(CMR) The Premier of the Cayman Islands, Alden McLaughlin, has resigned himself to the fact that his Progressives' candidates are unlikely to be able to form a government without the help of other MPs including the CDP and possibly independents. This has left many wondering if his call for an early election may actually be to his own detriment.
However, not to be outdone McLaughlin has been traveling to districts where the PPM has no candidates running to court them. Monday evening he was observed visiting Issac Rankine in East End. It was shared that he met with Rankine's election committee members in an effort to garner their support ahead of the April election.
Rankine was a close contender in the 2017 election coming within 26 votes of defeating incumbent Arden McLean.
McLaughlin has made it patently clear that he cannot win the majority seats in Parliament as independents remain strong going into the election. In fact, it is anticipated he may lose several seats and sympathetic independent candidates may also be in jeopardy. At a recent public event, McLaughlin said he was welcoming Suckoo back into the fold but Suckoo maintained that he is independent.
The Progressives will not be running candidates in the vast majority of constituencies.
Alden's comments about a coalition government were made on Friday afternoon at a press conference held to announce Health City's $100 million expansion in Camana Bay.
McLaughlin mentioned campaigning on a coalition manifesto; however, he did not give much information about the manifesto when asked by a journalist.
“The next administration- and we will speak to this in our manifesto of the coalition- we have two major challenges that the country has got to face up to. One is how do we provide adequate healthcare cover to every resident here at a reasonable cost to the patient… and how do we provide a pension scheme which is fit for purpose,” McLaughlin said.
He said providing adequate health care was one reason the Government needs to look at revenue streams constantly and why development and construction were “absolutely critically necessary.”
Earlier this month, McLaughlin requested an early election for April 14 after refusing to call a Parliamentary session to consider a vote of no confidence against House Speaker and CDP leader McKeeva Bush.
CMR is aware that many independents are working together to ensure that they can form their own coalition government without the PPM being able to retake control of the country. Most independents have taken a strong stance against the PPM for their inability to hold Bush accountable as house speaker.