Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Turks and Caicos General Election After 3 years direct British rule

 PNP wins 8 seats, PDM 7

New TCI Premier, Rufus Ewing

It was late one summer Friday afternoon in mid-August, the remnants of the British Empire grew a little bit larger; the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) were declared back under direct British rule.

A statement from the British Governor in the TCI stated on 14 August: “We have today signed a proclamation, published in the Gazette, which brings into force the Order in Council suspending parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands constitution.”

The reason: a British-ordered inquiry into the British dependency which shone a light on widespread corruption.

The final report recommended a two-year suspension of island government while the British Governor cleans up administrative and constitutional activity in the TCI.

Since then TCI residents amidst protests back and forth, saw two years come and go, but on November 9, 2012, in what Hayden Boyce, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of the Turks and Caicos SUN
reports was the closest general elections in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Progressive National Party (PNP) reclaimed the government, winning eight (8) seats to the People’s Democratic Movement’s (PDM) seven (7).

The PNP’s razor-thin victory in the Friday November 9th poll, came in the form of six constituency seats and two At-Large (country-wide) seats.

The PDM won four (4) constituency seats and three (3) At-Large seats.

PDM Leader Oswald Skippings,

When the votes in the 10 electoral districts were tallied just after 1 a.m. on Saturday November 10, the PNP won six seats: George Lightbourne in Grand Turk North; Norman Saunders in South Caicos; DonHue Gardiner in North and Middle Caicos; Akeirra Missick in Leeward; Portia Stubbs-Smith in The Bight; and Amanda Missick in Cheshire Hall/Richmond Hills.

The PDM won four constituency seats: Delroy Williams in Wheeland; Sean Astwood in Five Cays; Goldray Ewing in Blue Hills; and Edwin Astwood in Grand Turk South. The PDM won three of the At-Large seats (Sharlene Cartwright, Derek Taylor and Josephine Connolly), while the PNP won with Dr. Rufus Ewing and Washington Misick.

The overall election results were delayed because the At-Large numbers had to be recounted and the final results were only announced at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 10.

However, PDM leader Oswald Skippings a former chief minister, suffered a shocking defeat, placing eighth among 11 At-Large candidates. He asked for a recount which took place on Monday, November 12 at Dillon Hall, Grand Turk.

After an all-day recount of the At-Large votes on Monday November 12th, Rushbook confirmed that the PNP won eight seats and is the largest party in the House of Assembly, and that the PDM has seven seats. Later, Rufus Ewing, PNP leader wrote to the Governor advising he is able to form the new Government.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 six Cabinet Ministers in the Turks and Caicos Islands were sworn in by Governor Ric Todd, but no portfolios had been assigned as yet.

The ceremony took place at the Governor’s Official Residence at Waterloo, Grand Turk and follows on from new Forty-four-year-old surgeon, Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing receiving his instrument of appointment on Tuesday following the election on November 9.

Dr. Rufus Washington Ewing was sworn in as the third Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Premier. He would further consider the assignment of responsibilities to Ministers and in accordance with his advice (Constitution Art 36) appointments were made by The Governor.

New TCI Government

The full team of Turks and Caicos Ministers is:

Premier, with responsibility for Investment and Trade – Dr Rufus Washington Ewing; Deputy Premier and Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture – Akierra Missick; Ministry of Finance and Tourism – Washington Misick; Ministry of Environment and Home Affairs – Porsha Stubbs-Smith; Ministry of Health and Human Services (Gender Affairs, Social Services) – Amanda Misick; Ministry of Border Control and Labour – Ricardo Don-Hue Gardiner; and, Government Support Services – George Lightbourne.

In addition to chairing Cabinet meetings, the Governor fulfils a number of Constitutional functions including being responsible for defence, external affairs, the regulation of international financial services, internal security, including the Police Force, and appointments to public office.

The other Cabinet Members are the Deputy Governor, Anya Williams, who acts on behalf of the Governor and is Head of the Public Service, and Attorney General, Huw Shepheard, the legal advisor to the Government and the House of Assembly.

Immediately after the ceremony the team travelled to the NJS Francis House of Assembly building to attend the first Cabinet Meeting convened by the Governor.

After the meeting the Governor and the Premier issued a joint press statement: “I am very pleased to report that the first Cabinet meeting was welcomed by all present, and was held in a very cordial and businesslike atmosphere,” said Governor Todd. “All Cabinet members expressed their determination to work together for the benefit of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“One of the first pieces of business was to fix the date of the recall and inauguration of the House of Assembly as Wed, 28 Nov 2012. We also agreed that Cabinet would meet fortnightly on a Wednesday, with the exception of the next session which will happen on Thursday November 29th, due to the events of the previous day.

Sharlene Carthwright Robinson of the PDM party was sworn in as the country’s first female Opposition Leader.

Election results to be challenged in court

A petition filed by PDM candidate Oral Isaac Selver in relation to Electoral District Number 7 (Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hills, Providenciales) is grounded in an alleged failure by a third party candidate, Edward E. Smith of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), to declare his US citizenship. This runs against Section 49(1)(a) of the TCI Constitution which provides that “No person shall be qualified to be an elected member of the House of Assembly who, on the date of his or her nomination for election… is, by virtue of his or her own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to any foreign power or state.

Section 50(1) of the constitution goes on to provide that “Each candidate for election to the House of Assembly shall, on the date of his or her nomination for election, make a written declaration to the Supervisor of Elections that he or she is qualified for election under section 46 and that no disqualification mentioned in section 49 applies to him or her.”

