move the date for the poll forward has not gone down well with members of the opposition who said it is politically motivated.

“The Governor, by proclamation, will set Wednesday, 14 April 2021 as the date for the next General Election, replacing the May General Election date, as the Constitution sets out a maximum of two months between the dissolution of the Parliament and a General Election. This date ensures that no newly registered, eligible voters are disenfranchised.

The premier’s reason for putting a halt to the business of the country is due to pressure from the opposition to remove McKeeva Bush as Speaker of the House. McLaughlin believes that should Bush be removed from the post, there would be great instability created in his coalition government.

Parliament was previously due to be dissolved on March 29.

“As Premier I consulted with His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper earlier today and requested that pursuant to section 84 (2) of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 (as amended) he issue a proclamation dissolving Parliament,” the Premier stated by way of a press release that was issued late Wednesday.

The release further stated that: “Despite the fact that the Parliament was due to be dissolved on the 29th March and no further meeting is being planned by the Government, the Opposition and others continue to press for the removal of the Speaker. Currently, and for the second time, the Leader of the Opposition is circulating a letter seeking signatures of at least 7 Members to call a special meeting of the House to debate a motion of no confidence in the Speaker. He has not yet obtained the requisite number of signatures, but it is plain that as long as Mr. Bush remains as Speaker, the controversy over his recent convictions will not abate.”

McLaughlin has said that by dissolving Parliament, Bush will no longer be the Speaker of the House and the country, by way of earlier elections, will determine who they wish to serve as their representatives.

With the latest developments surrounding the date of the election, returning Officers will be issued Writs setting Nomination day for March 1.

According to Governor Roper, he was assured by the Supervisor of Elections that the Elections Office will be able to deliver a smooth, fair, and transparent General Election on this new date.

Meanwhile, shortly after the announcement concerning the change in the date of the election was made, Opposition Leader Arden McLean, in a statement, said six opposition legislators signed up to call for a special meeting of Parliament to debate his no confidence motion against Bush.

Pressure has been mounting for Bush to resign after he pleaded guilty to the February 2020 assault of a woman at a beach bar on Seven Mile Beach. (CMC)