October 15, 2021

Observer group gives Cayman Islands high marks for fairness at polls

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From Jamaica Observer

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC) – The Commonwealth Observer team that monitored the recent general election says the country “amply met the international standard” for democratic and transparent elections.The group led by Steve Rodan, president of Tynwald in the Isle of Man, says the outcome of Wednesday’s general election reflected the “will of the people”.

“Cayman can feel confident in its processes … whether or not they are pleased with the results.” The six member observer team spent the week checking everything from elections advertising, to news coverage, to ballot counting and voter registration.

According to Rodan, legal principles of freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of assembly were all respected.

He also commended the elections office staff and Supervisor Wesley Howell for their “meticulous attention to detail.”

Equality of voting principles was met by the adoption of the “one man, one vote” procedure during the 2017 general election, according to elections observers.

However, he said that two voting districts on Grand Cayman “depart from the norm” when it comes to the size of the voting districts.

 The team noted that the districts of East End and North Side, both with about 700 voters apiece, are significantly smaller than 1,186 average voters in the remainder of Grand Cayman’s other 15 voting districts.

There were a few other governance-related issues raised by the elections observers in their preliminary report – these included unfair requirements for voters and candidates’ residence in the Cayman Islands prior to an election being held, and some concern about the state of campaign finance reporting prior to elections.

Meanwhile, uncertainty still surrounds the composition of a new government following the victory of nine independent candidates at the polls.

Late Thursday group of independent elected members met privately to try to hammer out a compromise on who will form the next cabinet.

However a group representative said the group would inform the public, once a plan was in place. Of the other seats in the 19 member legislature, seven went to the People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) and three were captured by the Cayman Democratic Party (CDP).

The party to win at least 10 seats will form the next government.

For more on this story go to: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Observer_group_gives_Cayman_high_marks_for_fairness_at_polls?profile=1228

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