UDP wins Cayman Islands election


But legal challenges seem likely

As Cayman’s 2009 elections drew to a close Thursday morning, it appeared that the United Democratic Party would return to power as the ruling government.

“We’re looking at ten seats, a clear majority,” said West Bay MLA Rolston Anglin. “Even with a challenge in Bodden Town, we still have the stability to form a government.”

“Change is in the air.”

FULL ELECTION RESULTS

The UDP’s return seemed destined to face legal challenges in the district of Bodden Town, where the eligibility of two party candidates remains in question.

As of late Wednesday into early Thursday, final voting results in Bodden Town and George Town were not available.

But it appeared that UDP candidates were close to nabbing two seats apiece Bodden Town and in George Town that were formerly held by members of the People’s Progressive Movement government.

A stunned silence rocked the Bodden Town Civic Centre as 11pm results were released from the elections office that had UDP candidates Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour in first and third places respectively. PPM Minister Anthony Eden held second place in the district going into the overnight hours.

If both Mr. Scotland and Mr. Seymour are elected, they are likely to have their victories challenged. The two UDP candidates missed the deadline for having details of their interests in government contracts published, and it is possible that a by–election would need to the be held if the two are declared ineligible.

“Make no mistake, they will be challenged,” PPM candidate Osbourne Bodden said. “I’m telling you, those positions will be challenged. They have gone against the constitution, and we cannot have anyone in this country going against the constitution.”

In George Town, PPM incumbents Kurt Tibbetts and Alden McLaughlin appeared to be headed toward re–election. But UDP candidates Mike Adam and Ellio Solomon filled the other two spots as of late Wednesday, with Mr. Adam in second place ahead of Mr. McLaughlin and challenging Mr. Tibbetts for the first elected spot.

Mr. Adam said he was looking forward to a victory party tonight in George Town.

The UDP held onto all four of its seats in West Bay voting district, with Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush garnering the most votes.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” West Bay MLA Cline Glidden, Jr. said. “It looks like West Bay decided that they’re happy with the leadership of the last few years, and it looks like the rest of the Islands decided that they needed change.”

Meanwhile, Cayman’s North Side elected a new representative and the only independent candidate to make a dent in the country’s political party structure.

Independent D. Ezzard Miller won his race for North Side MLA, beating out People’s Progressive Movement candidate Joey Ebanks and independent Oswell Rankine by a comfortable margin.

“It’s about unity,” Mr. Miller told the Caymanian Compass. “I want to bring hope back to this district.”

In Cayman Brac, the old guard candidates were poised for victory as PPM candidate Moses Kirkconnell and UDP stalwart Juliana O’Connor Connolly battled it out to see who would end up with the most votes. In the end, Mr. Kirkconnell edged out Mrs. O’Connor–Connolly by just a few ballots.

“There was very little difference in the vote count,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. “Now that we’re past the election it should be about uniting these Islands.”

caycompass.com

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