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 PNP wins 8 seats, PDM 7

New TCI Premier, Rufus Ewing

It was late one summer Friday afternoon in mid-August, the remnants of the British Empire grew a little bit larger; the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) were declared back under direct British rule.

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A statement from the British Governor in the TCI stated on 14 August: “We have today signed a proclamation, published in the Gazette, which brings into force the Order in Council suspending parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands constitution.”

The reason: a British-ordered inquiry into the British dependency which shone a light on widespread corruption.

The final report recommended a two-year suspension of island government while the British Governor cleans up administrative and constitutional activity in the TCI.

Since then TCI residents amidst protests back and forth, saw two years come and go, but on November 9, 2012, in what Hayden Boyce, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of the Turks and Caicos SUN
reports was the closest general elections in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Progressive National Party (PNP) reclaimed the government, winning eight (8) seats to the People’s Democratic Movement’s (PDM) seven (7).

The PNP’s razor-thin victory in the Friday November 9th poll, came in the form of six constituency seats and two At-Large (country-wide) seats.

The PDM won four (4) constituency seats and three (3) At-Large seats.

PDM Leader Oswald Skippings,

When the votes in the 10 electoral districts were tallied just after 1 a.m. on Saturday November 10, the PNP won six seats: George Lightbourne in Grand Turk North; Norman Saunders in South Caicos; DonHue Gardiner in North and Middle Caicos; Akeirra Missick in Leeward; Portia Stubbs-Smith in The Bight; and Amanda Missick in Cheshire Hall/Richmond Hills.

The PDM won four constituency seats: Delroy Williams in Wheeland; Sean Astwood in Five Cays; Goldray Ewing in Blue Hills; and Edwin Astwood in Grand Turk South. The PDM won three of the At-Large seats (Sharlene Cartwright, Derek Taylor and Josephine Connolly), while the PNP won with Dr. Rufus Ewing and Washington Misick.

The overall election results were delayed because the At-Large numbers had to be recounted and the final results were only announced at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 10.

However, PDM leader Oswald Skippings a former chief minister, suffered a shocking defeat, placing eighth among 11 At-Large candidates. He asked for a recount which took place on Monday, November 12 at Dillon Hall, Grand Turk.

After an all-day recount of the At-Large votes on Monday November 12th, Rushbook confirmed that the PNP won eight seats and is the largest party in the House of Assembly, and that the PDM has seven seats. Later, Rufus Ewing, PNP leader wrote to the Governor advising he is able to form the new Government.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 six Cabinet Ministers in the Turks and Caicos Islands were sworn in by Governor Ric Todd, but no portfolios had been assigned as yet.

The ceremony took place at the Governor’s Official Residence at Waterloo, Grand Turk and follows on from new Forty-four-year-old surgeon, Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing receiving his instrument of appointment on Tuesday following the election on November 9.

Dr. Rufus Washington Ewing was sworn in as the third Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Premier. He would further consider the assignment of responsibilities to Ministers and in accordance with his advice (Constitution Art 36) appointments were made by The Governor.

New TCI Government

The full team of Turks and Caicos Ministers is:

Premier, with responsibility for Investment and Trade – Dr Rufus Washington Ewing; Deputy Premier and Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture – Akierra Missick; Ministry of Finance and Tourism – Washington Misick; Ministry of Environment and Home Affairs – Porsha Stubbs-Smith; Ministry of Health and Human Services (Gender Affairs, Social Services) – Amanda Misick; Ministry of Border Control and Labour – Ricardo Don-Hue Gardiner; and, Government Support Services – George Lightbourne.

In addition to chairing Cabinet meetings, the Governor fulfils a number of Constitutional functions including being responsible for defence, external affairs, the regulation of international financial services, internal security, including the Police Force, and appointments to public office.

The other Cabinet Members are the Deputy Governor, Anya Williams, who acts on behalf of the Governor and is Head of the Public Service, and Attorney General, Huw Shepheard, the legal advisor to the Government and the House of Assembly.

Immediately after the ceremony the team travelled to the NJS Francis House of Assembly building to attend the first Cabinet Meeting convened by the Governor.

After the meeting the Governor and the Premier issued a joint press statement: “I am very pleased to report that the first Cabinet meeting was welcomed by all present, and was held in a very cordial and businesslike atmosphere,” said Governor Todd. “All Cabinet members expressed their determination to work together for the benefit of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“One of the first pieces of business was to fix the date of the recall and inauguration of the House of Assembly as Wed, 28 Nov 2012. We also agreed that Cabinet would meet fortnightly on a Wednesday, with the exception of the next session which will happen on Thursday November 29th, due to the events of the previous day.

Sharlene Carthwright Robinson of the PDM party was sworn in as the country’s first female Opposition Leader.

Election results to be challenged in court

A petition filed by PDM candidate Oral Isaac Selver in relation to Electoral District Number 7 (Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hills, Providenciales) is grounded in an alleged failure by a third party candidate, Edward E. Smith of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), to declare his US citizenship. This runs against Section 49(1)(a) of the TCI Constitution which provides that “No person shall be qualified to be an elected member of the House of Assembly who, on the date of his or her nomination for election… is, by virtue of his or her own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to any foreign power or state.

Section 50(1) of the constitution goes on to provide that “Each candidate for election to the House of Assembly shall, on the date of his or her nomination for election, make a written declaration to the Supervisor of Elections that he or she is qualified for election under section 46 and that no disqualification mentioned in section 49 applies to him or her.”