The right of an ex-convict to stand for election

| 09/01/2017

Can an ex-convict run for political office in the Cayman Islands?

Auntie’s answer: The elections questions continue in the run-up to May. Once more, I approached the Elections Office, an Ask Auntie Award winner, for help. The Cayman Islands Constitution sets out the qualifications and disqualifications for running for office but as the Elections Office official explained, the relevant point for your question is the length of time that the ex-convict served in prison.

“In summary, a person sentenced to more than 12 months or who has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty is disqualified from being elected,” he said.

Under Part IV of the Constitution, “The Legislature”, Section 61 sets out “Qualifications for elected membership of the Legislative Assembly” and Section 62 specifies “Disqualifications for elected membership”.

Particularly, Section 62 (1) says, “No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly who (e) subject to subsection (2), is serving or has served a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding twelve months imposed on him or her by a court in any country or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him or her by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended, or has been convicted by any court in any country of an offence involving dishonesty”.

The referenced subsection (2) says (a) “where a person is serving two or more sentences of imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively he or she shall, throughout the whole time during which he or she so serves, be regarded as serving a sentence exceeding twelve months if (but not unless) any one of those sentences exceeds that term; and

(b) no account shall be taken of a sentence of imprisonment imposed as an alternative to or in default of the payment of a fine”.

To clarify the final point, it means that if a sentence is served for non-payment of a fine then the person would not be disqualified from running as a candidate.

The Elections Office representative also wanted to stress that to be clear, both Sections 61 and 62 “have to be read together to ensure that the qualifications sections are satisfied and none of the disqualification provisions apply”.

The document mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I note that one or two of our ex-cons like to reinvent themselves as so-called “activists”, usually pretending to stand up for the same people they have ripped off for years. I’m pleased our law prevents them from standing.

  2. MM says:

    I wish the law barred child molesters and perverts; there appear to be many of them preparing for candidacy right now; not to mention the ones already sitting.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t see why this could not qualify. I would like to understand. If child molester’s qualify then someone please make this public knowledge. These people are visiting homes.

      • MM says:

        Well; we can note the recent case with XXXXX who ran years ago and how his nature slipped through the cracks – luckily he did not get in; but sexual perversion and desperation seems to rank high with officials and senior males in the Cayman community.

        Unfortunately, because these people have never been convicted or proven of these actions, even if people who know do call names it would be up to the victims to come forward and validate the claims of those in the know.

        There are the candidates who take advantage of vulnerable women and their circumstances in order to get away with their perverted desires; there are the ones that made advancements on their own family members. Some have already declared their intention to run, another looks like they are preparing to be next on the roster of one of our current parties – but I am watching to see what happens there.

        It is up to the people of the Cayman Islands to remember why some people did not get their votes before and not be swayed by the “sinner to saint” activity that some of these people have put on for the 2-4 yrs leading up to election season. These people knew years ago they intended to run again and planned accordingly since then.

  3. Well shiver me timbers says:

    Guess this eliminates at least one particular dishonest person from seeking a seat in the LA……brackers can breathe a sigh of relief now.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Auntie, Can you please elaborate on the issue of a dishonesty offense? Some persons appear to think they can run if there’s a spent conviction but the law doesn’t imply that at all. Please ask the elections office and amend your response here!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    A follow up might be, would the elections office stand up and ensure that none of the potential candidates fall into this category.

    • Anonymous says:

      As I understand it they cannot do anything until the person formally declares which they don’t have to do until nomination day – let’s see what she does.

  6. Anonymous says:

    well if you are a heroin addict living on the streets of the UK while finding onesself you are qualified and will most likely become a MLA