Caymanian general election, 2013

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2013 Caymanian general election

← 2009 22 May 2013 (2013-05-22) 2017 →

18 seats in the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands
10 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 79.93%[1]

  First party Second party
  Alden McLaughlin, Premier, Cayman Islands.jpg William McKeeva Bush.jpg
Leader Alden McLaughlin McKeeva Bush
Leader since 2011 2001
Leader's seat George Town West Bay
Last election 5 seats, 29.8% 9 seats, 44.2%
Seats before 4 4
Seats won 9 3
Seat change +5 -1
Popular vote 21,859 16,816
Percentage 36.1% 27.8%
Swing +6.3 -16.4

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Juliana O'Connor-Connolly
Party Coalition for Cayman People's National Alliance
Leader since 2012 2012
Leader's seat did not run Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
Last election
Seats before 0 5
Seats won 3 1
Seat change +3 -4
Popular vote 11,275 3,436
Percentage 18.6% 5.7%

Premier before election

Juliana O'Connor-Connolly
People's National Alliance

Elected Premier

Alden McLaughlin

General elections were held in the Cayman Islands on 22 May 2013.[2] The incumbent United Democratic Party (UDP) government fell on a motion of non-confidence in December 2012 and was replaced by an interim government made up of former UDP members who formed the People's National Alliance (PNA). The main competition in the election was between the People's Progressive Movement (Progressives) and the UDP, with the PNA and a new political group the Coalition for Cayman (C4C) presenting an insufficient number of candidates to win a majority government.

The Progressives won half of the seats (9), with the UDP and C4C taking 3 each, and outgoing Premier of the Cayman Islands Juliana O'Connor-Connolly holding the only seat for the PNA. The two incumbent independents were also re-elected. Progressive leader Alden McLaughlin formed a new government.


In the 2009 elections, the United Democratic Party led by its founder and former Premier McKeeva Bush won a majority government. Bush returned to office as Premier until December 2012, when he lost a motion of confidence in the legislature. The confidence motion was triggered by a criminal investigation of Bush and was supported by the opposition People's Progressive Movement and dissident members of his own party, including members of the cabinet. A new government was formed by these dissidents, led by Bush's former deputy Juliana O'Connor-Connolly. Bush would later be charged with four counts of breach of trust, and five counts of theft. Bush continued to lead his party.[3] O'Connor-Connolly and her cabinet formed their own party called the People's National Alliance,[4] but only the five incumbent cabinet ministers stood as candidates under its banner. A fourth party, the Coalition for Cayman, put forward seven candidates, whilst 17 independents also contested the elections.[5]

Electoral system[edit]

The outgoing Legislative Assembly had 18 members, of which three were appointed (the Chief Secretary, the Attorney-General and the Financial Secretary) and 15 were elected.[2] However, under constitutional changes passed in 2009, the new assembly will have 18 elected members.[6] George Town gained 2 new seats, and Bodden Town gained one new seat. Each of the six districts forms a constituency, with six members elected in George Town, four each in West Bay and Bodden Town, two in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and one in North Side and East End.[7] The members of the multi-member districts are elected by plurality-at-large voting, where every voter can vote for as many candidates as there are seats.


The opposition Progressives more than doubled their seat count to 9, bringing them one seat short of an overall majority. Progressive leader Alden McLaughlin has said he will talk with Change for Cayman (C4C) and independent MLAs about the possibility of supporting his government. Another option would be having an opposition member become speaker, which would give the Progressives a majority of 9-8 among voting members.[8]

The opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) lost 1 seat but was down 6 from their 2009 result, and failed to sweep the West Bay district for the first time in 12 years. The governing People's National Alliance, a breakaway group from the UDP, lost 4 of its 5 seats. C4C, a new political organization, won 3 seats, while incumbent independents Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean (a former Progressive) held their seats.

e • d Summary of the 22 May 2013 Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly election results
Party Votes % Seats +/–
People's Progressive Movement 21,859 36.1 9 +4
United Democratic Party 16,816 27.8 3 –6
Coalition for Cayman 11,275 18.6 3 New
People's National Alliance 3,436 5.7 1 New
Independents 7,212 11.9 2 +1
Total votes cast 60,598 100 18 +3
Total voters 14,760
Registered voters/turnout 18,492 79.82

