McKeeva Bush

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The Honourable
McKeeva Bush
OBE
William McKeeva Bush.jpg
Premier of the Cayman Islands
In office
27 May 2009 – 18 December 2012
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Stuart Jack
Duncan Taylor
Preceded by Kurt Tibbetts
Succeeded by Julianna O'Connor-Connolly
Leader of Government Business
In office
8 November 2001 – 18 May 2005
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Peter Smith
Bruce Dinwiddy
Preceded by Kurt Tibbetts
Succeeded by Kurt Tibbetts
Leader of the Opposition
Incumbent
Assumed office
29 May 2013
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Duncan Taylor
Helen Kilpatrick
Preceded by Alden McLaughlin
In office
18 May 2005 – 27 May 2009
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Bruce Dinwiddy
Stuart Jack
Preceded by Kurt Tibbetts
Succeeded by Kurt Tibbetts
Leader of the United Democratic Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 November 2001
Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the District of West Bay
Incumbent
Assumed office
November 1984
Personal details
Born William McKeeva Bush
(1955-01-20) 20 January 1955 (age 59)
West Bay, Cayman Islands
Political party United Democratic Party

William McKeeva Bush, OBE (born 20 January 1955)[1] is a Caymanian politician and the former Premier of the Cayman Islands. Bush, the leader of the United Democratic Party, is the first elected member for the district of West Bay, and has served seven consecutive terms in the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands representing that constituency. He was removed from his post as Premier in a vote of no confidence following his arrest in December 2012 and was succeeded by Julianna O'Connor-Connolly.

Education[edit]

Bush was educated in the Cayman Islands Government primary and secondary school system. At an early stage in secondary education, Bush dropped out of school. Bush was awarded an honorary master’s degree in humanities from the International College of the Cayman Islands as well as an honorary Ph.D from the University of Jamaica.

Political career[edit]

Bush made his first venture into politics in 1980, running for the West Bay seat in the Legislative Assembly. He was unsuccessful that first time, but achieved victory when he ran again for the same seat in 1984.[2] He has held that seat continuously since then, and also later became a member of the Executive Council (ExCo, now called the Cabinet).[2] He also served as Minister for Health and Human Services from 1992 to 1994 and Minister of Community Development, Sports, Women's and Youth Affairs and Culture from 1994 to 1997.[citation needed] In 1996, he took a position as a non-executive director of Qatar-based Gulf Union Bank. When the bank was investigated for fraud a year later, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority revoked its license and wound up its local subsidiary, First Cayman Bank; Bush was criticised for his association with the bank, and resigned from ExCo.[2] First Cayman Bank had made a number of suspicious loans before it collapsed, including a loan of $5 million to its owner and another $10 million to Texas oil businessman Tom Hajecate; a journalist stated that Bush had threatened him with legal action if he continued to pursue the story.[3][4]

Bush in 2012.

However, Bush remained in politics after that incident. He was a founding member of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in 2001, and served as Minister for Tourism, Environment and Transport from November 2000 to November 2001 and served as the Leader of Government Business and Minister of Tourism, Environment, Development and Commerce from November 2001 to May 2005 during the UDP administration. Following the Cayman Islands general election 2005, he served as the Leader of the Opposition from May 2005 to May 2009.

Bush was elected Premier during the Cayman Islands general election in 2009, and in addition to assuming the post of Premier, he also served as Minister of Finance, Tourism & Development for the former UDP administration. He is currently the longest serving member of the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands and is referred to as the "Father of the House".

Bush is also a Justice of the Peace.

Investigations and arrest[edit]

In late 2010 the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) opened an investigation into Bush relating to alleged financial irregularities dating from October 2004.[5] The Governor of the Cayman Islands, Duncan Taylor, has declined to appoint a commission of enquiry whilst the police investigation is ongoing.[6]

In April 2012 the RCIPS confirmed that Bush is the subject of three ongoing investigations, including the investigation revealed in late 2010.[7] RCIPS officers arrested Bush at his home on the morning of 11 December 2012 on suspicion of theft, breach of trust, abuse of office, and conflict of interest. The first charge was related to Bush's alleged misuse of a government credit card for which he was investigated in 2010, while the latter three concerned the February 2012 or earlier importation of explosives without valid permits.[8] Bush was questioned twice and then freed on bail. He denied any wrongdoing and refused to step down from his post, describing the charges against him as part of a "political witch hunt" led by Governor Duncan and members of the opposition.[9]

On 18 December 2012, Bush was ousted as Premier in an 11-3 vote of no confidence by the Legislative Assembly. All members of the opposition People's Progressive Movement as well as five members of Bush's own UDP cast votes in favour of his ouster, while Eugene Ebanks, Ellio Solomon, and Mike Adam cast the negative votes and Bush himself abstained.[10] Governor Duncan Taylor appointed Bush's Deputy Premier, Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, to succeed him on 19 December 2012.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Bush is married to Kerry Bush (née Parsons), whom he met at a Christian youth group while a teenager.[2] The couple have one son, Barry. Their daughter Tonya Yvonne Anglin died from diabetes complications on 25 January 2011; she was survived by her husband Chet Anglin and daughter Zariah (Bush's granddaughter).[12]

Bush is a director and shareholder of the Cambridge Real Estate Company.[citation needed]

Queen Elizabeth II appointed him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1997 for his work in the Cayman Islands community and success in the Cayman Islands Government.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hon McKeeva Bush OBE, JP: Biography". Cayman Islands Government. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d Tonner, Dominic. "From 'Son of the Soil' To Premier of the Land". Grand Cayman Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ Marchant, David (16 October 1997). "Details about the collapse of First Cayman Bank". Offshore Alert. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  4. ^ Marchant, David (31 May 1998). "First Cayman Bank liquidators prepare to sue directors". Offshore Alert. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  5. ^ "People need probe update". Cayman Net News. 20 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Caribbean News Now! (26 July 2011). "Cayman Islands premier under investigation". 
  7. ^ "Police: Premier Bush facing ‘three’ investigations". Caymanian Compass. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  8. ^ "Cayman Islands premier McKeeva Bush arrested". BBC News. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  9. ^ Kumar, Nikhil (2012-12-14). "Riding out the storm in paradise". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  10. ^ "McKeeva Bush ousted as premier". Cayman Net News. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  11. ^ "Juliana O’Connor-Connolly Named New Premier of Cayman Islands". SKNVibes. 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  12. ^ "Premier's daughter passes". Cayman News Service. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Kurt Tibbetts
Leader of Government Business
2001–2005
Succeeded by
Kurt Tibbetts
Premier of the Cayman Islands
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Julianna O'Connor-Connolly