Bush denies shot at Rivers but queries passport issue

| 15/10/2013

(CNS): The opposition leader has denied taking aim at the education minister during his response to the government’s throne speech and budget presentation last week when he emphasised his own possession of just one passport. However, the UDP leader said that he believes the section in the constitution regarding the qualification of candidates was intended to ensure legislators held only a Caymanian or British Overseas Territory passport. McKeeva Bush told CNS that his reference to his passport in his presentation was meant to illustrate the need for unity rather than the “fussy and fighting “ which he said had characterised the last four years and that as legislators, all the assembly members should hold only one allegiance.

Tara Rivers, the C4C candidate who is now the education minister in the PPM government, successfully defended her right to be elected in the courts in July following an election petition filed by the husband of Velma Hewitt, the UDP candidate who came in fifth in the May General Election.

The challenge was based on the grounds that Rivers had a US passport and was working overseas for a significant part of the seven years prior to the election and therefore did not qualify to run for office.  Following the courtroom drama, however, the chief justice ruled in Rivers’ favour and found she was qualified, even though she has a US passport and worked at a law firm in London up until 2009.

Despite that decision and the fact that the election law appears to prevent an appeal on an election petition, the attorneys have made an application to argue for an appeal, which is listed to go before the appeal court for consideration next month. 

However, the UDP leader said that his remarks about having only one passport during the budget debate had nothing to do with Tara Rivers, “but everything to mean that we have no allegiance to any other country but the Cayman Islands and with no other country to go to with only a British Cayman Islands passport if our Cayman Islands become so bad that we all can't live here. And we don't want any other passport either. “

Bush said that during his contribution to the debate he was speaking about the gravity of the issues that the country and the people of Cayman are facing and the need to put aside the finger pointing, groundless accusations and the general vindictive melee that the opposition leader claimed had taken place against him and his term in office.

“That has gotten us nowhere. Our people are suffering, crime is rampant and growing and the new immigration bill is not helping Caymanian or foreigner,” Bush told CNS. “So we need 'unity' not an opposition view to everything. And I plan to do what I can to help not hinder. We've had enough of hindrance over the past four years from the previous governor and the then combined opposition.”

Bush said that the second elected member to West Bay was not on his mind when he was making the point and that it was not the first time he had used the point about a passport to illustrate the only allegiance legislators have.

However, he said he had been through several constitutional debates and listened to the reasoning from the 1960's on the constitution about what the clauses and sections regarding who could run for a seat and what disqualifies a person. He indicated that he believes legislators should have only one passport and if they are absent for study they should be in a recognized educational institution.

“Our constitutional provision always was meant by legislators that you hold no other passport,” he said, as he referred to the "Nathaniel Glover"  case, a legislator who was the first Caymanian to be elected and disqualified on the basis of having an American passport by the FCO.

“I don't think MLAs should have passports for foreign countries. Having passports for foreign countries means you must swear some form of allegiance to a foreign country. And how do you have allegiance to two countries?” the opposition leader asked.

Bush said he believed the legislators were also very clear in the constitution on what they meant regarding the absence from the islands for study.

“There is no other interpretation of what the earliest legislators and ourselves meant in the discussions from way back may years ago, up until in the 2009 revision of our constitution but that if you were not in a recognized education institution of learning, and you were employed, and out of the islands for the period which the constitution stipulates, even though you took vacations back to Cayman, you were disqualified and could not hold a seat in the Legislative Assembly. That was the meaning to legislators when we always put that section in the constitutions. A school, and not employed,” he added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Unna just hate because its Mac

    Tara was deliberately hiding things and now she is in is not sticking to her promise of being an independent representative. Her first act was to behave just as poor as McKeeva. – LOL

    Also, I think the point stands about giving up the other passport if you are choosing to serve this country. Others have done it or have chosen not to an bowed out gracefully.

    The lenghts that some go to continue to hold Tara in this positive light is amazing. 


  2. Anonymous says:

    Don't know why anyone who is at all sane would be interested in anything this joker is involved in.I mean, he's so "yesterday's news".like a newspaper left out in the rain now completey sodden and a bit smelly.

    Can we just move on away from his rubbish input, please? I'm enjoying the fresh breeze outside of the trash can so much.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one is interested in the man…we are all scared that a snake in the grass will come back and bite if left unattended.

  3. Slowpoke says:

    The lower your IQ the harder it is to manage two separate concepts XXXX

    "Having passports for foreign countries means you must swear some form of allegiance to a foreign country. And how do you have allegiance to two countries?”

  4. Anonymous says:

    I call "Bushit" on this one.  Of course it was a jab.  Playground bullies know no better.

    • Small Axe says:

      He is always a sarcastic little (sorry, big) so & so. Of course it was a jab at Ms. Rivers. As for not wanting the fussing & fighting, he should look in the mirror because he is the biggest culprit, & it is because of him that there is no unity. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lovely photo of two divas all that missing is Juliana

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lissen ti me mi preshus lil Tee Tee. I is y friend, unless a na y friend, ok? Jes unnastan dat.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I like when Mckeeva is in opposition because he just smarter and more vigilant. This role is more his pace and he’s already done the premier thing so nothing worth him losing sleep over. The PPM look tired already anyhow. Love you Mckeeva and glad to see your old self returning. And your right. When the shit hits the fan who’s going to be forced to stay behind? Us. The one passport holders, that’s who. Tired of people using Cayman for gain and hardly contributed anything to us. If you seek to serve and defend us? Please at least show us your in this all the way! The politicians of days of old were quite aware of why those laws were put in place. It’s called Alligance to Country. Can’t wait to see this ruling overturned. It was a negative move on our constitution. And will be a bigger mess startingnext election.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. You are too funny. McKeeva is gaming you fools as usual.

