Election writs issued

| 13/12/2012

election writs.jpg(CNS): Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor issued the election writs to the sixreturning officers Wednesday, triggering the official start of the election calendar. The five men and one woman are officially responsible for conducting May’s national vote in each of their respective districts, including checking the accuracy of the electors' register, managing the nomination process and ultimately returning the elected candidates. Taylor said that in the same way he had remained confident that government would amend the necessary legislation in time, he was confident the officers would ensure the election was well organised and fair.

The governor said the election was an exciting time and was the “very cornerstone of democracy” when voters in Cayman will have their say.

The governor made no mention of this week’s turn of events and the arrest under the anti-corruption law of the current Cayman Islands premier, McKeeva Bush, who had been released on police bail just before the writs were issued after two days of questioning.

Kearney Gomez, the supervisor of elections, described the May 2013 election as his "swan song" as it would be his last, but he said it was going to be “a very serious election” and everyone would need to be “on their ps and qs”, ensuring that candidates are familiar with all of the relevant laws, including the anti-corruption legislation.

He said he had every confidence in the returning officers, who were all veterans. Gomez noted that that the team had run many elections, several by-elections and two referendums. He was positive that this one would run smoothly too but said there was a lot of hard work ahead.

The five men and women who will be managing elections in the districts are all veterans of the process, though Philip Martin Jackson, the new returning officer in East End, and Ned Solomon in Bodden Town previously served as deputy returning officers. Meanwhile, Philip Barnes, Delano Solomon, Dave Tatum and Jennifer Kaufman are all old hands and have served as returning officers in the referendums and previous elections.

The issuing of the writs formally launches the election preparations and confirms exactly how many people will be returned in each district. That significant detail was only confirmed on Monday evening when government finally brought the elections amendment law to the Legislative Assembly to change the number of candidates to be returned in George Town from four to a whopping six members, and in Bodden Town from three to four. For the first time in history the premier’s district will have less influence on government than the capital, and Bush made it clear he was not happy about it.

Nevertheless, the amendment passed through the house on Monday hours before the premier was taken into police custody, and then published in the government gazette on Wednesday.

The next most significant date on the election calendar for the public is 2nd January, which is the last day those who are entitled to vote can put their names on the register. The Legislative Assembly will be dissolved on 26th March and nomination day will take place on 27th March, when all of the candidates planning to fight for a seat in the country’s parliament will formally declare their hand. The campaign will then begin in earnest leading up to Election Day on 22 May.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "Kearney Gomez, the supervisor of elections described the May 2013 election as his 'swan song' as it would be his last,"


    SWAN song?? I would think it was more like a long-neck gauldin chokin on a bullfrog


    I just wish he would go gentle into that goodnight already!! His management of the GOAB project, or should I say lack there of (he was Chief Officer in the Ministry responsible during PPM and UDP), is one of the reasons why the UDP didnt have much if any money to do any other projects for the people.


    you think Alden or Kurt, Julie or McKeeva were out there supervising the construction works and cost over runs on the GOAB – NO! It was all left up to this man and his project manager.

  2. peter milburn says:

    Now thatthe dye has been set for the next general election I would like to make a couple of quick comments.First and Foremost I urge all non registered but eligible voters to get REGISTERED.This is your democratic right and if you do not register then you will have no right to complain when the "wrong"people get elected.Why is the time to register closing Jan 2nd?What is the rush?Surely say March 31st  or even the end of Jan would have been a much better time.Who's idea was it to close on Jan 2nd?That is not really a good choice and I hope that it can be changed.That still gives the voting officials more than enough time to get everything done surely?.If there was ever a critical time for voting then this is it in my opinion as never has there been such a big mess that we find ourselves in today and with any luck we will get it right this time around.Please register to vote especially you young people out there for this is YOUR future we are talking about.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If Mac is not only under investigation but charges are made will he still be able to stand for election?

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a member of the non voting population, I intend to pour myself a large gin and tonic, sit back and watch the Chaos unfold in front of me!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is very very funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh well, I suggest that by the time the very orderly and well run election process in the Cayman Islands is complete you will no doubt be too drunk to recognise the chaos unfolding in your poor intoxicated brain! lol Have fun with that!