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Cayman Islands: Country and Foreign Investment

Government

When Jamaica became independent in 1962, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British Crown Colony. Under the Constitution established in 1972 Cayman is a British Dependent Territory, with a Governor appointed by the Queen for a term of 4 years. There is an Executive Council consisting of three official members appointed by the Governor and five elected members selected from the 15 elected representatives of the Legislative Assembly. Elections are held every four years, most recently in May, 2013.

In the 2013 elections, the United Democratic Party, or UDP, led by McKeeva Bush, was defeated by the People's Progressive Movement, or PPM. The PPM won nine out of the 18 seats, while the UDP was reduced to three seats from the previous 15 it had won in 2009.

In 2008 discussions began between the governments of the Cayman Islands and the UK on a new constitution for the jurisdiction. This constitution seeks to strengthen self governance in the Cayman Islands, while retaining strong links to the UK. Agreement has been reached on key issues, such as increasing cabinet representatives from five to seven and the Legislative Assembly from fifteen to eighteen, adding a Minister of Finance as a Cabinet-level position, with the Financial Secretary retained in an advisory role, and establishing a National Security Council (to handle policy matters surrounding national security issues) and a Judicial and Legal Services Commission to appoint the Attorney General and other key legal and judicial officials.

The Cayman Islands voted to adopt a revised constitution by a referendum held on May 20, 2009.

An amendment to the constitution in 1994 paved the way for a new ministerial form of government. The five elected members of the Council are now referred to as Ministers with portfolio responsibilities assigned by the Governor. A District Commissioner represents the Governor in the two sister islands. Government offices are located in George Town.

Attending a CARICOM meeting in July, 2005, Kurt Tibbetts, then Leader of Government Business of the Cayman Islands, said that his country will keep its current relationship with the Community. Cayman has associate membership of CARICOM. It did not sign the Treaty of Chaguaramas in 1973 and does not participate in voting although its representatives attend CARICOM meetings with observer status.

 

 

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