Observers won’t interfere with election

| 18/05/2013

Elect obs-ID 52.jpg(CNS): The international mission of observers that will be watching the Cayman Islands general election next Wednesday (22 May) said they would not interfere with the process but would record and validate the election from start to finish. Mario Galea (left) from Malta, who is heading up the six man team, told the press Friday that the team was here to ensure a free and fair election but the members were not interested in who was elected, only how they get elected. Galea said the mission would observe every element of the election on behalf of the people, from campaign finances to the count. Two days after the polls close they will give a preliminary report of their observations before publishing a final report within two months of the election. (Photo by Lennon Christian)

“We will carry out this mission in the most impartial, fair and independent way,” Galea said. “We are interested in the election process but not in the political outcome. Our main interest is that the result truly reflects the will of the people. Our first and utmost commitment is to the people of the Cayman Islands. We wish them well and hope they enfranchise themselves in the upcoming elections.”

Paid for by the UK and invited by the Cayman government, with only the UDP objecting to the mission, the team made it clear they will be monitoring the process, not running it, and will be following accepted international standards.

The mission will be observing the campaigning between now and the polling day and ensuring that all the candidates are able to move around freely. They will also look at voter awareness and education, the freedom of the press and they hope to observe at least 90% of activity at polling stations. They will watch the entire count and will observe how the local authorities deal with any complaints before, during and after the election.

Having already started their job monitoring the mobile polling in West Bay on Thursday, speaking at Friday’s briefing Galea said they would reserve all their comments about what they had seen so far until after the election. While their role is to watch, Galea said that, should they observe anything that they felt was contrary to the process being free and fair, they would draw that to the attention of the presiding officer or local authorities and they would then observer how it was dealt with, rather than stepping in themselves.

The election experts denied that there was any stigma at all to having international observers and said that in reality it helps to validate the result. With most countries now inviting observers, it is seen as a positive step that helps to preserve the democratic process not undermine it. Not only can the people of Cayman have the confidence that the result was fair, the elected officials can be confident that they have a genuine mandate, Galea said. The mission’s leader also said that their recommendations could help to make what is already a good system into an excellent one.

Alongside Galea, who is a member of Malta’s parliament, there will be five other observers from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. They are Scottish MP Margaret Mitchell, Senator Philip Ozouf from Jersey, legal officers Juanita Barker of Guyana, and Fern Narcis from Trinidad and Tobago and the speaker from the Bermudian Parliament, Randolph Horton. The international team will work alongside but independently from the local team appointed by the Elections Office, which Cayman’s election supervisor said would assist his office in supervising the process.

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  1. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    Is there any truth to the rumor that people were paid "gas money" to participate in the various motorcades? 

  2. Anonymous says:

    It will be interesting to see how observers can see voters having 4 or 6 votes in one district and only 1 in others, and still call the process fair.  I can vote up to 4 people in my district, but I cannot cast 4 votes for my preferred independent choice – shouldn't all votes count the same?  

  3. Bayah says:

    Hope the observers have time to check out the constant flow of vote sellers outside a certain house off XXXX in WB!  How can this process be so obvious and yet nothing is done about it?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Elections observers please check out the non-stop free bbq and booze at the junction of North West Point Road and Town Hall Road.

    Thank you.

    • Duffman says:

      Please check out the free BBQ but leave the free booze alone.  I need to be flying before the bars close tomorrow.

  5. Anonymous says:

    CNS, could you find out if this is the same Mario Galea who was chairman of Malta's Lotteries and Gaming Authority while holding a major interest in a large on-line gambling company? XXXX 


    CNS: No, that would seem to be a different Mario Galea. See here and compare photos. Research = 2 minutes on Google.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr Norman bodden was appointed as the domestic observer – or whatever how can that be and he has publically endorsed Kurt from the PPM

    • Anonymous says:

      Beore that he and his Attorney daughter were heavy into supporting the UDP….guess they too had enough of their not so honorable ruler…hope many others will follow their example.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are now following good leadership, honesty, integrity, and striving with all of the good people to stamp out corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      He has seen the light.