Newly elected Members of the Parliament of the Cayman Islands have completed the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Virtual Post-Election Seminar, designed to strengthen their understanding of parliamentary democracy and provide an insight into leading democratic practices from around the Commonwealth.
The seminar took place from 4 – 6 August 2021 and was attended by government and opposition Members of Parliament and a roster of experienced Parliamentarians from elsewhere in the Commonwealth. The opening ceremony, hosted in the Chamber, featured remarks by the Premier, Hon. G. Wayne Panton JP MP, the Speaker, Hon. Dr W. Mckeeva Bush OBE JP MP, and the CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, who joined the event remotely. This hybrid format was used throughout the programme, with Members sitting in the Parliament building whilst speakers from across the Commonwealth joined virtually.
The Premier of the Cayman Islands, Hon. G. Wayne Panton JP MP, opens the CPA Virtual Post-Election Seminar
Across the three days, Members and clerks from eleven Commonwealth Parliaments joined sessions on topics including the legislative process, parliamentary ethics and the committee system. One highlight was a presentation by Hon. Mohamed Nasheed GCSK MP, Speaker of the People’s Majlis of the Maldives, in which he recalled his years of imprisonment and the recent bomb attack which left him hospitalised, bringing the importance of parliamentary privilege and freedom of speech into sharp focus.
The Cayman Islands 2021 General Election took place on 14 April 2021. The results saw twelve incumbents and seven newcomers elected, including three new women MPs, raising the total number of women in Parliament to five. The new cohort of MPs is also the youngest in Cayman Islands history. The election was monitored by a virtual Election Expert Mission organised by the CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR). The final report of the Mission was reviewed at the Post-Election Seminar in a session led by the CPA United Kingdom Branch.
Members take part in a workshop activity during the seminar
The CPA Secretary-General said:
“The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was delighted to support the Parliament of the Cayman Islands once again through the delivery of the third successive Post-Election Seminar programme, following previous seminars in 2013 and 2017. I was pleased to see newly elected government and opposition Members come together to learn from their colleagues elsewhere in the Commonwealth and discuss how the institutions of democracy in the Cayman Islands can be continually strengthened.”
Speaker Bush added:
“As the Father of the House with over 36 years’ experience as a legislator and now a Parliamentarian, I see the merit of holding such a seminar. The seminar’s remit is to help Members hone their skills at becoming more effective parliamentarians, which is really a very invaluable service, particularly to new representatives. My sincere thanks go to the CPA Secretariat for bringing this resource to the direct benefit of our MPs.”
The Speaker, Hon. W. Mckeeva Bush JP MP, addresses Members
The CPA Post-Election Seminar programme introduces Parliamentarians to differing legislative systems and methods of working. The programme also serves as a reminder of the possibilities that can come from sharing knowledge across the Parliaments and Legislatures of the Commonwealth to strengthen democratic governance.
 The Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Maldives, Bermuda, Canada, Anguilla, The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Isle of Man