CAYMAN ISLANDS-Governor calls on Speaker of the Parliament to resign

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McKeeva Bush

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Governor Martyn Roper Tuesday called on the Speaker of the House, McKeeva Bush, to resign, saying that “inappropriate behavior towards women should not be tolerated in any society.

“We all have a responsibility to call out this type of behavior and support the victims,” the Governor said, adding that “like so many others in the community, I was shocked to see social media and press reports concerning the conduct of Speaker Bush at a regional gathering of tourism Ministers and officials.”

He said that while these matters are the subject of a police investigation, “I will not comment further about these allegations.

“In the circumstances, it is fitting that Mr. Bush resigns from his role as Speaker of Parliament as he has confirmed to the Premier and the press. I had urged him to do so in private correspondence.

“Our elected representatives have a responsibility and duty to uphold the highest standards of conduct and behavior expected of everyone in public life,” Roper added.

Last week, Premier Wayne Panton called on the 67-year-old Bush, a  former premier, to step down following allegations that while intoxicated, he sexually harassed at least two women at a cocktail party hosted by the Tourism Ministry during a Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) conference.

Premier Panton, who had traveled to London for the Queen’s State Funeral on Monday, said he intends to deal with the matter later this week at the end of the official mourning period.

“I issued a strongly worded letter to the Speaker suggesting that he resign on, or before, Friday, 23 September 2022. While a formal written resignation has not been given, I can confirm that I received several messages from Mr. Bush…stating multiple times his intention to resign as Speaker,” Panton said.

Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart, Tuesday, also called for Bush to resign, saying that after respecting the ten days of official mourning for the Queen, he and his colleagues in the Opposition are also calling on Bush to resign.

The Opposition Leader said that while the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has already indicated that it had launched an investigation into the matter, “the thoughts of myself and my colleagues are with the women who have suffered the alleged assaults.

“We must be clear that the behavior alleged is never acceptable, and those in positions of power have a duty to uphold the highest standards. In the circumstances, Mr. Bush has no alternative but to resign his position as Speaker.”

This is not the first time that Bush has faced such accusations; in December 2020, he received a two-month suspended jail sentence for assaulting a woman in February that year.

McTaggart said that the Opposition is also disappointed that 16 months after the Premier formed the PACT Government, he “has been unable to implement a Code of Conduct for all Parliamentarians.”

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