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TCI general elections called for December 5, but Governor announces new date

By Caribbean News Now contributor (adapted)

PROVIDENCIALES, TCI — On Thursday, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Premier Dr Rufus Ewing adjourned the House of Assembly, after outlining his government’s achievements and announcing that general elections will take place on Monday, December 5, 2016.

However in a later announcement, less than a week after Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing announced that voters would be choosing a new government in the Turks and Caicos Islands on December 5, the Governor of this British Overseas Territory has announced a new date.

Governor Dr. John Freeman says the vote will now take place on December 15.

In a radio broadcast, he said that the earlier date would not allow for the electoral officials to prepare for the election. “Whilst the date of 5 December would be compliant with the Constitution in consultation with the premier, it has been decided that it would be most expedient to postpone the date for the election.”

When Premier Ewing announced that the Parliament had been dissolved last Friday paving the way for the election, no date was given for Nomination Day.

“I am advised that the election day proclamation that was published in the Gazette on Friday announcing the date of the general election was in order by being in accordance with the TCI constitution,” Premier Ewing said in a statement Monday.

“However, there was an issue with the timelines under section 26 of the Election Ordinance and hence the procedures for the appointment of a nomination day and election day could not have been executed in the minimum time frame provided for by the constitution.”

 “The Governor having consulted with me on this date will now issue an amendment to that proclamation published on Friday, October 28, 2016,” Ewing said.

Islanders have therefore been active preparing for the election. The election is expected to be a straight contest between the Ewing’s Progressive National Party (PNP) the main opposition People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) and a new party, the Progressive Democratic Association (PDA), led by former PDM leader Oswald Skippings.

Both the PNP and the opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), led by Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, have announced their lists of 15 candidates. This includes five running “at large”, who will vie for votes from all of the ten separate election districts.

governor-dr-john-freemanA new party, the Progressive Democratic Association (PDA), is led by former PDM leader Oswald Skippings, who during the 2012 election failed to win his own seat at large, which cost him and the PDM the election and the government.

A large number of independent candidates have announced their intentions of trying to win a seat at large, including former premier Michael Misick, despite his legal status. Misick has been charged with a list of criminal offences relating to his 2003-2009 administration.

He is now required to appear daily at trial in a specially constructed court room on Providenciales. This trial has been underway since December 2015 and is expected to continue into 2017. 

Misick was unable to achieve endorsement from his own PNP party, whose candidates include his brother, niece and nephew, all members of the current administration.

The outgoing PNP administration was elected in November 2012 on the heels of an interim government, whereby the country was governed directly by the United Kingdom for a three-year period, after a commission of inquiry found what it described as “systemic corruption”, during the previous two PNP administrations.

Of the 15 electoral seats, the PNP won eight and the PDM won the remaining seven. The British prescribed constitution, made because of the commission of inquiry’s final report, also gave one each appointed member of parliament to the PDM and the PNP, while two such members went to the British-appointed governor, who therefore held the balance of power in parliament, with his two appointed members.

Several independent candidates have also announced plans to contest the poll including former premier Michael Misick who was not endorsed by the PNP, which he once led.

In the last general election in November 2012, the PNP was elected on the heels of an interim government in which the territory was governed by the United Kingdom for three years – the PNP then won eight of the 15 seats in parliament and the PDM won the remaining seven.

 

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By Caribbean News Now contributor (adapted)

PROVIDENCIALES, TCI — On Thursday, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Premier Dr Rufus Ewing adjourned the House of Assembly, after outlining his government’s achievements and announcing that general elections will take place on Monday, December 5, 2016.

However in a later announcement, less than a week after Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing announced that voters would be choosing a new government in the Turks and Caicos Islands on December 5, the Governor of this British Overseas Territory has announced a new date.

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Governor Dr. John Freeman says the vote will now take place on December 15.

In a radio broadcast, he said that the earlier date would not allow for the electoral officials to prepare for the election. “Whilst the date of 5 December would be compliant with the Constitution in consultation with the premier, it has been decided that it would be most expedient to postpone the date for the election.”

When Premier Ewing announced that the Parliament had been dissolved last Friday paving the way for the election, no date was given for Nomination Day.

“I am advised that the election day proclamation that was published in the Gazette on Friday announcing the date of the general election was in order by being in accordance with the TCI constitution,” Premier Ewing said in a statement Monday.

“However, there was an issue with the timelines under section 26 of the Election Ordinance and hence the procedures for the appointment of a nomination day and election day could not have been executed in the minimum time frame provided for by the constitution.”

 “The Governor having consulted with me on this date will now issue an amendment to that proclamation published on Friday, October 28, 2016,” Ewing said.

Islanders have therefore been active preparing for the election. The election is expected to be a straight contest between the Ewing’s Progressive National Party (PNP) the main opposition People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) and a new party, the Progressive Democratic Association (PDA), led by former PDM leader Oswald Skippings.

Both the PNP and the opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), led by Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, have announced their lists of 15 candidates. This includes five running “at large”, who will vie for votes from all of the ten separate election districts.

governor-dr-john-freemanA new party, the Progressive Democratic Association (PDA), is led by former PDM leader Oswald Skippings, who during the 2012 election failed to win his own seat at large, which cost him and the PDM the election and the government.

A large number of independent candidates have announced their intentions of trying to win a seat at large, including former premier Michael Misick, despite his legal status. Misick has been charged with a list of criminal offences relating to his 2003-2009 administration.

He is now required to appear daily at trial in a specially constructed court room on Providenciales. This trial has been underway since December 2015 and is expected to continue into 2017. 

Misick was unable to achieve endorsement from his own PNP party, whose candidates include his brother, niece and nephew, all members of the current administration.

The outgoing PNP administration was elected in November 2012 on the heels of an interim government, whereby the country was governed directly by the United Kingdom for a three-year period, after a commission of inquiry found what it described as “systemic corruption”, during the previous two PNP administrations.

Of the 15 electoral seats, the PNP won eight and the PDM won the remaining seven. The British prescribed constitution, made because of the commission of inquiry’s final report, also gave one each appointed member of parliament to the PDM and the PNP, while two such members went to the British-appointed governor, who therefore held the balance of power in parliament, with his two appointed members.

Several independent candidates have also announced plans to contest the poll including former premier Michael Misick who was not endorsed by the PNP, which he once led.

In the last general election in November 2012, the PNP was elected on the heels of an interim government in which the territory was governed by the United Kingdom for three years – the PNP then won eight of the 15 seats in parliament and the PDM won the remaining seven.