Third time lucky for challenged candidate

| 20/04/2017 | 53 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alric Lindsay

(CNS): Alric Lindsay has been cleared to stand as a candidate in the general election next month after Chief Justice Anthony Smellie found there was no justification for the Elections Office to have challenged his qualification over his residency during the last seven years. Lindsay, who is running as an independent in George Town South, was the third person to face a challenge to their eligibility to stand for office since Nomination Day but the only one cleared to remain in the race after the country’s top judge ruled that his periods away from the island underscored, rather than undermined, his commitment to Cayman.

Lindsay had originally been challenged on other issues relating to his birth outside of Cayman but the Attorney General’s Chambers chose not to pursue that issue after it was settled between lawyers that he is a Caymanian.

By the time the case came before the chief justice, the only thing standing between Lindsay and the ballot paper was the question of whether he had been continuously resident over the last seven years.

CJ Smellie said that when viewed in isolation, the issue of absence should be carefully assessed in the context of the Constitution and there needed to be a concern about that absence bringing into doubt a commitment to the country by a person seeking election.

Lindsay, who is a qualified CPA and lawyer, was learning Spanish to expand his client base and was off island at times during the relevant period to get a native understanding of the language. For this reason he spent periods of time in several Spanish-speaking countries around the region. His travel history over the seven years showed frequent trips relating to his immersion in these places to help him reach that goal and to meet potential clients for his Cayman-based financial services business.

The court found that the fact that he retained his home and businesses here showed that he was resident. In a short version of his full ruling, the chief justice said that the trips illustrated Lindsay’s commitment to Cayman rather than undermined it and therefore raised no concerns regarding his eligibility for election. He said the Elections Office did not “have sufficient evidence to invoke the jurisdiction of the Grand Court”, as he cleared Lindsay to return to the campaign trail.

Emphasising that the supervisor was at fault in this case, for the first time in this week’s three decisions he ordered the office to pay Lindsay’s legal costs, as he said the case should not have been brought. The difficulties that he faced as a result of an unjustified challenge meant the public purse should bear his costs, CJ Smellie added.

The chief justice has also invited the defence lawyers involved in these challenges, the solicitor general and members of the Attorney General’s Chambers to work on suggested court rules and practice directions to submit to the chief justice and court’s rules committee to help improve the handling of election challenges in future.

Following the judgment, Lindsay told CNS that he was ready for the campaign and he had been in no way put off by the experience of a challenge to his qualification. He said the best thing he could do now was to win the seat of George Town South.

Check back to CNS later for more from Lindsay and the questions the challenge raised about the Constitution and what local people really want from it when it comes to candidate qualifications.

See Lindsay: Caymanians should stand up for rights

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Category: 2017 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (53)

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  1. Anonymouse says:

    The Candidate for Cayman Brac west was disqualified for once being a Notary Public in the US. If that is reason for disqualification why is’nt the sitting Candidate for that constituency also disqualified for also being a Notary in the US in the past?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not the reason. Your over simplification of the judge’s decision is amazing!

    • Anon says:

      Lindsay seems smart and refreshingly not part of the entitled Caymanian set where everything seems passed on by divine right. I say run, Alaric, run. And best wishes for a good outcome.

    • Anon says:

      I suppose Wesley was singled out because the buck stops with him, but he has three deputies, at least one of whom is a lawyer. He did not make the decision independently. It would have been better to rebuke the Elections Office.

    • Anon says:

      I think the Chief Justice is right — the reason for the absence and whether or not one maintained residency in Cayman is the context in which absences should be judged. For example, you have a child who needs critical medical care that requires you to be overseas either on a continuous or aggregate basis in excess of the 400 day limit, should that disbar you from being an electoral candidate?

      Not reasonable or sensible a judgment, right?

      The elections supervisor and the deputies are being paid a lot of dough to make sensible decisions — not to just make surface decisions based on the letter of the law, but to consider all the deeper related factors, in line with the spirit of the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Reread the reason for disqualification.

  2. Two Words says:

    Rosetta Stone

  3. Anonymous says:

    What was the outcome of the challenge to Mario Rankin right to stand? We have heard about the outcomes for two out of the three challenges.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear CNS, u may think it was “luck” for Alric but his many supporters like me believe that Alric has reviewed the election law, knows the rules and made an educated decision to run.

    Nothing in Alric’s life has been luck. He is a self-made person thru his studies and work ethic. I went to school with him and I know where he began, and I have the utmost respect for Alric for what he has achieved in his life.

    I believe GTS voters are the lucky ones to have a candidate like Alric to vote for.

    • Caymanian says:

      Happy for you but the truth is the law should not be side stepped because he wanted to learn Spanish. I am sure there are other ways in which it could be done and if he makes the choice, like other choices in life it comes with consequences.

      I believe and I am sure others will also, despite his desires and hard work ethic, he should not be qualified.

      • Anonymous says:

        How was the law side stepped? I didn’t see anything about that in the article. The Chief Justice found that it was an unjustified challenge. What am I missing?

