McKeeva Bush has issued a statement on why the Cayman Democratic Party has joined with the People’s Progressive Movement and a selected number of Independents to form what they call a Government of National Unity.
“The negotiation to arrive at this position was very difficult, took several diversions, but in the end, we believe there is a government which will serve the interests of the people of the Cayman Islands,” Mr Bush, who is the Cayman Democratic Party leader, said.
“We, therefore, call upon all our members, supporters, friends and well-wishers to support this new Government of National Unity in the interest of all Caymanians and the Cayman Islands.”
Mr Bush said he entered this agreement on behalf of the Party fully mindful of the messages received during their campaign to establish an administration that is inclusive and responsive to the interests of the populace at every level of the government. “In this regard, we will be vigilant in ensuring that the decision-making processes of the state, with particular emphasis on those areas directly affecting the people’s social and economic well-being are protected,” Mr Bush said.
He stated that during the negotiations, there were a lot of deviations and concerns about the formation of a government and the role of each individual in its composition. “It is no secret, approaches were made by all sides and discussions ensued,” he said. “Although a lot of information surfaced in the public square, these discussions were high-level and sensitive and could not be shared openly with the Party, and society. It was always the intention to share with you the conclusion of these discussions as soon as they could be made public. In fact, I believe that some of the arrangements have been lost because of premature public disclosure hence the cautious approach in the last few days towards the final agreement.”
Mr Bush said that some voters were angered by this approach and expressed privately and publicly that they had lost faith in him and in the Party, and may have said things, which are now regretted.
“I would like to assure you that it was never my intention to disrespect you or the Party, and that I entered the negotiations fully aware of my obligations to safeguard the interests of our Party, and the role that each of you can play in a Government of National Unity,” Mr Bush stated. “Be assured that my objective in the negotiations with the various parties was at all times to achieve a result that was in the best interests of all Caymanians and the Cayman Islands. Those interests have taken precedent over my own personal ambitions and I believe that in all the circumstances, the agreement for a Government of National Unity as now formulated is the best option to achieve my objective,” he stated.
Mr Bush said that when the results of the elections are analysed, it is widely accepted that the results indicate that the people of the Cayman Islands want major changes in the conduct and practice of politics and governance in the Cayman Islands, which is particularly highlighted in the fact that no party or grouping received a majority mandate.
“This has highlighted the need for greater political cooperation in order to meet the expectations and aspirations of the people of the Cayman Islands,” Mr Bush said. “Accordingly, as part of our agreement, the participants in the Government of National Unity have committed to immediately work together to resolve a number of matters of concern to the people of the Cayman Islands. These include a number of matters raised by the CDP in its manifesto and during the election campaign:
• support and assistance for seamen and senior citizens;
• strengthening the District Council Administration;
• empowering youth by providing opportunities for training and entrepreneurship as well as for participation in the formulation and implementation of public policy;
• removing the red tape which is affecting Caymanian businesses and the ability of young Caymanians to start and continue their businesses in a reasonable timeframe;
• simplifying the Trade and Business License application process;
• reviewing and simplifying the Builders Law to ensure that small Caymanian businesses are not adversely affected
• addressing concerns on the Pension Law;
• protecting the Financial Services Industry;
• finding solutions for financially impaired property owners;
• working with the Chamber of Commerce and the business community to create a system which trains and promotes Caymanians in a fair and reasonable manner;
• reviewing the Conservation Law and identifying and implementing necessary changes which will preserve our environment while at the same time preserving the value of property owners and allow a balance between conservation and development;
• protecting the society, particularly women and children, against crime and violence, by implementing better and more effective laws and systems;
• implementing measures which will encourage economic growth
Mr Bush said they have also agreed on mechanisms to review and ensure that these matters are addressed in a timely manner.
He finished by saying: “It is my hope that this statement will provide a clear understanding of my objectives and the process involved in the negotiations and that any remaining misunderstandings are now adequately addressed.
“It is now time for us as Caymanians to work together in the interest of our beloved country to ensure that we can all enjoy a stable, safe, prosperous and inclusive society.”