Cayman leader ousted
Nine of the 15 elected legislators voted to remove Kurt Tibbetts as Leader
Government Business. Five voted against the motion, and one abstained.
He was expected to be replaced in the position by Tourism Minister McKeeva Bush.
The vote came after 10 of the 15 elected legislators formed a new party
The legislators, who had been independents, said in a statement that they
forming the new United Democratic Party to "get the economy up and moving, as
many of our people are out of work and hurting."
Government officials could not provide the latest statistics on the economy
unemployment among the territory's 40,000 people.
As part of the changes to the Assembly's Executive Council, legislators
removed Tibbetts supporter Edna Moyle as minister of community development
and women's affairs.
The two vacancies on the Executive Council are to be filled by Legislative
Assembly members Gilbert McLean and Frank McField. Both Tibbetts and Moyle
are to keep their seats.
The legislature chose Tibbetts as the chief minister after elections a
year ago in
which voters ousted former leader Truman Bodden in apparent anger over the
weakening of secretive banking laws that made the islands a prosperous offshore
Moyle said she would seek advice on challenging the Assembly's decision
Tibbetts said during debate on the motion that he had no choice but to
result of the vote, but said the islands should restructure the system so that the
leadership cannot be so easily removed.
British Governor Peter Smith said he had no reason to intervene. "This
democratic process at work within the rules that presently govern us in the Cayman
Islands," he said in a statement.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.