His Excellency The Governor, Martyn Roper OBE has issued the following statement concerning the process to verify the signatures on the cruise port petition:
“I am aware of the concerns that have been expressed about the comprehensive process being followed to verify the signatures on the petition which was presented to the Elections Commissioner by Cruise Port Referendum Cayman (CPR Cayman). I can assure everyone that Cabinet has no role whatsoever in the verification process, which remains the sole responsibility of Mr Howell, who reports to me and in whom I have full confidence. This is the first time in Cayman’s history that we have been on the verge of a People’s Initiated Referendum. We need to ensure that we get the process right. There can be no shortcuts to democracy. To provide clear and unambiguous proof that the signatures on the petition are valid will provide a solid base for what will follow and help to protect the process from any potential legal challenge in the future. Mr Howell and his team will carry out this exercise as quickly as possible and will try to make it as easy for everyone to verify their signatures as they can. He will take independent decisions based on appropriate legal advice and will also have access to advice from the UK’s Electoral Commission going forward. My office and I will help to oversee the process and ensure there is no interference in the important task that Mr Howell is undertaking. We now need to let him get on with the task and respect his independence.”
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