Update: Campaign group calls for record turnout

Cruise Port Referendum Cayman campaigners with the referendum petition that they delivered to Cabinet last month. – Photo: Taneos Ramsay

“Caymanians now have an opportunity to control their destiny”

Campaign group Cruise Port Referendum Cayman has welcomed the publication of the Referendum Bill and called for Caymanians to turn out in record numbers to vote on 19 Dec.

The group released a statement Friday afternoon saying the referendum would be an historic moment and a step towards “stronger and more inclusive participatory democracy” in the Cayman Islands.

“Caymanians now have an opportunity to control their destiny via the referendum on this issue of national importance, considering the significant environmental, financial and socio-economic concerns,” the statement said.

“We are fortunate to be able to cast our vote and voice our position on the direction of our country. We encourage every citizen to have your say and come out to vote in record numbers to make your voices heard.”

“We encourage every citizen to have your say and come out to vote in record numbers to make your voices heard.”

The group also called for campaign finance limits to be considered ahead of the poll.

They again called for government to quickly publish detailed designs, including the dredge footprint, an updated business case and more details of the financial arrangement with preferred bidder Verdant Isle.

The citizens group, which triggered the referendum by collecting signatures from more than a quarter of the electorate, is also asking for the timeframe for the updated environmental impact assessment.

There was no immediate official response from the opposition group. Deputy leader Alva Suckoo said the group had significant constitutional and legal concerns and would be meeting over the weekend to discuss its response to the bill.

He said he was personally dismayed by the timing of the referendum so close to Christmas, suggesting it was an attempt to ensure low turnout and disenfranchise people.

“Many will be travelling and because of Christmas activities many will not be focussed on the referendum and may miss important information regarding the port project,” he added.