Mon | Nov 29, 2021

Voters elect new government

Published:Thursday | April 15, 2021 | 12:11 AM

GEORGE TOWN (CMC):

An estimated 24,000 voters in this British overseas territory voted yesterday to elect a new government in an election that was originally scheduled for May 26.

However, Premier Alden McLaughlin had asked Governor Martyn Roper to dissolve parliament on February 14, and the change was seen by political observers as a move to avoid a no-confidence motion against Speaker McKeeva Bush, who had received a two-month suspended jail sentence in December 2020 for assaulting a woman in February that year.

Candidates contested 19 seats, as defined by 2015 Electoral Boundary Commission’s report. In 2017, the Cayman Islands held the first elections in more than 50 years under the one-man, one-vote system.

Of the elected members of the Legislative Assembly, seven are chosen to serve as government ministers in a cabinet headed by the governor, who also appoints the premier.

Finance Minister and Progressives leader Roy McTaggart told supporters that if re-elected, he would look to have a “phased reopening” of the island, led by the science and by medical advice.

“We are not going to do anything to squander or take away from the great gains we have made in this administration in terms of keeping people safe and healthy,” he said.

The Progressives, which fielded eight candidates, released its manifesto highlighting the steps it has taken on housing, including increasing stamp duty exemptions for first-time Caymanian buyers and building new, affordable homes in the eastern districts.

Three members of the former United Democratic Party, including Bush, contested the elections as an alliance, while Ezzard Miller was the lone candidate, Cayman Islands People’s Party. Up to press time the results were not available.