#Providenciales, March 1, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A meet and greet today will be the green light for the Opposition Progressive National Party, as it hopes to emerge from the weekend with an entirely new slate of elected officers.
Three men have offered for leadership of the party, which suffered dismal loss at the polls in the 2016 General Elections to the People’s Democratic Movement.
Leader at the time, now former Premier Rufus Ewing resigned once the official results were in and the party has sailed along without an official captain ever since.
Washington Misick has been hailed a hero of the PNP for taking up the mantle in the House of Assembly, as the party’s leader of business there; he was even named 2018 Person of the Year by the Turks and Caicos Weekly Newspaper.
By Saturday night, the ballots should be counted and the near 130 delegates from across the archipelago would have voted to determine if it will be George Lightbourne, current MP for Grand Turk North; Rev John Malcolm, pastor and former at large candidate in 2016 or former Border Control and Employment Minister, Donhue Gardiner who will be positioned at the helm.
This is the first National Congress for the PNP since 2016. At that time, the candidates were far more controversial and historic decisions were made about who could and could not offer in the executive race. It led to a splintering of the party.
While individuals like Michael Misick, Akierra Missick, E Jay Saunders, Josephine Connolly and Jamell Robinson have had their names floated as possible contenders for the leader post; none of them has offered for the coveted job. Rufus Ewing, the immediate past leader informed in a cell phone video, that he will not try again for PNP leader, at this time.
A deadline for entry was set for nominations but it remains unclear if the PNP constitution allows for an override of that deadline, so as to widen the pool and welcome late nominees.
It is said that Michael Misick has his eyes, again, on the post of Chairman. Royal Robinson, who is the party’s appointed member in the House of Assembly and current National Chairman, will not be returning to that role according to reports reaching Magnetic Media.
Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Treasurer, Party Whip and Chaplain are all to be voted upon; the deputy leader is appointed by the leader.
The business session for the PNP’s National Congress will be held at the Shore Club and begins at 9 a.m.; by this afternoon, the delegates will be allowed to cast their votes. On Sunday, the PNP will attend worship at Faith Tabernacle church.
The PNP will return this evening to its headquarters on Airport Road, Providenciales, which is still undergoing repairs after being hammered in the hurricanes of 2017.