Billboards have sprung up all over the islands and political slogans are not difficult to overhear. But political candidates have to be formally nominated today for the campaign season to officially start.
All aspiring candidates considering running for office must file nomination forms with election officials in their respective districts on Monday, 1 March, between 8am and 3pm.
“Nomination Day is an important next step in the process to delivering Cayman’s free and fair elections,” said the supervisor of elections, Wesley Howell.
Prospective candidates must be nominated by at least two registered voters in the district they are running for.
They also have to pay a deposit of CI$1,000, which will be refunded if the candidate receives at least 10% of the total votes cast in the district on election day.
Who can run for office is subject to strict limitations. There are financial penalties for those who knowingly nominate unqualified or disqualified candidates, as well as for these candidates themselves.
To run for office, candidates must be born Caymanian – or born outside Cayman under certain circumstances – and over the age of 21.
They must have resided in Cayman for at least seven years prior to nomination day and not have left the islands for more than 400 days during that period. Travel for health reasons, studying or certain work on behalf of the government, or as a crew member on ships and aircraft is excluded from this restriction.
If the candidates were born abroad, they must have lived in Cayman for 15 of the past 20 years and have at least one Caymanian-born grandparent.
To qualify, candidates should, at the date of their nomination, be a British Overseas Territory citizen with no claim to any other citizenship, except if this is the result of being born abroad.
Candidates had until last Friday to submit their Standards in Public Life declarations, which include information on their income, assets and liabilities. It is the first time candidates had to submit the form.
Although the Standards in Public Life Law, which outlines ethical standards for elected representatives, was passed in 2014 and amended in 2016, it only came into force last year.
There is wide range of criteria that could disqualify a potential candidate from running.
They include, among others, a personal bankruptcy that has not been discharged; holding public office; benefitting from undeclared government contracts; being officially involved in the election process itself; having been certified as insane; and serving or having served a prison sentence of more than 12 months.
Nomination day kicks off the official six week-election campaign, which lasts until 13 April, the day before the election.
During that time, candidates are allowed to spend up to $40,000 on their political campaigns but they must account for all their individual expenses of $30 or more with the particulars and a receipt.
On polling day, 14 April, canvassing as well as campaign advertising are no longer allowed and billboards and roadside signs should have been taken down.
The nomination locations are:
|Electoral District||Nominations Location||Nomination Address|
|West Bay North||West Bay Assembly of God – Church Hall||100 Finch Drive|
|West Bay West||West Bay Library||204 Rev. Blackman Road|
|West Bay Central||The Church of God at West Bay||108 Capt. Reginald Parsons Drive|
|West Bay South||John Gray Memorial United Church Hall||26 West Church Street|
|George Town North||St. George’s Anglican Church Hall||66 Courts Road|
|George Town Central||Elmslie Memorial United Church Hall||48B Harbour Drive|
|George Town West||Church of God Universal, Church Hall||2 Walkers Road|
|George Town South||South Sound Community Centre||1012 South Church Street|
|George Town East||Agape Family Worship Centre Hall||50B Fairbanks Road|
|Red Bay||Seafarers Hall||11 Victory Avenue|
|Prospect||Moravian Church Hall||497 Poindexter Road|
|Savannah||Savannah United Church Hall||17 Astral Way|
|Newlands||International College of The Cayman Islands||595 Hirst Road|
|Bodden Town West||Agricultural Society Office – At the Grounds||199 Lottery Road|
|Bodden Town East||Webster Memorial United Church Hall||266 Bodden Town Road|
|North Side||Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre||923 North Side Road|
|East End||William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre||80 John McLean Drive|
|Cayman Brac West & Little Cayman||District Administration Building – Conference Room||19 Kirkconnell Street|
|Cayman Brac East||Veterans & Seaman’s Society of Cayman Brac & Little Cayman Centre||205 Ashton Reid Drive|