11 November 2012

Turks & Caicos ruling party, deposed by the British, wins elections

British had abolished elected Progressive National Party government over three years ago. 


In what was the closest general elections in the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Progressive National Party (PNP) has 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, a former chief minister, suffered a shocking defeat, placing eighth among 11 At-Large candidates.

When the votes in the 10 electoral districts were tallied just after 1 a.m. on Saturday November 10th, 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 10th.

The provisional standings of the At-Large seats are as follows:

1. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson – PDM – 3,427 votes (provisional)
2. Rufus Ewing – PNP – 3,252 votes (provisional)
3. Derek Taylor – PDM – 3,191 votes (provisional)
4. Washington Misick – PNP – 3,107 votes (provisional)
5. Josephine Connolly – PDM – 3,023 votes (provisional)
6. Carolos Simons – PNP – 2,899 votes (provisional)
7. Samuel Harvey – PDM – 2,896 votes (provisional)
8. Oswald Skippings – PDM – 2,894 votes (provisional)
9. Wayne Garland – PNP – 2,806 votes (provisional)
10. Royal Robinson – PNP – 2,700 votes (provisional)
11. Oswald Simons – IND – 233 votes (provisional)

PDM leader Oswald Skippings has asked for a recount and this will take place on Monday November 12th at Dillon Hall, Grand Turk.

Petition to recall Governor Ric Todd

By Vivian Tyson, Senior SUN Editor

An on-line petition to have Governor Ric Todd recalled by Queen Elizabeth II, has been gaining momentum.

The petition, which can be found at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/send-governor-ric-todd-back-to-the-uk/signatures, says that Governor Ric Todd has demonstrated a persistent and arrogant disregard for the customs, culture and people of the Turks & Caicos Islands since his arrival.

It noted: “The offensive decisions, strategies and changes to our laws that have been manipulated by Ric Todd are too numerous to mention here but include; a) Lowering the age of consent to 16 for boys to engage in a homosexual act despite our feelings to the contrary; b) Unilaterally changing our laws to permit the caging of dolphins despite our feelings to the contrary; c) Pressuring the country on behalf of questionable developers for a substantial increase in the building height limitation on Grace Bay despite
our feelings to the contrary; d) Supporting the illegal dredging of the Leeward Channel and the National Park for the benefit of one wealthy and influential developer despite the damage it will cause to our reefs and objections of the people of this country to the contrary.

Todd, who came to the Turks and Caicos Islands in September 2011, has ruffled many feathers country-wide since his appointment.

Asked for a comment on the calls to have the Governor recalled, his spokesman, Neil Smith, said, “His Excellency Governor Ric Todd continues to enjoy the confidence of UK Ministers, Government officials and persons across Turks and Caicos society and family of islands. He has delivered on his promises. Most notably that he would do everything he could to ensure that Elections would take place in the Turks and Caicos in 2012. This goal was by no means certain when he first arrived here in September 2011. That he has marshalled his team, colleagues and officials here in the TCI and in the UK to jointly achieve this milestone is certainly to the credit of everyone involved.

Smith added: “The reforms brought about required a remarkable body of work to be carried out over the past three years, and the last 12 months in particular. This should not be underestimated. The Islands will benefit from reforms in almost every aspect of life here: the commitment by the Government to always run a surplus budget; improved financial management, accountability and reporting of information; the improvements to Crown Land Policy; a clearer and simpler way to acquiring T&C Islander status; holding to account those responsible for the issues detailed in the Commission of Inquiry; amongst others. 

“Clearly, this provides a once in a generation opportunity for the people of these Islands to build on this platform by firstly electing a new Government next week and then working together, the fresh administration, Governor Todd, Islanders and the UK, to build a brighter, better future for everyone in the Turks and Caicos in 2013 and beyond.” 

In a previous interview with SUNtv, when asked about calls for him to be removed, Todd stated: "I would say that all of the time that I've been here, I have began to have very productive and effective relationships with people within the government and outside of government.''

The Constitution clearly sets out what the rights and powers of the governor are. I am confident that anyone who is involved in the constitution and constitutional bodies will play their part in working together for the TCI to be a prosperous, effective, well run country. I am confident that the FCO has confidence in me so I have no concerns on that score and you can see any way that in the constitution my appointment is at her majesty's pleasure and as far as I know I enjoy Her Majesty's pleasure."