CPA observers will watch referendum

| 04/10/2019 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA-UK) has agreed to send an observer mission to the Cayman Islands to watch over the people-initiated referendum on the cruise berthing facility, Governor Martyn Roper has said. Meanwhile, campaigners behind the petition that triggered the national vote welcomed Thursday evening’s announcement from government that the date and question had been published in a referendum bill.

But with just eleven weeks to go before Cayman will got to the polls to answer the question “Should the Cayman Islands continue to move forward with building the cruise berthing and enhanced cargo port facility?” the CPR representatives urged government to release the missing information as soon as possible.

“Caymanians now have an opportunity to control their destiny via the referendum on this issue of national importance, considering the significant environmental, financial and socio-economic concerns,” the campaigners stated in a release, as they urged voters to come out in record numbers.

Alongside the issue of observers, which has now been settled, the CPR said they wanted to see the issue of campaign financing limits addressed during the 21-day period before the referendum bill goes to the LA for debate and passage.

So far the governor has made no mention of the issue of campaign finance, despite the fact the government will almost certainly be using public cash to promote its policy.

In the absence of an existing referendum law, government is adopting, omitting or modifying various parts the current Elections Law for the referendum. But in the draft bill it completely omits the section on election expenses.

While elections have legally mandated spending limits, there will be no legislative guardrails on spending for this campaign unless a provision is made in the regulations, which the bill states can be made to “provide for the conduct of the referendum as may appear to be necessary or expedient”.

The draft referendum law does, however, accommodate the observers. In his statement about the decision to invite them, the governor said the CPA-UK was highly respected in electoral observation and brings much experience. 

“International observation of elections and referendums is an important means of providing an independent assessment,” Roper said, adding that this would help learn lessons for the future since this is the first people’s referendum in the Cayman Islands.

“The Cayman Islands has a good track record of organising free and fair elections and referendums and I want thank the Elections Office for all the excellent work they are doing to prepare for the referendum,” he added.

The CPA-UK also observed the Cayman Islands 2017 general election. The organisation is a signatory to the 2005 UN Declaration of Principles of International Election Observation and Code of Conduct.

Meanwhile, the CPR said it was essential to the referendum campaign that government now release the relevant information for the people to make a fully informed decision. They repeated the call for the updated business case, the new design and details of the pilings, the proposed contract between government and the selected developers, and the proposed timelines.

The activists, who began the campaign to force a referendum over one year ago, said they were now looking forward to “healthy public analysis and discourse”, as well as the Legislative Assembly debate on the bill.

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Category: Politics

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There is no way we need these UK minders here! Our last election went very smoothly!

    • Anonymous says:

      Like hell, look at the mess we are in.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have the Premier openly saying he will ignore the result of the referendum even if he loses because the PPM wrote a loophole into the constitution

      How has any of the last 2 years been smooth?
      This government has done almost nothing

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is certain that the vociferous minority whose souls are in their wallet want the port and the mostly silent majority do not.
    When I hear about these foreigners coming to count our votes, I get concerned. As Josef Stalin said, “It’s not the votes that count, it’s who counts the votes.” XXXX

    CNS: They are not coming here to count the votes. That will be done exactly as for general elections. As the name implies, they are coming here merely to observe.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its scary how uneducated people are on this island

      The fact that it even has to be explained to you that election observers are here to observe the process as it plays out on election day and write a report based on global standards

      We need mandatory civics in schools and it wouldn’t hurt if a few adults were forced to take it too
      Scary to think that people like this can vote

  3. Anonymous says:

    Haha. Moses and Alden are finished. Working so hard to bring one of the world’s most polluting industries to the Cayman Islands.
    LOL. Bit you in the ass, boys.
    Shockingly ignorant people. All about the environment except when it doesn’t suit them.

    Gentlemen, your pants are firmly around your ankles and from where we are standing, it is not a pretty sight. LOL. Pathetic. Tried to bamboozle a whole island with smoke and mirrors.

    What does Stran Bodden have to say about this? Stran, your behaviour in this matter has shown that you are a puppy dog for Moses. You would never win an election in the Brac and MK is finished there as well. Better hang on to your highly paid job in the government….while you can.

    A new broom is coming to sweep you all out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We demand a full cost assessment – including full lifetime project costs, unintended consequences to stay over tourism/resident life, catastrophic failure insurance, and the posting of an appropriate decommissioning bond. The building phase is just the beginning of a long list of costs seemingly deliberately omitted from discussion or contemplation. Is there a declared CSR budget? If this were a mine or other similarly-scaled infrastructure project, there would be a thick and meaty bid submission conforming to international best practices. What we are looking at is a cocktail napkin and hearing commanding pronouncements from parties that haven’t yet demonstrated competence.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      What we need is a close eye on this from our very efficient auditor general.

    • James Dwyer says:

      “We” demand ? Who is we Iah, don’t you know it’s true that Caymanians are cowards why not put your name out there like the Referendum group. The cowardice must stop in these Is.ands in order for politicians to truly understand and feel then
      Peer of the people, Anonymous don’t cut it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr Roper: Section 117 of Constitution Order 2009 requires the Standards In Public Life Law to be enacted. What are the reasons why you aren’t using your reserve powers to compel this Cabinet to do so?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because, it seems, he too is a waste of public funds. Any assertion that he is here to help ensure good governance appears to be a fallacy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because he is only here on an extended Holiday.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CPR you all are heroes.
    Your efforts have given us all a chance to use our voice at the ballot box on the cruise port that Cayman does not need.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can CPR have the date changed to sometime in the New Year? Someone needs to step in and see how corrupt this Government is when it comes to this project.

    • Anonymous says:

      CPR should not have agreed, on behalf of my signature, to the timetable and tabulation method for this referendum. It departs from all western democratic principles. Why pretend it is an impartial “yes or no” question, knowing at best 75% voter turnout and where no-shows, spoiled and unreadable are ALL deemed to be counted as yes votes? For all the accountants here, where are the adults?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Election observers on the day of the vote are fine, but they miss all the pre-election palm greasing and charity that goes on

    I’ll always remember what my mother said, take whatever they give you and vote their asses out anyway

    • Anonymous says:

      Turkeys and hams will come much earlier this year…you might even get two if you promise to vote yes..

    • Anonymous says:

      Mine always told, drink um out, eat um out, and vote um out..Wish I could do that in this referendum. Election soon come and what a sweep it will be..don’t want to see one more PPM or UDP or independent sell outs re-elected.

    • Anonymous says:

      Betta bring the whole Royal family for 2021. Not today, tomorrow, or ever again bobo.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes indeed. Will CPR publish all the money it has received and declare who it’s donors are?

      • Nothing to see here folks says:

        They certainly should do that, but it is not required by law, I suggest you take a look at the expense reports/declarations that are actually required under the Elections law
        Not sure what you think you are going to find there however

        There is literally no usable information in them

        Link here (because unlike you I actually know what I am talking about)

        While we are attacking CPR for running a barebones shoestring months long campaign against this project (that the people support or else we would not be here)
        I’d love to know where the PPM got half a million dollars from in the last election as shown in the declaration linked above and why they refused to indicate where the money was spent

        Surprisingly enough after opposing the project previously with the change of the PPM leadership the project is now the best thing for the country


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