Removing an MLA from office

| 07/12/2017

While I am familiar with the process for removing a premier and the speaker from the speakership, the process for removing an MLA from the Legislative Assembly entirely is unfamiliar to me. Would I be correct in assuming that it includes a formal review and a vote in the LA? Also in the case of resignation or the death of an MLA during his or her term one can assume there would be a by-election but are there any guidelines or rules set in stone that the public should be aware of, such as the mandated period for the by-election along with the specifics of the term of the new MLA?

Auntie’s answer: For those readers not as acquainted with the rules, technically the governor, under Section 49 of the Cayman Islands Constitution, appoints the premier. The governor can revoke that appointment if the Legislative Assembly passes a no-confidence motion in the government.

The speaker is elected by MLAs at the first sitting of the Legislative Assembly under Section 65 of the Constitution; removal of the speaker requires the LA to pass a motion to do so.

As far as an MLA goes, the clerk of the Legislative Assembly explained that a member cannot be “voted out” in the LA. Once elected, an MLA can only be “removed” as such by the public through a subsequent election.

If an MLA resigns or dies during his or her term, then a by-election can be held; this process is governed by the Elections Law and facilitated by the Elections Office, the clerk explained, adding that Section 86 of the Constitution also covers the specifics of a by-election: “Whenever any person vacates his or her seat as a member of the Legislative Assembly for any reason other than its dissolution, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held within two months after the occurrence of the vacancy, unless the Assembly is sooner dissolved or the date on which the Assembly must be dissolved under section 84(3) is less than four months after the occurrence of the vacancy.”

In addition, a person voted in through a by-election is only allowed to serve the remainder of the term of the departed MLA.

The documents mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

Category: Ask Auntie, Election Questions, MLA Questions

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    At any time, and with good cause (ie. evidence of malfeasance), voters can petition the Governor for the resignation of anyone in the LA. It is a democratic power, that more in the LA should be wary of.

  2. Shane e.connor says:

    private members motion 7/98 was a motion to remove John mclean as a minister of lands, ect,ect its failed by 1 vote as 9 was needed then ,I guess it was changed because of that motion and it was very powerful .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Our current government, particularly Alden, are giving away Cayman. I no longer believe this is being done through short sighted economic policy but is being done from self interest. I believe many of our politicians are receiving personal benefit from their actions.

    • Shane e.connor says:

      Its not relevant to the story I’ll advise you to be a MLA and get you cut too but the people better get their cut first so you get the necessary votes that is needed its a long process and your pocket better he long .

  4. West bay Premier says:

    Then again how shameful and disgraceful and corrupt the Government has gotten . These Politicians have sat down and allowed CPA to do something I think is Illegal for them to have done .
    CPA has given Dart permission to move two public beach access from the north of old Coral Caymanian and make one 12ft public beach access to the south boundary of old Royal Palms property .

    Do anyone see anything wrong with CPA in this matter ? We have to remember that CPA CANNOT make Laws or do anything in Law form . SO what and who would be able to STOP Dart from closing that 12ft public beach access ? Believe me you that I think that it would be a big Court battle if he decides to close that access .

  5. West bay Premier says:

    You mean that it’s perfectly OK for any Elected Member of LA to commit and do any crime on the Island and cannot removed by the majority members . How privileged and corrupt they have protected themselves.
    I am happy to know that the voters can remove come next Election .
    I believe that enough people should have enough power to do his/her removal before the next Election or should.

    • LoveForCountry says:

      So don’t you think they have their cronies and corrupt people in the Country to vote them back in office? Or be able to brainwash people during campaign?

      Here lies the problem. The masses have to be unanimous. Look at the CPR issue… Do you think more than 50% plus One of the voters support ‘NO’ or care about which way it goes, or will turn out ?

      There goes the our Cayman indifferent attitude. But what’s needed is good leadership and education. Cannot just wait until elections season when there are many confusing and contaminated methods to win people’s hearts. The People needs to be educated NOW. Dr Frank was good at that but he stopped, maybe out of lack of support.