Sitting MPs Moses Kirkconnell and Juliana O’Connor-Connolly are both facing off against one opponent each, as they fight to secure re-election to represent Cayman Brac West and Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac East, respectively.
Kirkconnell, who holds the deputy premiership and tourism portfolios in the current administration, faces Maxine McCoy-Moore in his bid to win election to a fifth term in the constituency of Cayman Brac West and Little Cayman.
Meanwhile, the education minister faces Elvis McKeever for the Brac East seat.
On Wednesday, 3 March, McKeever took part in the first Cayman Crosstalk debates. His opponent, O’Connor-Connolly, declined an invitation to participate.
During the hour-long programme, McKeever stated that his key focus areas, should he be elected, would be the legalisation of ganja and a subsequent creation of a cottage industry around the drug; health care for seniors; payroll tax; the sustainable development of Cayman Brac; and tackling unemployment for school leavers.
“One of the ways I feel that [unemployment] can be addressed is to start another pillar of our economy, and that is… real farming into medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana,” said McKeever. “You will have jobs from the farms to the laboratories… and the pharmaceuticals.”
During the programme, McKeever said he would seek to create a cottage industry for medicinal and recreational marijuana farming that would allow people to grow and sell ganja on as little as a quarter-acre of land. He said small farmers could be protected by establishing a board that grants licences, but only people who have “suffered” because of ganja, who were punished by being imprisoned after conviction on marijuana offences, should be allowed to sit on that board.
McKeever acknowledged his own troubles with the law, but maintained that he would be a suitable representative if elected to serve as a Member of Parliament.
“I got caught with marijuana plant, and I got probation [for] that,” he said. “Then I [cursed] out the police because they were after me, and I got a three-month suspended [sentence for that].”
McKeever said his matters before the courts were finalised on 25 Feb., at which time he was fined $300.
“I don’t see [how] that stops me from being a representative; there are people in this country that are running that have done a lot worse than that and I’m not talking about no one person,” he said. “[I’m] talking about a lot of them that are running.”
McKeever is running as an independent candidate, but said if elected he would work alongside Kirkconnell should he be successful.
McCoy-Moore said if elected she would focus on employment and succession planning, the implementation of a national ID, an increase in the minimum wage to reflect Cayman’s high cost of living, a reduction of import duties, and the construction of a school capable of teaching pre-school, primary and secondary students.
“I would like to [see] the education system build a small, proper, manned, equipped school from kindergarten to year 12,” said McCoy-Moore. “When the time comes to go onto university we can expand the Civil [Service College], and make it mandatory and free of cost, for all high school students in Cayman Brac.”
To address what she called the high cost of living, McCoy-Moore said she would ask for an increase in salaries for people living in Cayman Brac.
“Everybody would have to be making a minimum in the Sister Islands of $3,800… in order to save $50 per month.” said McCoy-Moore.
Should she be elected, she said she would seek to join a coalition government of other independents.
“My ultimate aim is to join the team that the independents join to form a government with,” said McCoy-Moore, who added that she was not sure who would lead the group or what it would be called.
For a full list of the candidates contesting the 14 April election, click here.