“I am no woman beater”
McKeeva Bush, West Bay West
(CMR) Speaker of Parliament McKeeva Bush attacked several other elected officials on Friday morning during Radio Cayman's For The Record talk show with what he said was going to be his own motion to be seconded by Captain Eugene Ebanks.
Bush called into the February 12 program where he addressed the proposed vote of no confidence against him. The audio clip has since gone viral in the local community.
The show was discussing the Premier's controversial decision to dissolve parliament and call an early election six weeks ahead of the previously scheduled May 26 date. In studio guest, local attorney Dr. Steve McField discussed the legalities and impacts of the decision. The historical decision left many questioning the application of s. 84(1) of the Constitution.
This is the first time in the history of the Cayman Islands that any governor in consultation with the premier has dissolved Parliament and triggered an early election.
Bush called in after several callers and about two hours into the program sharing that he “listened intently to the constitutional points” made earlier in the program. He said that “things had gone into election mode” and he was put in the middle of it.
A few minutes into his comments he said that the Premier and the governor have acted in a manner that is the right thing to do for the country and that no one is disenfranchised including those intending to seek political office.
Not long after that, he goes into attack mode about those candidates including one that “starting a soup kitchen during lockdown” and offering back to school assistance. Clarifying that he was referring to Raul Nicholson-Coe he called some candidates “hypocritical”.
In his near 15 minutes call-in statement, he read his own motion which he intended to present if the house was called. His motion read in part:
“Whereas the Leader of the Opposition has written to the premier and also publically called for the government to have the elected member for West Bay West removed as the speaker of the parliament due to the speaker having an incident in February 2020 which resulted in the speaker being charged … and whereas this honorable house would also like to hear how can the Leader of the Opposition would take the high moral and ethical ground in dealing with any member who beats up his wife, ties her up, leaving her locked up and naked in the house for two days or any amount of days or how a member is dealt with who beats up his girlfriend who is his son's mother so often that the school teachers at school at to take the son to counseling.
“And whereas the house would like to hear from the member from North Side how he would take the high moral ground and ethical ground to deal with a member who beat up his wife and blacks her eye to the point she leaves the family house”.
Ironically, it has been rumored that numerous MPs have had a history of abusing women including their own spouses including some high-ranking members of the Unity Government – Bush did not speak to any of those members in his proposed motion.
Ironically, For The Record Host, Orrett “OC” Connor did not address the merits of the motion but did caution Bush about “being liable” and having no parliamentary privilege when Bush stated he was “no woman beater.”
McField shared that in the circumstances Bush remains as Speaker of Parliament and still has the executive duties until another Speaker is selected albeit he will not be presiding as there will be no meetings. Despite having six signatures on a letter requesting a special meeting of Parliament to be called Premier McLaughlin said he was concerned that even if they got the seventh required signature some members of the Opposition might not ultimately vote in favor of the Speaker's removal.
McField explained that it was a royal prerogative exercised by the governor and he could have refused the request from the premier. On Saturday evening a small group of persons gathered for a protest in front of the governor's residence on West Bay Road.
McField opined that 6 weeks should be enough for any election instead of three months.