Cops and election officials start anti-corruption drive

| 04/04/2013

images_43.jpg(CNS): The Elections Office and the Anti-Corruption Commission are warning not just the candidates but the electorate as well not to vote for a prison sentence by selling their votes during the 2013 election campaign. Having joined forces with the ant-corruption cops, election officials said that buying or selling votes is a crime and could result in hefty fines and time in prison if people are caught. Despite the persistent rumours of significant corruption surrounding votes at election time in the past, the police commissioner said that no complaints about vote buying and selling had ever been made to the police and no one has ever been charged.

Having already warned candidates and the public about entertainment and refreshments at public meetings, the election's supervisors and the RCIPS will be using social media images, PSAs, and print adverts, to hammer home to all involved in the election process the need to fully comply with both the Elections Law and Anti-Corruption legislation.

The ads, that will start appearing from Monday, 8 April, make it clear that people can either use their vote appropriately and opt for democracy, or they can sell their vote, sell out their country and end up in jail, officials said in a joint release.

“The aim of this ad campaign is, quite simply, to ensure that these elections remain free and fair and that everyone involved keeps to the letter of the law,” said David Baines, the commissioner and head of the Anti-Corruption Commission. “There have been many rumours circulating in Cayman in recent years about items such as fridges and cash being used to buy votes. Despite these rumours, no complaints have been made to police and no one has been charged. However, there has been much public and media speculation about this subject in recent days and, as such, we felt it important to ensure that all of those involved in the election process are made aware of the hefty penalties for this crime.”

During the last election reports were made to the RCIPS regarding potential undue influence when small crib cards were reportedly being handed out on Election Day by UDP supporters in the capital directing voters how to cast their ballot for the party’s four George Town candidates. The police opened an investigation, which went on for several years, but the case was eventually closed for lack of evidence.

Cayman is expecting to host independent observers for the first time for the May elections and is also now under a much stricter anti-corruption regime following the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Commission after the 2009 ballot.

The elections law states that any attempt to influence voting by supplying or accepting items such as food, drink, entertainment, electrical goods or cash is a crime. This can be committed by anyone in society – candidates, their representatives, sitting MLAs or members of the public. The punishment for the crime will be determined by the status of the person either supplying or accepting the inducement.

Public officials and sitting MLAs can expect  a CI$2000 fine or up to 14 years in prison (under S.10 of the Anti-Corruption law) and others can expect a fine of CI$2000 or up to 12 months in prison (under S.95 of the Elections Law).

Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez said that steps have already been taken to ensure that the candidates and their agents are fully conversant with the relevant laws. 

“All candidates have been supplied with a handbook as well as the supervisor’s letter which addressed certain topical information, including elections offences. Additionally, a Candidate’s Kit is available for purchase from the Elections Office that provides an A –Z guide to the elections process. Therefore, they should be well aware of what is legal and what is not when they engage in public and media discussions. These adverts are just another way to ensure that candidates and the electorate are kept fully informed,” Gomez added.

Anyone who is offered some form of inducement for their vote or witnesses vote buying or selling can make a report to either the police or the Elections Office.

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Category: Politics

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I just had my drive done and I ain't even allowed to vote! I didnt even ask … just come home and found them tamping it down!

     

  2. JTB says:

    I'd like to notify the police, the elections office and the anti-corruption commission of a prima facie case of vote buying involving the paving with public funds of private driveways on Cayman Brac.

    They might like to look into the matter. Or maybe not

  3. Anonymous says:

    Free fridges n stoves days are done in wb lmao!

    C Brac

  4. Anonymous says:

    I need some landscaping and blocks and have six votes hmmmmm but seriously I will believe this is truly enforced when the newly appointed boards, committees, tribunals, whatever’s are comprised of a balanced mix of people from all walks of life not just the supporters of those voted in, that is the true telling of honest transparent democracy because I will lay odds (whoops gambling not allowed) that the new Immigration boards for example will be comprised of those who voted the way they were told to and promised these juicy appointments….still can’t figure out after over 30 years no one has ever even approached me with anything to sway my vote and nor have I ever been appointed to anything, huh must be the company I keep as in honest people

  5. Anonymous says:

    The ads are already coming out on the Elections Office Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/electionsoffice.

    It's nice to see the Elections Office and Anticorruption Commission working together like this! 

  6. Anonymous says:

    People get the government they deserve. . . . .

    • Anonymous says:

      C4C is making waves and getting attention. I am now believing more in this group and their true intentions. I just hope they keep it up and continue to be the watch dog as they set out to be.If they do ,we will benefit tremendously in years to come.

    • Anonymous says:

      Political parties will never admit to it but it has been happening for decades. There are no clean hands in Cayman politics.

    • Anonymous says:

      As someone who lives here but can’t vote, I am offended by your callous remark:)

    • Anonymous says:

      ……. again! lol

       

  7. Baldric says:

    Could someone reassure me that, while it is illegal to accept a turkey in return for your vote, it is still OK to vote for a turkey to be returned the L.A.?

  8. Anonymous says:

    With most of the political / election stories focusing on corruption, disallowed candidates, warnings from the Police and Election Supervisors, the arrival of election observers, candidates awaiting trial, etc, etc. We really are turning into a sorry excuse for a democratic nation.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you mean to say we are a sorry bunch and now it is being brought public

  9. Just Commentin' says:

    Funny you should mention this but I was checking out E-Bay in the "Totally Bizarre" category. (There really is such a category and it has some…ahem…very interesting stuff.)

    Anyway, amongst ads for such "must have" items like: a deluxe "Leather and Chrome Love Swing w/ reinforced foot loops",  newspaper front pages from 1947 proclaiming a "UFO Alien Spacecraft" landing at Roswell, and a very eye-catching ad for an ivory and viny, battery-powered…uhh…umm…oh…nevermind, I saw this ad:

    CAYMANIAN VOTES – For sale in time for the 2103 Election cheeper (sic) than their everyday low price:
    Hurry and make a bid on this large lot of Cayman Islander votes before the election anti-corruption officials close this offer out.
    Current bid: One microwave oven
    "Buy it Now":  6 yards of sand on a voter's driveway
    Delivery and handling cost: A big load of B/S.

     

    I think somebody needs to check this out as this might mean that  some corruption might be going on!

     

    I ain't running for any election….yet anyway, as I have an income and all the power I can handle in the circles I orbit within. So I am not considering bidding for those votes. But that "Love Swing"…wow! It  would be the perfect addition to my recreation room! If any of the remaining 57 care to attach it to my rec room ceiling in time for the party this weekend, I just might remember you come election time.

     

    Latah!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Most Politicians especially udp, pna, ppm will do or give you whatever you need to secure the votes.

    Giving away cash, delivering loads of marl is very common. Campaign season is the only time they seem to really listen and act. So thank you C4C for shedding light on these practices and doing the public awareness on the subject especially giving away $$$$ vote buying which has happened for decades.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Vote buying happens trust me especially the handing out of cash by political hopefuls and their agents also loads of marl, fill, top soil in addition to appliances, beef and turtle meat that is given away during election time.

    Premier Juliana was creative and decided to pave the Brac and private driveways in advance of the campaign season so what will Commissoner Baines do about that?