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PPM sweeps


Alan Markoff

Thursday 12th May, 2005   Posted: 05:06 CIT   (10:06 GMT)
PPM Sweeps!

Saying "search no more, we took all four", PPM leader Kurt Tibbetts rejoices in the party’s sweeping the district of George Town. Photo: Alan Markoff

Victory ensures new government.

The People’s Progressive Movement won an impressive victory in Wednesday’s elections, with all nine of its candidates winning in their districts.

The nine successful candidates will allow the PPM to form the next Government, taking the reins from the United Democratic Party.

The PPM picked up four Legislative Assembly seats in the election in addition to successfully defending the five they held in the last government.

New winners include Charles “Chuckie” Clifford and Osbourne “Ossie” Bodden in Bodden Town and Lucille Seymour and Alfonso Wright in George Town.

“I think the people wanted change,” said PPM Leader Kurt Tibbetts. “I believe our consultative approach and consensus building approach is what people want in their government. We are determined to prove that’s the best way to run a government.”

George Town PPM candidate Alden McLaughlin said shortly after the polls closed he was cautiously optimistic about the outcome.

“It’s all over except for the shouting or crying now, as the case may be,” he said.

The PPM steamroller got going when incumbent candidate Edna Moyle was announced the winner of a three–candidate race in North Side shortly after 9pm.

Not long after that, Arden McLean was declared the winner in East End, where he successfully defended his seat against independent John McLean.

But the real breakthrough for the PPM started in Bodden Town, where Mr. Clifford, Mr. Bodden and incumbent Anthony Eden jumped out to big early leads against three UDP and two independents candidates and held that lead until the end.

Mr. Tibbetts said that with only nine candidates on the PPM ticket, every single seat was important to win.

First–time UDP candidate Mark Scotland led his party in Bodden Town with 908, fourth among the eight candidates in the district.

Incumbent UDP ministers Roy Bodden, who has been in the Legislative Assembly since 1992, and Gilbert McLean, who had served two terms, ran a distant fourth and fifth respectively in the Bodden Town race.

With five seats already won, the PPM only needed to pick up three of four seats in George Town to win a Legislative Assembly majority and control of the government.

George Town, Cayman’s largest voting district with more than 5,011 of the country’s 13,091 eligible voters, was the last district to finish tallying the count.

The district also had the most candidates running with 13.

“We wanted to involve the people more in the democratic process and the result of the election clearly demonstrates that the people in the Cayman Islands are much more aware of the affairs of their government. We want it to be that way.

The UDP took only five seats in the election, including all four seats in West Bay where McKeeva Bush, Rolston Anglin, Cline Glidden and Captain Eugene Ebanks all successfully defended their seats.

UDP incumbent candidate Julianna O’Connor–Connolly was also returned for another term in the Sister Islands.

First–time candidate Moses Kirkconnell, also from the Sister Islands, became the only independent candidate to win a seat, defeating the UDP’s Lyndon Martin.

Mr. Tibbetts, most likely the next Leader of Government Business, said it was a difficult campaign.

“I’m glad it’s over,” he said. “This campaign has been more taxing because it was a national campaign."

Today he and his party members will discuss formation of the new Cabinet.

“Suffice it to say, the PPM government will represent everyone in the country; in all the districts in Cayman,” he said.

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