25 February 2013

British Governor, Attorney General and CFO must go, says Turks & Caicos Islands Premier

In a new letter to Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, Premier Rufus Ewing has said that Governor Ric Todd, Attorney General Huw Shepheard and Chief Financial Officer Hugh McGarel-Groves must be recalled and replaced by persons who will better accommodate Ewing’s government.

Premier Rufus Ewing
It is unclear what caused the letter of February 10 to be written, while Ewing was at the same time conducting press conferences, not mentioning the strong messages in the letter.

One of the principal complaints of Ewing’s letter was that the prosecution of the former PNP cabinet members was “a farce”. This, Ewing said, was because British and other expatriates who took part in corrupt dealings had opted to pay millions in fines to escape prosecution by the special investigation and prosecution team (SIPT). 

Ewing did not explain in his letter why he felt the prosecution of former ministers Floyd Hall, McAllister Hanchell, Lillian Boyce and Jeffrey Hall was not justified.

Ewing seemed to associate Governor Todd with the interim government, saying that, when Todd arrived to run the direct rule government, he acted as a dictator. However, the interim government came into being in August 2009 under then Governor Gordon Wetherell. Todd arrived two years later in mid 2011 and within little over a year called for elections to return local rule. 

Ewing did say in his letter that Todd had promised that actions by the House of Assembly would be respected. It appears this portion of the letter anticipates the governor’s veto of the VAT repeal bill, which was brought by opposition leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson and which received overwhelming support. Only the two parliamentary members appointed by the governor, Lillian Misick and John Phillips, voted against the bill.

This also has raised questions about the letter because, at a press conference held the day after the letter is dated, Ewing acknowledged that it was the governor’s constitutional right to veto the legislation.

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