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PDM downplays leadership challenge; Parnell tells Premier “thank you”

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File Photo from PDM Rally during 2016 General Elections

#Providenciales, September 11, 2020 — The People’s Democratic Movement has toned down the glaring truth about this weekend and a party leadership challenge announced as the highlight of the PDM’s 2020 National Convention; that a faction of the party believes it is time for a new captain at the helm of the PDM ship.

In mere hours, the individual who will lead the People’s Democratic Movement into the next Turks and Caicos general election will have been decided by delegates in this weekend’s caucus.

On Monday, the PDM announced a National Convention was slated for September 11-12; however little else was said about what is now shaping up to be a momentous meeting due partly to the coronavirus pandemic and largely to the fact that party leader and sitting premier, Sharlene Robinson is being challenged for that party post by Douglas Parnell.

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Robinson is the first female leader of the Opposition, of the PDM party and of the Turks and Caicos Islands.  In both the 2012 and 2016 general elections she enjoyed enormous popularity among voters; ranking at the top of the all-island candidates at the polls.

This fact has not fazed Doug Parnell, the PDM National Chairman who unseated the PNP in the Richmond and Cheshire Hall constituency in 2016.  Parnell has served as leader of the party before, during the constitutional suspension and UK interim administration of the TCI from 2009 to 2012.

In a six-minute video presentation shared on social media , Parnell gently speaks about a 15-year career where he has faced off with a giant-sized government administration; led the PDM through a global recession; speaks to his service in parliament over the past four years and gives thanks to Sharlene Robinson, “for leading us at this time…”. 

“It goes without saying, that I believe I have a fresh perspective in which to offer, a fresh perspective on the challenges we face which if accepted will aide our party in challenging successfully the next general election and winning and I do believe that going forward with the challenges we face, that I am better able to lead this party as well as lead the country through very difficult, difficult times ahead,” said Parnell in the statement which debuted September 10.

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Parnell concludes the video by saying the pandemic requires a greater sense of urgency and action.  The national chairman told viewers, he can offer that.

Other media comments have strangely uncharacteristic of the feisty, charismatic politician which usually is Doug Parnell.  A conspicuous fact given the gravity of the maneuver which happens within striking distance of a general election being called and while his incumbent challenger holds the country’s top elected office.

Even the Premier seems atypically mellow in speaking to the TCI Sun Newspaper; her usual sizzle is missing in her statements to the newspaper.  Instead the Premier offers that she was respectfully informed of the challenge, welcomed it as a sign that democracy is alive within the PDM and essentially expressed the contest is not a big deal.

There has been no response to a string of questions directed at the national chairman by Magnetic Media about how the convention will unravel. 

COVID-19 protocols have capped gatherings to between 10 and 25 people; require physical distancing measures are applied and restrict evening activity in Providenciales to within an 8pm public health curfew.

How will the nominations be made?  How will the votes be cast and tallied? How will the delegates who represent 10 districts from different islands in the chain participate when inter-island travel is restricted? And if there is a virtual session forced by the coronavirus stringencies; will it meet the thresholds of fairness, transparency and constitutionality?

We spoke to some delegates who informed that the convention was a surprise and that many party branches are caught off guard and are therefore disorganized.

The PDM is holding the weekend conclave under the theme:  “Victory Ahead.”

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Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

TCI News

Joint Operations Result in Interception of Illegal Migrants in Providenciales

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#RoyalTCIPolice, #Providenciales, June 10, 2024 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force intercepted an illegal sloop transporting SIXTY-SIX (66) irregular migrants on the evening of June 9th, 2024.

The detained group, comprising FIFTY-FIVE (55) males and ELEVEN (11) females, was
intercepted in TCI waters and handed over to the TCI Immigration Task Force for processing.

On June 8th, the Marine Branch of the RTCIPF intercepted a blue and white fibreglass boat
carrying thirty-two (32) irregular migrants.

The boat was spotted 27 miles east of South Caicos and found to be transporting twenty-six (26)
males and six (6) females. The irregular migrants were handed over to Immigration for
processing.

These successful interdictions came following information obtained from a US Customs and
Border Force aircraft.

A joint operation conducted on June 7th has led to the detention of irregular migrants in Blue
Hills. Acting on the information received, authorities detained forty-eight (48) individuals
running along a beach.

Officers conducted extensive searches of surrounding areas, and tragically, the body of a female
was found at Pigeon Pound. Further investigations are ongoing, but it is believed the incident is
linked to a vessel attempting to enter the country illegally.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (Specialist Tactical Operations) Mat Newton states, “I
wish to thank all law enforcement agencies for their invaluable assistance in intercepting illegal
sloops attempting to enter the TCI. Your dedication and collaboration have been instrumental in
ensuring national security and protecting our borders. Our Radar, Marine and Drone units, the
TCI Regiment, the Immigration Task Force, and the Customs Department conducted the
operations.

“The RTCIPF strongly condemns the attempts to enter the TCI illegally. Such actions violate the
law and pose severe risks to life, especially in adverse weather conditions.

“We urge those facilitating and encouraging these illegal attempts to consider the severe
consequences. Do not risk your life or the lives of others by embarking on such perilous
journeys.

“I am also grateful to those people from our communities who report suspicious activity relating
to illegal migration and would urge the public to continue keeping us informed.”
The RTCIPF asks the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime
Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to anonymously provide any information on
illegal entry into the TCI.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crimestoppers P3 app to share
information anonymously.

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Caribbean News

TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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Crime

Male Charged With Murder

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#TurksandCaicos, June 7, 2024 – A 29-year-old male has been charged with the murder of BUTLER BRAVE PROPHETE. KERLY AGENOR, of Dock Yard, Providenciales, was charged today (June 06th) following advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In addition to the murder, the accused faces the following charges:

  • Possession of a Firearm
  • Possession of Ammunition
  • Discharge of a Firearm
  • Discharge of Ammunition

The charges against Mr. AGENOR state that on March 05th, 2024, in Providenciales, he murdered Mr. PROPHETE, Contrary to Section 3 of the Offenses Against the Person Ordinance Chapter 3.08.

At the time of his death, Mr. Prophete, 22, of Wheeland, Providenciales, was exiting his workplace on the Lower Bight and was shot dead.

Mr AGENOR remains in custody pending a Sufficiency Hearing.

In a brief statement, Superintendent in charge of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence Dean Holden said: “I wish to thank the officers of the Serious Crime Unit for their dedication and commitment in bringing this case to a charge. Further, I wish to reassure the public and families that the RTCIPF is committed to bringing prosecutions against perpetrators and, when possible, closure to persons who have lost loved ones to these senseless homicides”.

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