Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Deputy Speaker of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly, Senator Akilah Byron-Nisbett, is in the Cayman Islands as part of an Election Observer Mission Team to oversee the country's Polling Day, which is today, May 24, 2017.
Mrs. Byron-Nisbett is part of a delegation of international officials from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), who is in the British Overseas Territory to observe its first election in more than 50 years under the one man, one vote system. In the country's earlier multimember voting system, a registered voter could vote for between one and six candidates depending on the district where he or she lived.
The observers arrived on island prior to Polling Day to observe political campaigning, voter registration and accessibility and electoral administration, while on Polling Day they are required to examine the voting process, the counting and tabulation of votes and any post-election complaints.
According to Elections Supervisor, Wesley Howell, 21,212 people are eligible to vote in 19 constituencies. Because of the changes to the Cayman's electoral system in more than 50 years, independent scrutiny of the process is extremely important.
During a sitting of the National Assembly on May 23, 2017, Leader of Government Business in the House, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, spoke of Senator Byron-Nisbett's absence from the unicameral Chamber and the federation on an important mission to observe the General Elections in the Cayman Islands.
"I hope she learns many lessons from this exercise. As you know, we've had several challenges with our own electoral system in the past, which we are going to be tidying up shortly so this mission of hers is an important mission for her as a young senator in the arena," Minister Hamilton said.
Cayman Islands is 102 square miles and includes Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman.