The government will not be holding a people-initiated referendum on Election Day on May 2021, because it has abandoned the proposed $200 million cruise berthing and cargo port project.

Premier Alden McLaughlin on Friday said the referendum was specific to the proposed cruise berthing project, and since the project would no longer be going ahead, there was no need to hold the referendum.

“This referendum petition was specific to the project that was under way,” said McLaughlin, speaking at the government’s COVID-19 press briefing. “The complaints were about the nature of the project and the environmental concerns that grew up as a result of the amount of dredging.

“Once you start thinking this through, you will realise that this entire exercise was about a specific project, and in any event, that can’t bind a government going forward.”

McLaughlin’s comments came one day after the Court of Appeal ruled against a Grand Court judgment, by declaring the 2019 Port Referendum Law to be compatible with the Constitution. He said the project would not be started by the end of the current term, therefore it would not be practical to commit a future government to go ahead with it.

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“It will be a fresh start following the next elections, and we will see what the people of the Cayman Islands want, and we see what those who are elected decide to do,” he said.

Cayman Compass reached out to Cruise Port Referendum, the group responsible for triggering the people-initiated referendum. No reply was received.

However, since the story was posted CPR commented on a Facebook link of the story in which the group gave a different view to the Premier’s sentiments.

The group said, “This administration and future Cayman Islands Governments will still have to deal with the issue of conducting the Referendum before they can commit to any cruise berthing facility project.”

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  1. The Cayman people should have the right to vote on any future cruise berthing port in this next general election! The constitutions referendum law needs to be better defined to make sure that a voter not casting a vote is NOT an automatic yes vote for government.