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THE BRITISH ARE HERE! TCI officially under British direct rule

Premier Galmo Williams, one of the strong opponents to the changes, condemned the move.
Premier Galmo Williams, one of the strong opponents to the changes, condemned the move.

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands, August 14, 2009 - The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is from today officially under British direct rule, with Governor Gordon Wetherell signing a proclamation suspending sections of the country's constitution for the next two years.

The move comes just two days after former premier Michael Misick lost his bid to try to challenge the move when the Court of Appeal in London dismissed his appeal and paved the way for the takeover to go into effect.

"Following the decision in the Court of Appeal in London on 12th August and on the instruction of UK Ministers, I 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," Governor Wetherell said in a statement.

With immediate effect, Ministerial government and the House of Assembly have also been suspended, meaning that Cabinet will no longer exist and the House of Assembly is dissolved and MPs' seats are vacated.

"The constitutional right to trial by jury is also suspended with immediate effect. In accordance with the Order in Council, this will be for a period of two years, subject to extension or abbreviation as necessary," added the Governor who will be responsible for the government for the two-year period.

Wetherell has also appointed Martin Stanley as Chief Executive to head the TCI public service.

He added that he would also soon appoint an Advisory Council and a Consultative Forum and "announce the membership and rules of business of these two new bodies in the next few days".

"After a long and frustrating period of waiting and delay, we can finally move ahead together towards a fresh start for the Islands. Our goal is to make a clean break from the mistakes of the past by establishing a durable path towards good governance, sound financial management and sustainable development," Governor Wetherell said.

"This is not a British takeover. Although, as I said in my statement of 2nd July, I have appointed experts to work in areas of concern highlighted in the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry, the TCI public service will continue to exercise their normal functions. Public services will continue to be run by people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as indeed they should be. But I hope we can now begin to run them better," he added.

Promise of elections in 2011

Posted : August 16, 2009 4:16 am
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