By district[edit]

George Town
(6 members)
Result Candidate Votes Vote % Incumbent
First Elected Member Kurt Tibbetts 2470 41.9% Kurt Tibbetts
Second Elected Member Roy McTaggart 2160 36.7% Michael Adam
Third Elected Member Alden McLaughlin 2145 36.4% Alden McLaughlin
Fourth Elected Member Marco Archer 2085 35.4% Ellio Solomon
Fifth Elected Member Winston Conolly 2039 34.6% new seat
Sixth Elected Member Joseph Hew 1940 32.9% new seat
Michael Adam 1889 32.1%  
Sharon Roulstone 1812 30.8%
Lucille Seymour 1768 30.0%
Kenneth Bryan 1735 29.5%
Jude Scott 1681 28.5%
Derrington Miller 1590 27.0%
Ellio Solomon 1528 25.9%
Jonathan Piercy 1439 24.4%
Walling Whittaker 1413 24.0%
Renard Moxam 1345 22.8%
Rayal Bodden 1330 22.6%
Stefan Baraud 1124 19.1%
Jaqueline Hayes 1035 17.6%
Frank McField 211 3.6%
Mathew Leslie 91 1.5%
West Bay
(4 members)
Result Candidate Votes Vote % Incumbent
First Elected Member McKeeva Bush 1583 47.3% McKeeva Bush
Second Elected Member Tara Rivers 1483 44.3% Rolston Anglin
Third Elected Member Bernie Bush 1460 43.6% Cline Glidden
Fourth Elected Member Eugene Ebanks 1307 39.0% Eugene Ebanks
Velma Powery-Hewitt 1072 32.0%  
Mervin Smith 1065 31.8%
Woody DaCosta 855 25.5%
Rolston Anglin 782 23.4%
Ray Farrington 671 20.0%
Dalkeith Bothwell 650 19.4%
Cline Glidden 617 18.4%
Bryan Ebanks 552 16.5%
Dwene Ebanks 370 11.1%
Andrea Christian 262 7.8%
Bodden Town
(4 members)
Result Candidate Votes Vote % Incumbent
First Elected Member Anthony Eden 1781 49.6% Mark Scotland
Second Elected Member Osbourne Bodden 1615 45.0% Anthony Eden
Third Elected Member Wayne Panton 1571 43.7% Dwayne Seymour
Fourth Elected Member Alva Suckoo 1393 38.8% new seat
Maureen Pitcairn 1352 37.6%  
Charles Clifford 1220 34.0%
Christopher Saunders 1098 30.6%
Mark Scotland 864 24.1%
Dwayne Seymour 712 19.8%
Errington Webster 512 14.3%
Arnold Berry 206 5.7%
Gregg Anderson 192 5.3%
Vincent Frederick 136 3.8%
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman
(2 members)
Result Candidate Votes Vote % Incumbent
First Elected Member Moses Kirkconnell 628 75.2% Moses Kirkconnell
Second Elected Member Juliana O'Connor-Connolly 461 55.2% Juliana O'Connor-Connolly
David Bodden 186 22.3%  
Maxine McCoy-Moore 93 11.1%
North Side
(1 member)
Result Candidate Votes Vote % Incumbent
Elected Member Ezzard Miller 326 70.1% Ezzard Miller
Unsuccessful candidate Joseph Ebanks 139 29.9%
East End
(1 member)
Result Candidate Votes Vote % Incumbent
Elected Member Arden McLean 317 57.2% Arden McLean
Unsuccessful candidate John McLean 237 42.8%


Government formation[edit]

No party won an overall majority, but with the Progressives winning half of the seats and three times more seats than any other grouping, they're expected to form the government, either on their own or in coalition with independent members. It is expected that the government will be formed within a week of the election.[8]

