Panton sworn in as Cayman Islands premier

Wayne Panton

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Attorney Wayne Panton was last week  sworn in  as premier of this British Overseas Territory.

General elections were held in the Cayman Islands on April  14 last. The elections were originally set to be held on May 26  but Premier Alden McLaughlin asked Governor Martyn Roper to dissolve the Parliament on  February 14 last, triggering early elections.

 The change was seen by political observers  as a move 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  female bar manager in February last year.

Bush was re-elected to the post of Speaker and told the legislators “the campaign is over. We have a tremendous responsibility before us to serve our people”.

He praised the election of Panton as head of the government, describing him as a “capable lawyer and businessman.”

“Caymanians must pull together and there is no time to bicker and plot,” said Bush.

Governor Roper praised McLaughlin for his service and his leadership during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, saying he is looking forward to working with the new government, respecting the autonomy of Cayman’s parliament and playing his part as the UK representative to ensure a bright future for the islands.

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.

“I want to thank all Caymanians for giving all of us a life of purpose. It is the Caymanian people why we are gathered here today to witness the peaceful transfer of an administration as required by our Constitution,” Panton  said after being sworn into office.