Does right to be Caymanian equal right to be a candidate?

| 18/05/2017

Can a Caymanian status holder stand for election? There are many resident expatriates and they really should have a voice in the LA. In the UK there are a large number of MPs of various ethnic origin reflecting the racial background of the voters.

Auntie’s answer: Once more, the very prompt and helpful Elections Office has come through. Not surprising, there is more to the answer than a simple yes or no.

An election official said the issue was a “very complex one, as can be garnered by the legal arguments that were before the Grand Court in relation to the publication/disqualification of candidates”.

He added, “Also complicating the answer is that the issuance of ‘Caymanian status’, or more accurately ‘the right to be Caymanian’, also applies to children of Caymanian parents who are born overseas.”

Nevertheless, the short answer is, “A person born outside the Cayman Islands and acquired the right to be Caymanian, whose parents or grandparents were not Caymanian, does not qualify for nomination as a MLA.”

If you would like more details, look to Section 61 of the Cayman Islands Constitution, which begins with “…a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly if, and shall not be qualified to be so elected unless…(e) he or she was born in the Cayman Islands, or was born outside the Cayman Islands in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (2)(b)”. Other caveats follow about residing in Cayman not fewer than seven years and the maximum number of allowable days (400) absent during that period.

If you are still with me, Subsection (2)(b) refers to a qualified citizen who “was born outside the Cayman Islands, has or had at least one parent or grandparent who was born in the Cayman Islands and is a Caymanian (or if deceased would if alive have been a Caymanian at the date of nomination for election), and who at the date of his or her nomination for election possesses no other citizenship save for any right he or she may have to some other citizenship by virtue of his or her birth outside the Cayman Islands; and in this subsection the words ‘other citizenship’ do not include British citizenship acquired by virtue of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002(3)”.

I realise that is a lot to absorb, but I think it covers everything, and hope it thoroughly answers your question.

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


Category: Ask Auntie, Election Questions

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Many of the older MLA’s were born in Jamaica, so why does this rule not apply to them?

    • Anonymous says:

      They were born to parents who were born Caymanian and settled (resident/domiciled) in Cayman at the date of their birth. Not sure of the background of any US born candidates.

  2. REB says:

    If we didn’t have all this prosperity, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all! LOL….

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a 7th generation local resident, I would support persons who have gained “the right to be called Caymanian” standing for election 15 years after gaining that right. Some may not agree, but if a person has been here for that long AFTER the time taken to become a citizen, then I say they should be allowed to represent. Note that any of their children born after they have received this right can stand for election when they are old enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is your 7th generation intention of putting these artificial hurdles in place when so few actually have the cajones and chin to run for office? We need to allow all Caymanians the same opportunities and let voters decide who they want based on real merit rather than arbitrary xenophobic biases! We have Cayman-born running that I wouldn’t trust to guard my place in queue at the grocery store, let alone with hundreds of millions in public money and billions in unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And it is insanity, disqualifying a number of born Caymanians who may have been born overseas for medical reasons and (for example) had a parent with a Jamaican Passport, British Passport or US passport and acquired UK or US citizenship through them.

    “Also complicating the answer is that the issuance of ‘Caymanian status’, or more accurately ‘the right to be Caymanian’, also applies to children of Caymanian parents who are born overseas.”

    That is simply made up Law. Children of Caymanian parents who live in Cayman are Caymanian from birth whether or not they are born in Cayman.

    All Caymanians have Caymanian Status/The Right to be Caymanian. Without it they are simply not Caymanian.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well of course someone asks a question like that. It will never happen. You lot won’t get that too. Btw what is the need to always compare us to the U.K.? Move to the U.K why don’t you? If that’s the life you want. I bet you don’t want to bring the U.K. 30-40% income tax here? But you want to bring the things that suits you?