UK wants
in Cayman

Budget matters reviewed

The United Kingdom government has asked the Cayman Islands to “invite” foreign observers to witness its 22 May general election, according to a letter written to British Overseas Territories Minister Mark Simmonds by Cayman Islands Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly on 22 January.  

Mrs. O’Connor-Connolly read out loud the letter during a Cabinet media briefing held Thursday morning.  

“We are not averse to this in principle, even though Cayman has had free and fair elections for decades,” she said. “We need to check if it would comply with Cayman’s Elections Law and it requires very careful presentation or it could be seen as very damaging to our reputation.”  

In his response to the premier’s letter, Minister Simmonds responded that he was “encouraged” to note that Cayman was not averse to the idea. “I support this,” he said. “It is good practice for mature democracies.” 

Minister Simmonds noted that other British Overseas Territories, including the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands, had recently entertained overseas observers in their elections.  

Premier O’Connor-Connolly also noted during the news briefing that she would want election observers from a broad cross-section of the Caribbean region as well, not just the UK. 

Addressing budget matters, Premier O’Connor-Connolly noted that her government received an increase in a temporary borrowing facility during the month of February, but had no need to use it.  

Government was also discussing transferring a substantial portion of the environmental protection fund to the budget’s general fund, reducing the environmental fund from more than $40 million to about $10 million.  

Finally, crime-fighting funding of an additional $800,000 had been granted for use during the current 2012/13 budget year. The premier did not specify the purpose for these funds. 

Juliana O Connor-Connolly

Ms O’Connor-Connolly

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now


  1. It saddens me that the Environmental Protection Fund is being raided to pay for other things when there are pressing issues and needs within the environment.

    As there were some issues in the last election that went unanswered it makes sense to have observers. Just why the Opposition chose to not persue these election issues was never answered to my satisfaction.

  2. While Britain is no paragon of virtue or example of any moral high ground, at least the political system in Britain is generally free from political corruption and undue influence.

    I applaud the fact that the UK is doing as much as it can to stem the tide of political corruption in the Cayman Islands.

    The UK…and Cayman…has a prime example of how political corruption, negative influences and the use of violence as a political tool can ruin a country…in Jamaica.

    Cayman’s next door neighbour, former administering territory and blood-tied at the hip.

    Anything that stops Cayman from going down the path that Jamaica has trod has to be a good thing for Cayman.

  3. Excellent news! It’s about time.

    Panama_Jack – I don’t know why you’re blaming the Opposition. A report was made to the police complete with supporting evidence but the police failed to do anything about it. When the police are urged to pursue and complete investigations the response is that politicians should not interfere with police investigations.

  4. Panama_Jack – that’s fine but you don’t have to take my word for it:

    ‘Unfortunately, there were some alleged irregularities in this election. There have been serious allegations that UDP agents, supporters and some candidates attempted to unduly influence voters at some George Town polling stations on Election Day. These matters have been reported to the Supervisor of Elections and the police. We understand they are being investigated and that in due course a statement will be made regarding the outcome of those investigations’.–wishes/

  5. Yes we need observers in Cayman elections for many reasons they are as follows: There has been Hints of corruption in our government in many areas including serious allegations against our former head of state where Her majesty’s representatives had to force the abandonment of a contract for our Port Facilities that would have done irreparable harm to our country if tendered. We now have a Financial Crimes Unit that is doing amazing work and it’s just the tip of the Ice Burg. We have a leader flying all over the world, spending our money like it’s his, cutting deals as if he was at #10 Downing Street. Elections are at hand and we have serious competition for leadership of this country and as to what direction it will go and the very same players are trying to maintain control of our government so as to continue down the same path they have previously traveled. Yes we do need oversight and anyone that says different is not on the up and up. We can’t dance with the Devil leading.

  6. My thoughts on this is that the UK is trying hard to keep McKeeva Bush out of the next election.
    However sending people here to watch over election is a waste of money and time. Unless they do not realize how strong McKeeva Bush is. The UDP is going back in power and the fabulous five will join them. Watch out and see. This is going to be the biggest party ever seen on the Island. UDP will carry 95 persent of the seats, and you can believe this. PPM is out of the race altogether. They might as well do not run. The other five will be independent from Northside and East end. Still I am not too sure about that either.

  7. Hunter – why would sending observers to ensure that there are fair elections amount to a hard effort to keep McKeeva Bush out? Are you suggesting that Bush gets elected by election fraud?

    Only those who have something to hide have anything to fear from this.