Mac makes history as Jack packs his bags

| 01/12/2009

(CNS): The first ever Cabinet meeting chaired by an elected politician took place on Tuesday, 1 December, as the governor prepared to leave the Cayman Islands. As a result of changes in procedure heralded by the implementation of the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009, Premier McKeeva Bush took charge of this week’s Cabinet meeting and made history.  Humbled to have made history, the premier said that with the increase in power for elected officials under the new constitution (which he did not vote for) came more responsibility for the politicians as well. Bush took the chair in the absence of Governor Stuart Jack who has now left his post and leaves the island Wednesday afternoon.

“Given the many outstanding politicians who have led our country since the introduction of constitutional government, I am honoured and humbled to have made history in this fashion,” Bush said following the meeting. “The new Constitution allows Caymanians to assume a more visible leadership role at the country’s helm, even as it encourages us to assume greater accountability for our actions. This can only be a positive thing for us as a people.”

Richard Parchment, Senior Political Assistant to Premier Bush, explained, "In this historic moment, the governor was still on Island but not able to chair Cabinet, and since the governor was in presence on the Island the deputy governor could not technically be appointed the ‘governor’. This therefore created the window whereby this occasion took place."

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  1. Anonymous says:

    No correction yet CNS ?????

    CNS: I have asked for clarification. As soon as I get it I’ll let you know (hopefully tomorrow).

    • Nicky Watson says:

      OK – you were right and the correction has been made. For those coming into the conversation at this point, we originally had in the story that the premier would be chairing Cabinet until the new governor arrived, since section 46 (2) of the Constitution states: "In the absence of the Governor from any meeting of the Cabinet, the Cabinet shall be chaired by the Premier or, in the absence of the Premier, the Deputy Premier." However, it appears, from the response from Richard Parchment to my questions on the matter, that when the governor is not on island, the deputy governor is "the governor" and therefore chairs Cabinet.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The UK and the PPM set a voters trap on that one. If you choose NOT to vote on the constitution it in essencewas the same as a YES vote as FOR the Constitution to pass as it only needed a majority of THOSE who actually voted for or against it NOT the Majority of all voters. So those that did not vote but were against it, your vote in essence counted as a YES.

    So what we have is a Constitution approved by a MINORITY of the voters impacting all of the voters. Shame on UK/FCO/PPM/UDP.

    That is how desperate the UK and PPM was in ensuring that the constitution passed. Clearly this is not democracy by any means but the UK is not too keen on democracy overseas historically so it is not surprising.

    I think as Caymanians realize what is contained in that document there will be more “Shock and Awe” moments to come.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is in the Constitution is a matter for the UK and the UK alone.

  3. Anon says:

    I agree. I didn’t understand the constituion then and I don’t understand it now. And I truly wish I could take my vote back. I had no idea what I was doing when I voted on the Constitution. I just knew I had to make a decision and from the looks of things it seems I made the wrong one.

    • Jab Jab says:

      If you don’t understand it then how do you know you made the wrong decision? What, specifically, don’t you think you like?

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously we are ready for independence with this level of awareness.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thumbs up to the Hon. Premier Bush!!

    Bye, safe travel Jack.

  5. Anonymous says:

    No CNS you got that one wrong. The UK would never allow any Premier, particularly Mac, to be in the chair of Cabinet for the next few months. The new constitution clearly states that it is the Acting Governor (for the time being thats Donovan Ebanks) who is in charge and who chairs Cabinet in the absence of the Governor. It is only on those rear occasions when both the Governor and the Acting Governor are unavailable (as was the case yesterday) that the constitution allows the Premier to chair the Cabinet meeting.

    On a separate note though………can Jack*** please  find space on the plane for Mac and take him on a one way ticket too. Now that would be real progress…….."Don’t Stop The Progress" !!!

    CNS: I think you need to take another look at the Constition. You can find it here.

    Proceedings in and quorum of the Cabinet
    46. (2) In the absence of the Governor from any meeting of the Cabinet, the Cabinet shall be chaired by the Premier or, in the absence of the Premier, the Deputy Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

       Just another example of how many people do not actually understand the new Constitution. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The Photo by Alan Markoff clearly shows Mr Ebanks in attendance on the right hand side.

      The new constitution however is simply stated in a nutshell on page 61, article 125…nothing really new. Often referred to as the “nuclear option” by the UK.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thats because Governor Jack was still on island and Donnie’s acting appointment doesn’t take effect until Jacko lifts off this afternoon…..thats why Donnie couldn’t chair that particular meeting…….he was not yet Acting Governor !!!………… Watch next week !

    • Anonymous says:

      You still don’t get it CNS. The Governor means the person holding the office of Governor FOR THE TIME BEING……whether that person is the person holding the substantive post or the person Acting as Governor during the Governor’s absence.

      Read the constitution properly, including the interpretation and meaning of "Governor" and please correct this !

    • Anonymous says:

      Come on CNS read sections 35 (the section dealing with Governor, Deputy Governor & Acting Governor) and 124 (definition/interpretation of the word "Govenor") of our new Constitution 2009.

      The point of the constitution is this – there shall always be a Governor representing Her Majesty as long as we are a British Overseas Territory. Whether that is the person holding the substantive post or the person, in this case Donovan Ebanks, who has been appointed by Her Majesty to act as Governor.

      So the point is this……the Premier WILL NOT be allowed to chair the Cabinet meetings over the next few months until the new Governor arrives. Mr. Ebanks, the Acting Governor appointed by Her Majesty, will chair the meetings unless there is another "rare" occasion that he might also be absent very briefly.

      Watch ! ……..but please correct your misinformation……I accept that it was an innocent misrepresentation.

      I consider CNS a very valuable media house and just want to make sure you get it right as often as possible.