The 50 candidates vying for a seat in the House of Parliament have been cleared for the election race, the Elections Office has confirmed.
In a statement Thursday night, the office charged with conducting the 14 April general election said nomination submissions received from all 50 individuals seeking candidacy were evaluated for eligibility.
“The due diligence checks conducted by the Elections Office found that all of the candidates nominated on Monday, 1 March 2021 met the qualifications as set out in section 61 of the Cayman Islands Constitution and no candidate met the disqualification criteria under section 62 of the Constitution,” it said.
Supervisor of Elections Wesley Howell, it said, has deemed that all those who submitted nominations are eligible to run for office.
Speaking on the Cayman Compass weekly talk show The Resh Hour, Howell said, he was not “overly surprised” by the number of candidates filing nominations.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on the number of persons who were declaring an interest in running for office leading up to Nomination Day and there were a couple of surprises, but most of the persons that filed nomination papers were actually persons that we suspected where were going to run,” he said.
Back in 2017, 63 candidates filed nominations for the general election, however two were disqualified from running leaving 61 candidates.
Following the confirmation, the Elections Office said, “as such, elections are being contested in all electoral districts as at least two candidates are running in each. The notices of contested elections were published on Thursday, 4 March on elections.ky including candidates’ names, the locations and times of voting at the polls as well as the time ballots will be counted.”
Five candidates, the highest number of contenders, are vying for the George Town East seat which is held by incumbent MP Roy McTaggart.
McTaggart, the Finance Minister, is set to take over the reins from Premier Alden McLaughlin as party leader of the Progressives.
On Thursday night McLaughlin appeared alongside Bodden Town East MP Dwayne Seymour, where he announced the coalition team, with which the party will be running.
Elections Office, NRA warning over signage
While planning permission is not required to place political signage, both the National Roads Authority and Elections Office are reminding campaigners to adhere to the law when it comes to installing signs.
“The placement of signage must not create an obstruction or impede the sightlines of motorists on road bends and at intersections,” a joint statement from the Elections Office and NRA said Friday.
The statement was issued after the Elections Office said it has received a number of public enquiries relating to political signs that have been erected in the lead up to the general election.
A number of electronic signs have also been stationed at strategic sites near main thoroughfares, however the statement said the use of LED lights on signs is discouraged, due to the potential for glare to distract drivers at night.
“I’m sure every political hopeful would wish to promote road safety throughout the community. We are asking that they do their part by ensuring political signage is properly positioned,” said Managing Director of the National Roads Authority, Edward Howard.
No political signage is permitted on roundabouts as they obstruct driver sightlines, are an added distraction and may disrupt buried utilities e.g. water pipes or electrical cabling, the statement added.
The statement said while there are no limitations regarding size of signs, approval must be sought from the land-owner before any signs are placed.
It also added that reports have also been received of political signs being damaged.
“Damaging private property is an offence and should be reported to RCIPS for investigation,” it said.
This week a campaign sign belonging to George Town West candidate Kenrick Webster was defaced.
Signage, including related framing, must be removed prior to Election Day on Wednesday, 14 April 2021 as per the Elections Act.
A full list of nominated candidates can be found here.