Alric Lindsay has lived in Cayman since he was a child and was adopted by a Caymanian man. His business is here, as is his home, as is pretty much his entire life. However, Mr. Lindsay found himself facing a legal challenge to his ability to run for political office earlier this year based on the fact that he had been out of the country for 797 days during the seven years before March 29, 2017 – nomination day for the general election. A Grand Court decision in mid-April found him eligible to run for office in George Town South, where he finished third out of five candidates. About a month before the vote, he was required to hire a lawyer, go to court and prove he was eligible to stand for election. He believes it made a difference in the campaign.
“Some people thought I was not Caymanian because that is the way the [election challenge] petition was originally worded, to suggest that I wasn’t Caymanian,” Mr. Lindsay said during an interview this week. “I don’t think it affected my ability to run the campaign, but it did affect the effectiveness of that campaign.”
Mr. Lindsay’s situation highlights one of the problems raised by elections observers, as well as by the local Human Rights Commission, about who can stand for office and who can vote for candidates in the Cayman Islands.
In both areas, observers have noted that Caymanians are disadvantaged by vague or outdated rules that restrict their democratic rights.