      You will be waiting a long time to see the Ruling overturned. The Court of Appeal will declare its has no juridiction to hear an appeal.

    • Anonymous says:

      But Tara is trying to serve her country but you people are the ones trying to tear her down, not the other way around.  If you want to talk about negative moves, just look in the mirror and ask yourself why YOU are trying to hold the country back.

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva is right and we should all take note!  What happens when our Legislators(who hold American Citizen passports) enter the U.S. and are detained by Homeland Security and are questioned on Cayman and specific details of finances etc………, WHAT DOTHEY DO THEN??????  Who do they then have ALLEGIANCE to????????  SEE the BIGGER picture CAYMAN and the WORLD???

    • Anonymous says:

      Hold on to your seats, the PPM is just getting started!

      As to overturning the ruling – good luck with that!

  8. Anonymous says:

    We should not expect McKeeva to understand what it takes to educate oneself in today's world. He didn't quite understand what it took in yesterday's world either apparently. It is about much more than a 'school' McKeeva and the Hon. Chief Justice was absolutely correct in his decision in Tara's case. We ask our young people to excell and when they do we say but because you did so and had to be away from home for a while to do so we will not allow you to hold the highest office in the land ???? Give me a break McKeeva. That is 18th Century thinking. Please exit the stage and stop embarrasing us………thank you !

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahaha, McKeeva has more common sense than most of us!  He ran a country with no education and did a satisfactory job too!  

      These days, young Caymanians are jetting off for these big time US and UK university degrees, only to come back to be insulted in job interviews and forced to sign-up for welfare because some Expat that doesn't know the difference between "then" and "than" or posing off a fake qualification got the job. 

      By the way, not all expats are equal and not not all Caymanians are equal.   There are a lot of excellent expats here and then there are some that just need to be tossed out!


      • Anonymous says:

        McKeeva was appalling as our first premier. He was anembarrassment on the world stage, and accomplished nothing. If that was "satisfactory" to you then it means you have very low standards. 

        • Anonymous says:

          At least Mac got things done!  Obama 'was' pleasant and well liked in the international forum,  but gets nothing done!  

          uh huh, "you can't compare the US with Cayman" blah blah blah

          Mac did a satisfactory job for his level of education and he worked hard!  I guess you don't want to read that a "Caymanian" worked hard because you would like to maintain your opinion that Caymanians are lazy.  

          Speaking of lazy, I love it when the expats in my office call in sick day after day or show up to work smelling like beer and rum.  I like it when the police shows up in reception because some don't pay their landlords!  I love it when our US clients visit and are appauled by the unpressed shirts worn by the expats.  The list goes on and on…..

          Yet, Caymanians are this and that.  It must be some kind of envy!

          • Anonymous says:

            If expats turned up in our office like that then they are on the next plane home. We can't do that with the Caymanian ones who that do it, much as we would like to. It is actually called racial prejudice, forced upon us by attitudes like yours. And you know what, it reads like complete BS, you have a vivid imagination.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes of course Mac got things done. He got our backsides sued off by GLF on the port deal. He got the UK to intervene and put an end to his madness on the port deal. He made very certain that to this day we are handicapped and paying dearly for not having a port. He gave his church millions of our hard earned dollars, (thank goodness they eventually saw the light and gave most of it back). He gave Cohen hundreds of thousands of our hard earned dollars because it was a good deal for us. He gave 'for cayman' tens and tens of millions that rightfully belong to this country. He had many decent, upright Caymanians fired from their jobs for standing up for the truth. As our first Premier, he somehow managed to earn himself a dozen criminal court charges, He managed to blow out hundreds of thousands of our hard earned dollars trotting the globe in style and leaving absolutely nothing whatsoever to show for it. He somehow managed to get our house mortgage payments second to our CUC bills. The list goes on and on. Yes Mac certainly did get things done. Thank God Almighty we've finally managed to put a wrench in the spokes of all his wonderful achievements.   

          • Anonymous says:

            You idiot, I am a Caymanian. So he did well for a six-grader. Well that takes the cake. May be I'll send my six-grader son to be premier next.  

          • Anonymous says:

            Ummmm…what did he get done, again? After 4 years we did not even have a valid contract to build the cruise port let alone having it built. But we got sued by GLF because of his folly though.

            • Anonymous says:

              Folly you say, that's like describing hurricane Ivan as a cold front.

        • Anonymous says:

          he did satisfactory by caymanian standards…..

          • Anonymous says:

            Go home, if you have one, vagrant.

            • Anonymous says:

              If they were a vagrant they would not have a home to go to.  So your insult is logically inconsistent.

              • Anonymous says:

                Since mckeewa was cayman's first premier, what part of the insult "he did satisfactorily by Caymanian standards" would you say is logically consistent?