Commonwealth to observe Cayman elections

A team of Commonwealth observers will be going to the Cayman Islands to observe the May 24 historic general election.

This is the first election under the new system of “one man, one vote” in each constituency.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) election experts will monitor the political campaigning, electoral administration, polling, counting, tabulating and post-election complaints or appeals for the 2017 poll.

Voter registration is already closed but the team will also retrospectively examine that and the accessibility of the register for the election.

Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell said that following the last successful COP deployment, he welcomed the chance to work with the Commonwealth team again.

Mario Galea, a member of parliament from Malta, led the last mission. The team concluded that the elections had met the international standards for democratic, genuine and transparent vote.

The mission was mostly welcomed by the politicians and candidates participating in the elections, though then Premier McKeeva Bush tried to block it, saying that it would send a signal that there was something potentially wrong with local democracy and accused the United Kingdom of trying to embarrass the Cayman Islands.

Current Premier, Alden McLaughlin, who was opposition leader at the time, said he believed the request by Britain for the Cayman to invite observers resulted from a complete loss of trust in the government of the Cayman Islands over the previous four years and numerous questionable actions of the former premier and his administration,.

The mission will be jointly funded by the United Kingdom and Cayman Islands government and a preliminary report will be published within two days of the election and a closing report within two months, assessing the electoral process and making recommendations for future elections.

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