        • Anonymous says:

          The challenge was certainly justified. The guy was off island for considerable lengths of time during the past seven years. That is a fact. Hence the challenge by the Supervisor of Elections. The judge should have commended Wesley for doing his job properly, rather than chastise him in open court.

          When Tara ran, the Elections Office incorrectly challenged whether she was qualified to run. She was in the UK doing her articles, so clearly she was coming back home to work some day. In this case however, I disagree that he was off island “learning Spanish” and cultural immersion.

          • Anonymous says:

            When Tara was born, was she clearly coming back to Cayman to live her life, or was that decided later? Anyone asking that question?

            • anonymous says:

              7:07 am — I assume that like may Caymanians Tara’s mother made the trip to the US for the birth. Various reasons for that — including possible medical complications — but we can all agree that regardless of the parent’s reason, the unborn had nary a part to play in that decision.

          • Anonymous says:

            I disagree that Tara was in the U.K. For that length of time for ‘education purposes’ articles – not for that length of time.

          • Anonymous says:

            Tara was not completing her articles, she was working in a law firm post-qualification. She was already an attorney. While I don’t agree with the ruling that allowed her to run, as it is now precedent so CJ cant simply rule out Alric now. The reality is CJ threw Tara a bone and she did nothing with it. Alric would not be so wasteful with his opportunity.

  5. Great Adventures says:

    Real slick, Ric.

  6. Anonymous says:

    He is going need more than luck to win. We just don’t know him.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please , please will someone amend the Constitution so that we will no longer be faced with these odd decisions. I am truly happy for Mr. Lindsay but the CJ’s rulings are curiouser and curiouser.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don’t why a good established Lawyer would want to be in this race, when they can earn much more as a good lawyer. Don’t know the man so I don’t have anything personal against him.

    • Anonymous says:

      One of those that Winston was staking his future on.

    • Anon says:

      11:11 am, are there possibly, just possibly, by weird chance, reasons for running other than money?

    • Anonymous says:

      As good lawyer, and accountant, he will have experienced some things in Cayman which likely compelled him to run. Money clearly isn’t his motivation (as with many of those who leave private sector or entrepreneurship to run). Alric is a brilliant mind beyond law. He isn’t boisterous or pompous but he will run circles around his competition intellectually and he is definitely a solid candidate.

  9. Sharkey says:

    I think from what the Judge has said , it sounds like someone felt threatened by Mr Alrick . I am happy he is one Caymanian that would stand up to anyone.
    This is the kind of politicians and representation we need .

  10. Anonymous says:

    So Alric Lindsay can run, but Nicholas DaCosta can’t, and the third candidate, what’s his name again.. mmm, oh yes, Candidate X is out……

  11. Anonymous says:

    One hurdle down Alric. Now show them what a great leader you can be!

    • Anonymous says:

      Although I don’t know you personally I heard you on the radio this afternoon and I had to say to myself what a BREATHE of fresh air.
      Let nothing deter your path on this God given earth. You are God’s child borrowed by a set of adoptive parents who should be so proud of you!
      You are a man of class, poise, dignity, intelligence and the list goes on. I trust that other Caymanian boys and men take a page from your book.
      TRUST in the Lord always and he will give thee the desires of thine heart. You are a champion and a voice!
      I pray God’s blessings over you and may you remain a humble man before him. May his WILL be done in your life!

    • Anonymous says:

      What about his next hurdle – how will he overcome lacking personality and being the most socially awkward person on the block?? Surely you must be able to interact with the people to be able to represent them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most of the people that he wants to represent would be happy just to get a piece of paper with a picture of the queen on it from him.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What should be explained is, why Caymanians who are abroad are not allowed to vote and are taken off the voters list. The Expats who are here can vote in their country’s elections. We always look down and put down our own to be lesser than, but outsiders are better than.
    Why? Why?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all expats, I can’t vote in my home country as I’ve been away too long. I have little first hand knowledge of the issues facing the electorate and any choices I make from a distance could be unfair on those directly affected. It is also unfair to be able to make a choice that will not directly affect you, but could affect others. I think the US revolted over something similar, and whilst we don’t have tax, the theory is the same. No impact, no vote,

    • Sharkey says:

      6:31pm , those kind of things are only done to benifit me me that wants it that way .

  13. 5 Dolla says:

    Best. Defense. Ever.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great candidate for GT South

  15. Anonymous says:

    So glad to hear this and yes Gov should pay! it should never been brought to court on frivolous accusations! I do hope he gets a chance along with Justin Ebanks…. this new blood in the LA is just what Cayman needs. Good Luck Alric!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thought both his parents were from Jamaica and thought he was born here. Well, guess if the legal fraternity approved it…

  17. My heart is pure and my hands are clean says:

    Let’s be real. He’s got no chance anyway.

  18. YTB says:

    Congratulations Mr. Lindsay! Walk humbly and be wise – prayer changes things! Isaiah 54:17!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Best of luck, Mr. Lindsay.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you down vote a best of luck?

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is he? I bet he will come last. Spending your time away from your people for whatever reason ensures you won’t get elected.

      Stay in Cayman achieve something and run in 8 years. You might have a slim chance then.

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