Independent members-elect from the C4C group and others had held preliminary talks among themselves to see about forming a coalition government with the Progressives.[9] However, Alden McLaughlin's Progressives have secured a workable majority in the legislature by getting the agreement of outgoing premier Juliana O'Connor-Connolly to serve as speaker, leaving the Progressives a 9-8 majority of ordinarily voting members. McLaughlin held a news conference on Saturday May 25 naming the Progressives that would sit in cabinet and also indicating that he had asked C4C-backed MLA Tara Rivers to join the cabinet, which would give the government a 10-7 working majority.[10] Thereafter, Rivers held a public meeting to assess her constituents views on whether to join the cabinet, the public was nearly unanimous in supporting her to join.[11] Following Rivers public meeting, the two other C4C MLAs indicated that they would reconsider their previous announcement not to join the government. As a result, McLaughlin cancelled a planned morning news conference on Tuesday May 28 in order to have further discussions with the C4C MLAs with an eye to a potential Progressives/C4C coalition government.[12]

Later Tuesday, it was announced that O'Connor-Connolly would join the Progressive caucus despite earlier statements that she would not do so when she was announced as speaker. As a result, the Progressives have a true majority of 10-8 allowing them to be appointed to government by the Governor of the Cayman Islands without a vote of the legislature.[13] Thereafter, McLaughlin announced the full make-up of his cabinet, including a portfolio for C4C MLA Tara Rivers. McLaughlin also announced that C4C MLA Winston Connolly would sit in the government caucus and play a role in Rivers' ministry in a non-cabinet position and that the government would support the other C4C MLA Roy McTaggart for chair of the Public Accounts Committee.[14] Two weeks after the election, McTaggart crossed the floor to sit with his C4C colleagues in the government caucus, accordingly he will have to step down from his position as Chairman of Public Accounts, a post always occupied by an opposition member.[15] This leaves the government with a 13-5 majority.

Electoral reform[edit]

This will be the last election under the block voting system as a result of the election of the Progressives. Progressive leader Alden McLaughlin reiterated his commitment after the election to move to a "one man one vote" system with a single-member electoral districts. McLaughlin will use the result of the non-binding 2012 referendum on such a system rather than holding a new referendum.[8]

Eligibility challenges[edit]

After the results of the vote, the husband of the fifth-place finisher in the West Bay electoral district Velma Powery-Hewitt, filed a suit in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands challenging the eligibility of Tara Rivers to have run and serve in the legislative assembly. Had the challenge been successful, Powery-Hewitt stood to take Rivers' seat in the legislature.

The Cayman Islands constitution forbids election to the legislative assembly to a person:

  • not born in the Cayman Islands from having been absent from the Cayman Islands for more than 400 days in the preceding 7 years, unless it was for government service, service at air or at sea, or for educational or medical reasons.
  • who holds another citizenship "save for any right he or she may have to some other citizenship by virtue of his or her birth outside the Cayman Islands."

The challenger argued that Rivers had been absent to the UK for more than 400 days where Rivers worked at a law firm. Rivers argued that her work at the law firm included extensive training and that it should be deemed "attendance as a student at (an) educational establishment" as permitted by the constitution. The challenger also argued that by applying for and receiving a U.S. passport, to which Rivers was entitled by virtue of having been born there, she was express allegiance to the United States and was therefore ineligible under the restrictions against dual citizenship. Rivers argued that no allegiance was given in exchange for the passport and that she was required by law as a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S. using a U.S. passport, not the passport of another country.

The court ruled with Rivers and she was allowed to keep her seat.[16] This prompted some complaint from others who did not present themselves as candidates though they had the same qualifications as Rivers but were advised they were ineligible to run by elections officials, and by an individual who had renounced her U.S. citizenship believing she had to do so to run. Powery-Hewitt's husband later attempted to appeal the decision,[17] but as the Constitution states that electoral questions are the sole jurisdiction of the Grand Court, the Court of Appeal declined to hear the case.[18]


  1. ^,-15,000-voters-turn-out/ Archived 2013-06-28 at
  2. ^ a b Country Profile IFES
  3. ^
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  6. ^,1481305&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
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  8. ^ a b c
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  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  11. ^
  12. ^
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2013-11-18.