Ebanks-Wilks elected youngest speaker in Cayman parliament
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC):
Members of parliament on Friday elected Katherine Ebanks-Wilks as the Cayman new Speaker following a vote held during a special meeting of the House.
Ebanks-Wilks, 43, who has been an MP for 19 months, beat by 10 votes to six the only other person nominated, opposition member Sir Alden McLaughlin, who has served in the legislature for more than 20 years, as lawmakers voted along party lines.
Ebanks-Wilks’ previous position of deputy Speaker is now filled by Dwayne Seymour, who crossed the floor last year to join the government benches as an independent.
After taking her seat in the speaker’s chair, Ebanks-Wilks said she was “filled with gratitude” to have been appointed to the position.
Ebanks-Wilks, the fifth and youngest woman to sit in the speaker’s chair, said that she never expected to hold such a high office so early in her political career and promised to be fair and discharge her duties “diligently, firmly, and fairly”.
Her election comes after McKeeva Bush officially demitted the office of speaker last month after resigning with immediate effect.
His resignation followed mounting pressure after police commenced an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards two women at a government cocktail reception back in October.
She has been fulfilling the duties of the speaker since Bush’s resignation.