Minister will fight election challenge

An 11th-hour election challenge has been filed against a government minister and she’s vowing to fight it every step of the way.

In a four-paragraph statement issued Friday morning, Education and Employment Minister Tara Rivers declined to provide details, but confronted the court challenge, telling supporters she was both shocked and deeply disappointed.

“I remain focused on carrying out my duties as Minister for Education, Labour and Gender Affairs,” she said, in a press release issued by her office. “As your Second Elected Member for West Bay, I would like to clearly state that I intend to vigorously oppose this challenge; I remain committed to fulfilling my term and to serving you to the best of my ability, according to the overwhelming desire of my district and my country.”

The 12 June petition, filed at the 21-day limit following the 23 May election tally, alleges that the Independent candidate, backed by the Coalition for Cayman organisation, did not qualify for nomination under both the Constitution and the 2009 Elections Law.

The petition alleges that Ms Rivers both holds a US Passport, and had failed to fulfill the mandated seven-year local-residence requirement prior to her 27 March nomination.

Claiming that both issues “had been the subject of much discussion in the public media”, the petition says “it was widely published that Tara Rivers was not qualified to be nominated”.

Please see the full story in next week’s editions of the Caymanian Compass…


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