Published On: Sat, Dec 15th, 2012

Cayman Islands premier resists calls to resign

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Following his arrest on Tuesday in connection with a number of ongoing police investigations into alleged theft and corruption, Cayman Islands premier McKeeva Bush made it clear he has no intention of resigning.

“I have done nothing wrong and I shall not be resigning as premier. I also wish to assure one and all that the government continues to operate as normal,” Bush said in a statement on Thursday.

“On the advice of my attorney and given the circumstances, I am unable to comment any further at this time. However, I will make further statements in due course,” he added.

Bush, however, made one such comment later the same day, when he accused Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor of being his "enemy" and implied that his arrest this week was orchestrated by the British governor.

"We are a British overseas territory and as such it is run by the governor and the commissioner of police. And so I can't miss that it is nothing but a political, very vindictive political witch hunt," Bush told reporters in Jamaica, where he delivered the commencement address at the graduation ceremony of the University College of the Caribbean.

Bush was due to receive an honourary doctorate from the university at Thursday’s ceremony, but that was withheld following the news of his arrest.

The governor’s office on Friday denied Bush’s accusations, saying that Taylor had taken note of the comments made by Bush on Thursday evening; in particular that the investigation was politically vindictive, and said there was absolutely no foundation to the allegation.

The governor’s office added that it would not be making any further comment regarding the allegations against Bush.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Alden McLaughlin said it was untenable for Bush to remain in office and called on the premier’s party to oust him from the top government job.

McLaughlin said that if steps are not taken to remove Bush by 3 pm on Friday, the opposition would call for a special meeting of the Legislative Assembly to hold a 'no confidence' debate, giving every member the chance to declare where they stand on the issue.

“It is untenable that the premier of the Cayman Islands should have to obtain the permission of the police every time he is required to travel overseas to conduct the country’s business,” McLaughlin said. “It is untenable that for the foreseeable future business people will have to explain to any foreign investor or person doing business in Cayman how it is that the premier of the Cayman Islands continues in office after having been arrested and bailed on suspicion of having committed serious criminal offences.”

By Caribbean News Now contributor

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