The Cruise Port Referendum Cayman campaign announced on Friday that it has received enough signatures on its petition to initiate a referendum on government’s proposed cruise pier facilities.

The group said it has now collected and internally verified more than 5,300 signatures of Cayman Islands registered voters.

“The petition is currently being prepared to be delivered to Cabinet and, following meetings with the Supervisor of Elections and His Excellency, the Governor, the petition shall be presented to Cabinet,” Cruise Port Referendum stated in a press release. “In announcing this historic benchmark, we hope that our elected leaders, as a democratic unity government, will respect the constitution and be guided by good governance.”

When asked for comment, Premier Alden McLaughlin called the referendum group’s announcement “presumptuous and premature” because the signatures have not been independently verified yet.

“This will have to be done by the Elections Office before the petition can be presented to the Cabinet. Until that occurs, Government will not comment further,” he told the Compass.

Campaign member Shirley Roulstone agreed that the petition will first be delivered to the Elections Office to verify the signatures. Then, the petition will go to Cabinet, which will decide the date of the referendum and the exact wording of the issue in question.

“They get to choose when and the question, but it has to happen,” Roulstone said.

Meanwhile, the campaign urged people to continue to sign the petition, which can be found at Rubis Savannah, Four Winds Esso and Hell Gas Station in West Bay, Silhouette in Camana Bay, and Pure Art and Cathy Church Photo Centre in George Town.

“Registered voters who wish to have the petition brought to them, at home or at work, can call 327-5411,” the group stated. “Organisers continue to encourage people not registered to vote but eligible to do so and interested in participating to register at the Elections Office.”

Roulstone explained that the group is seeking more signatures in case the Elections Office finds that some of the current signatures are invalid.

Cruise Port Referendum Cayman added that it will host a public meeting on Thursday, 30 May, at George Town Town Hall at 6-8pm, to share information on the proposed project and the latest updates on the process for a people-initiated referendum.

The petition was initially started around last August.

Now that enough signatures have apparently been collected, the referendum would be the third held in Cayman in recent years. The first involved the modernisation of the constitution, in 2009, and the second on the “one man, one vote” issue, in 2012. Both were initiated by government.

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