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Cayman Progressives set to win strong victory

It’s already been a big year for elections in the Caribbean, but Wednesday will add at least a minor coda to elections in Grenada and Barbados earlier this February.


Though the Cayman Islands are a British overseas territory, not independent, they function much like an independent state with the British monarch as a head of state and the prime minister as a head of government.  Though it has just 57,000 people, it has its own currency, a robust economy as a world offshore financial center and its own Legislative Assembly, as codified in a 2009 constitution promulgated by the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom.

Traditionally, Caymanian politics has been a two-party affair, the United Democratic Party and the People’s Progressive Movement.

But the December 2012 arrest of premier McKeeva Bush changed that — the result of a nearly decade-long investigation into financial corruption, theft, and abuse of office.  He was ousted in a vote of no confidence, and his former deputy Julianna O’Connor-Connolly succeeded him.

Despite his legal troubles, Bush continued to lead the UDM in the election, though O’Connor-Connolly led the offshoot People’s National Alliance.

The split among UDM figures has led to what looks like it will be an impressive victory for the PPM, which is on target to form a government in the 18-member Legislative Assembly under its leader Alden McLaughlin.