Cayman Islands Governor Names New Premier

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New premier of the Cayman Islands, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.
News Americas, GEORGE TOWN, Cayman, Weds. Dec. 19, 2012: McKeeva Bush has been given the boot as premier in the Cayman Islands following his arrest on allegations of corruption last week and a no-confidence motion against him Tuesday.

Faced with a choice of dissolving the Legislative Assembly or revoking Bush’s appointment, Governor of the Cayman Islands, Duncan Taylor, chose to revoke the premier’s appointment.

He has now named Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, the territory’s deputy premier, as the new premier.

O’Connor-Connolly has now made history by becoming the first-ever female premier of the Cayman Islands. She previously served as Speaker of the House from 2001 to 2003. In 1997, she was the first woman to be named a minister in the Cayman Islands.

Governor Taylor said a majority of the elected members of the United Democratic Party supported the appointment. Governor Taylor said he had formally notified Bush of his decision, and all ministers have vacated their office, as required under the constitution.

“I am satisfied that the Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly can form a stable, functioning government,” Governor Taylor added.

Bush was been released on police bail on Dec. 12th following a number of interviews with Financial Crime Officers, a Royal Cayman Islands Police Force Service statement said.

Bush, 57, was arrested on Tuesday, December 11th, by officers of the RCIPS at his home in West Bay. He was held on suspicion of theft, in connection with financial irregularities relating to the alleged misuse of a government credit card, and breach of trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest, in connection with the alleged importation of explosive substances without valid permits on or before February 2012 before being released.

Bush has been placed on police bail until early February 2013, to allow further investigations to take place both in the Cayman Islands and abroad in connection with the allegations made against him.

Apart from being Premier, Bush was also leader of the United Democratic Party and is the first elected member for the district of West Bay. He is currently serving his seventh term in the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands and has represented West Bay in the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands continuously since 1984. Queen Elizabeth, II appointed him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1997 for his work in the Cayman Islands community and success in the Cayman Islands Government.