Cayman Islands lawmakers met late Friday morning to attend to some procedural matters in the Legislative Assembly building, but opposition party members boycotted the gathering stating that it was not being held in accordance with the constitution.
According to a letter sent to Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor on Thursday, Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin wrote that he expected some announcement this week regarding a new meeting of the Legislative Assembly to host the state opening and premier’s budget address.
This did not happen during a Wednesday business committee meeting of the house, Mr. McLaughlin said.
“Instead, the government members advised the committee that there would be a 6th meeting of the 2011/12 session of the Legislative Assembly which would commence [Friday],” Mr. McLaughlin wrote. “No reasonable explanation was provided to the committee as to why the state opening was not proceeding and no date was given to members as to when the budget would be ready for presentation.
“When pressed, the Premier would only say that ‘the budget was in hands of our lords and masters’,” according to the letter.
Instead, the meeting Friday was set to deal with the mundane procedural issue of moving forward business from the previous session of the house to the next year, which will start with the state opening and budget address.
“If the house proceeds to meet [Friday], it will do so unconstitutionally,” Mr. McLaughlin said.
Clerk of the House Zena Merren-Chin confirmed to the Caymanian Compass that proceedings began Friday before 11am.
It’s still not clear when that state opening will occur. Premier McKeeva Bush did not give a date for that meeting during a broadcast address to the country on Thursday.
“The present situation of no budget having been presented with only two weeks left in the current fiscal year is but another very grave example of the unrelenting downward spiral in the state of governance of these Islands,” the opposition leader wrote.
Head of the Governor’s Office, Steve Moore, said that Mr. Taylor was conferring with Attorney General Sam Bulgin and had asked Mr. Bulgin for an opinion Friday’s Legislative Assembly meeting. Mr. Moore said the office hoped to have a response by Friday afternoon.
Please check back to www.caycompass.com for more on this developing story….