(CMR) Ezzard Miller (NS) representative for North Side has indicated that McKeeva Bush's decision to take a leave of absence from his position as speaker of the house after an assault on a bar manager is unconstitutional and continues to call for his immediate resignation.
In a statement issued earlier today, Miller has shared that
“While the Premier’s decision to grant the Speaker a leave of absence, maybe an acceptable political solution to some, I cannot subscribe to a leave of absence unless the following questions are satisfactorily answered:”
- Who has granted the Speaker a “leave of absence”—surely the Speaker cannot grant himself a leave of absence.
- What section of the Cayman Islands Constitutional Order 2009 (the Constitution) authorizes or enables anyone to grant the Speaker a leave of absence.
- There are many other undisclosed details of this leave of absence that the public has a right to know, including the terms and conditions, the period of this leave of absence and date of commencement, the kind of professional help being sought, and who acts in his absence. Similarly, no details have previously been disclosed on his visit to the UK to represent the Cayman Islands in his role as Speaker, including the dates for this meeting.
He makes it clear that he has carefully reviewed section 65 of the Cayman Islands Constitution which deals with the role of speaker of the house and deputy speaker. After careful review he has concluded there is no provision that would allow the Unity Government to make such a decision as the constitution makes no reference to “a leave of absence”.
He also notes that 62 (1) d constitution states that if a person is certified to be insane or otherwise adjudged to be of unsound mind under any law in force in the Cayman Islands they can be disqualified as an elected member of the LA. He concludes with:
“For clarification purposes, this is not to be taken that I am suggesting that this section be invoked in this matter with the Speaker. However, on the matter of his being granted a leave of absence, while I have some empathy for the Speaker regarding his admission of having some mental issues, I will not support any process not grounded in the Constitution to allow him to seek the help he needs. The only immediately available constitutional provisions that would allow him the time he needs is carried in section 65 (2) b.—that he resigns his position as Speaker. Otherwise, the only other provision [(2) f.] is removal by a two-thirds vote by the elected Members of the Legislative Assembly pursuant to a vote of no confidence.”