Opposition Statement on Suspension and Walk-Out

13 September 2018, 8:00 AM
Politics & Government

Members of the Opposition along with MLA Kenneth Bryan walked en masse from the Legislative Assembly (Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018) in solidarity with Newlands MLA Alva Suckoo, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, following Mr. Suckoo’s suspension by the Speaker and the Government bench of the Legislative Assembly.

Notably, Mr. Bernie Bush voted with the Opposition and Mr. Kenneth Bryan.

Commenting, Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller said: “Mr. Suckoo was unjustly censured, as the Hansard of what Mr. Suckoo said in Cayman Brac makes no reference to China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEM) or Sinopharm Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., or to Speaker Bush.”

Mr. Miller noted that as Mr. Suckoo’s statement was struck from the record it is not possible to provide a copy of the Hansard statement, but Mr. Suckoo is at liberty to read his comments from his notes.

In connection with the suspension of Mr. Suckoo, the Speaker had tabled letters from CHEM, emailed conversations between CHEM’s representative Scott Henderson, and a screen shot of text messages between Mr. Suckoo and Mr. Henderson. 

Conveniently, he did not table the letter to “Whom it May Concern”, under his hand from his alleged company, WMB International Consulting Ltd., that indicates his interactions with CHEM and Sinopharm.

Commenting on the correspondence, Mr. Miller said: “I have grave concerns about the contents of the correspondence tabled [Wednesday] morning,” adding: “We are concerned that information contained in the correspondence may need to be reported to and investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission.”

Continuing, Mr. Miller said, “We are also concerned that the screen shot may be in violation of the ICTA Law.”

The screen shot involved an exchange between Mr. Suckoo and Mr. Henderson, who, Mr. Suckoo said, had reached out to him and not the other way around.

“Prior to what happened [Wednesday],” Mr. Suckoo said, “I had taken the contents at face value, but now I am duty bound to report the matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission, as it is now clear that the exchange may have some deeper implications.”

Mr. Miller said that this was another example of the urgency of the commencement of the Standards in Public Law, pointing also to the recent uproar regarding OfReg’s Board and the overspending incurred in the Owen Roberts upgrading (as was recently disclosed by the CEO of the Airports Authority.)

Reflecting on what transpired, Mr. Miller said: “In addition to all of these concerns, what is most disquieting is that a Member of the Legislative Assembly has been stopped from doing his job – and that is to raise concerns about serious issues reported to him by his constituents.

Mr. Miller went on to say that “given what has transpired since the swearing in ceremony of the new Assembly and how the Legislature has been operating, the Opposition must now consider all the options available to them.”

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