(CMR) Deputy Premier and Bodden Town West MP Christopher Selvin Saunders has resigned as a minister of Cabinet and member of the PACT effective immediately. The shocking announcement came Tuesday morning after what he described as a “brief meeting with Premier Panton.”
The surprise announcement led to the premier reshuffling his cabinet this morning, making Honourable Juliana O'Connor-Connolly the Deputy Premier and:
Premier Panton issued a statement shortly after that he had been “carefully evaluating the PACT Government's performance over the first two years. In the reshuffle, Panton has taken over part of Saunder's portfolio and will now be handling the responsibility for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The Honourable Julianna is now Deputy Premier and will retain her two current Ministries of Education and District Administration and Lands.
Dwayne Seymour will become Cabinet Minister for the Ministry of Border Control and Labour and relinquishes his roles as Deputy Speakers of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary.
Minister Hon. Jay Ebanks will also be handling Public Transport which was formally under Minister Kenneth Bryan. This is an effort to consolidate all traffic-related matters under the Ministry of planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure. The statement noted, “this will allow that Ministry to bring forth comprehensive solutions to deal with traffic issues.”
Saunders sent the following message out to his WhatsApp constituency group:
Earlier today, I held a brief meeting with Premier Panton. It is clear from that meeting that the Premier and I have differences that are material to us working together, and as such, I have resigned as a Minister of Cabinet and a member of PACT effective immediately.
While I am sure that many of you would love to know what those differences are, in the best interest of our beloved Cayman Islands, it is best that those differences remain between the Premier and me. The political stability and the international reputation of the Cayman Islands are more important than those differences.
In the past, I would remind my colleagues that M.P. means more to me than D.P. and I look forward to continuing my role as an Independent Member of Parliament representing the good, decent, and hardworking people of my home district of Bodden Town West.
As you would imagine, the nature of politics requires that this situation be used to destabilize the government and by extension our country, and as such, I encourage you all to not fall prey to those temptations and instead keep this Government in your prayers.
The Government failures are our failures.
The Government challenges are our challenges.
The Government successes are our successes.
I wish my former colleagues in the PACT Government all the best and look forward to working with them on the opposite side of the aisle in Parliament.
May God bless you all and may God continue to bless our beloved Cayman Islands.
One love. One Cayman
The resignation has sent shockwaves through the community.