Governor of Cayman Islands Says Premier will be Elected Wednesday

Martyn Roper Cayman Islands
Photo: CMC

The Governor of Cayman Islands, Martyn Roper, says Parliament will meet on Wednesday to elect a new premier following last Wednesday’s general elections to the 19-member legislature.

In a brief statement, the Governor said that the Civil Service has started preparations for the swearing-in of a new government following his meeting on Thursday, with the elected candidate Wayne Panton.

“As part of the constitutionally mandated process, the candidate representing the majority of votes in the Parliament must meet with me to confirm their ability to form a Government, as Mr Panton has done. I have to date received no formal requests concerning this matter from any other candidates,” the Governor said in his statement.

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On Friday, the former finance minister and leader of the Progressives, Roy McTaggart, said he had reached an agreement with 10 elected legislators to form a new government here.

“I am pleased to confirm that we have an agreement with 10 elected members to form the Government and to elect me as Premier,” McTaggart said, adding “this will allow the country to have a stable Government and continuity as we address the rebuilding from COVID (coronavirus)”.

The Electoral Office had said on Wednesday that voters had re-elected 12 incumbents and seven newcomers including three women to the 19-seat Legislative Assembly.

The polls were the first time voters chose who they would like to represent them in Parliament since it changed in 2019 from the Legislative Assembly.

Of the elected members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), seven are chosen to serve as government ministers in a cabinet headed by the Governor, who also appoints the Premier. Outgoing premier Alden McLaughlin has indicated he was not interested in heading a new government.

In the statement, the Governor said that “the next step in the process is the publication of a proclamation to call a session of the Parliament, which Mr Panton has requested for Wednesday, 21 April, at which all newly elected and appointed Members of Parliament will be sworn in and vote for a Premier”.

He said that contrary to reports there was no meeting of the Parliament scheduled for Friday and that “preparations will continue until a new Government is sworn in”.