The Premier’s position was a sharp reversal from the United Democratic Party government’s earlier stated intention to hold a referendum on the issue in May 2013.
“My government had previously made a commitment to hold a referendum on the issue at the same time as the next general election,” he said. “However due to the deepening divide in the country caused by the way the opposition and the independent member from North Side, [have] used this issue, my government feels it responsible to put this issue to the electors of this country. In our maturing democracy I feel that it’s important that the public be given its full voice on this most important constitutional issue.
“In this vein I am pleased to announce that the government will hold a referendum on the issue of single member constituencies on 18th July, 2012.”
The ‘one man, one vote’ referendum seeks to change the general elections process in the Cayman Islands to swap multi-member constituencies in the districts of George Town, West Bay, Bodden Town and Cayman Brac to single-member districts. Single-member districts mean electors will only get to vote once, instead of four times for those in West Bay and George Town and three in Bodden Town.
A petition began earlier in the year seeking to force government to hold a referendum on the ‘one man, one vote’ issue no later than 30 November. That petition, according to organisers, had received more than 3,000 signatures of registered voters.
Please see the full story in Thursday’s Caymanian Compass…