Every voter should participate in the referendum

With the holidays around the corner and the referendum delayed, CPR Cayman wishes to take this opportunity to ensure that the public understands what has happened and encourage the public to continue to advocate for transparency and a brighter future for Cayman.

The goal of CPR Cayman is and has always been to ensure that any decisions made by our government in relation to the proposed cruise berthing facility are well informed, transparent and serve the best interests of the Caymanian people.

Throughout the course of 2019, CPR wrote to the premier and his Cabinet with legitimate concerns, requesting the disclosure of critical information regarding the proposed port; however, no response was received.

Once CPR submitted the requisite petition signatures, and the Elections Office completed its verification process, the premier was then forced to call a referendum, but it was clear to many that the process was unfair.

Therefore, armed with the facts, an individual citizen and executive member of CPR, Shirley Roulstone, engaged legal counsel to formally ask for a review of whether the referendum was called according to standards that should be championed in a participatory democracy.

Justice Owen granted that a review should be taken on the following grounds that were presented: that Cabinet had pre-determined the question and date before the referendum legislation had been passed and failed to consider important matters, including having “due regard” to protection of the environment, as required by the Constitution; the question Cabinet set was neither fair nor neutral, as required by law; and the failure to provide any campaign-finance limits frustrated the intent of the Constitution that a free and fair vote should take place.

In anticipation of the new referendum date that will be called in 2020, we will continue to act as advocates for the democratic process. You can too! Please see the back page of the Wednesday, 18 Dec. Compass for ways that you can get involved.

Each voter is part of history in the making. All Caymanians are encouraged to turn out to vote in record numbers when the referendum happens.

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas season and a prosperous New Year of hope and harmony.

Happy Holidays!

Michelle Lockwood
On behalf of CPR Cayman

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