After Week Of Drama, Cayman Islands Gets New Premier

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Attorney Wayne Panton is the new premier of the Cayman Islands.
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News Americas, GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Thurs. April 22, 2021: After a week of uncertainty following elections in the Cayman Islands, the British overseas territory finally has a new premier.

Attorney Wayne Panton was elected unopposed as Premier and sworn in Wednesday. He said the event would not have been possible without the voters “coming out by the thousands to exercise your democratic franchise and for that all of us who contested the general election are very thankful for your participation.”

Former premier Alden McLaughlin had asked Governor Martyn Roper to dissolve Parliament on February 14th to avoid a no-confidence motion against Speaker McKeeva Bush, who had received a two-month suspended jail sentence in December 2020 for assaulting a woman in February that year.

Bush was, however, ironically re-elected to the post of Speaker on Wednesday. He praised the election of Panton as head of the government, describing him as a “capable lawyer and businessman” and vowed to help him “control us for the betterment of our people.”

Former finance minister and the leader of the Progressives party, Roy McTaggart, was sworn in as the Opposition Leader. Over the week, he had been canvassing for the position of head of government, but conceded that the battle for government was and that Panton had been able to muster the necessary support to form the new government.

Of the 19 elected members of the new Parliament, seven are chosen to serve as government ministers in a cabinet headed by the Governor, who also appoints the Premier.