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Advanced Voting proposed for upcoming TCI Elections; Coronavirus patients to have separate polling

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Dudley Lewis, TCI Elections Supervisor

#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 22, 2020 — Amid fears of rapid Covid-19 spread on the voting day, the Elections Department proposed advance polling for Coronavirus patients and those in quarantine centres to curb the possible spread of the deadly virus.

According to a statement by the Department of Elections, those who have tested positive for Coronavirus, and quarantined, will be permitted to vote a day before the general elections late this year or early next year.

The proposed amendments to the Election Ordinance prescribes several measures to avert the risk of a rapid spread of the virus during the polling process.

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In light of the Coronavirus presence in the island region, the amendment to the TCI Election Ordinance aims at maintaining voters’ safety during the pandemic.

In the statement sent to the public on October 13, 2020, the Supervisor of Elections Dudley Lewis urged members of the public to provide feedback through hard copies or email addresses provided in the statement.

According to the statement sent out last week, voters who wish to vote should apply for approval from the supervisor within ten days of the statement.

The statement further explained any individual approved by the supervisor to vote in the advance poll would enjoy full support and rights, identical to those upheld on general election day expected late this year or early 2021.   

However, the approved voters will be required to authenticate their approval to participate in the advance polls or be denied the chance to vote at the advanced poll.

“A voter who is approved to vote at an Advance Poll shall be allowed to vote in like manner as he would have been entitled to do on the day appointed for taking the poll, except that he shall not be allowed to vote at advance poll unless he produces proof of approval to vote at Advance Poll,” reads part of the statement.

The elections supervisor also stated that there are safety protocols in place instituted by the top Medical Officer in a bid to control and regulate Coronavirus positive voters and those in the quarantine facilities.

Additional safety protocols have also been established for voters diagnosed with Coronavirus, and those under quarantine are hopeful of participating in the advance polls.

The Proposed Safety Protocols

According to the Department of Elections statement, any voter tested positive or from quarantine who wishes to take part in upcoming advance polls should make and submit an appeal to the Elections Supervisor within ten days from the day the statement was issued, but not later.

When the request is accepted, the voter should inform the officials from the Ministry of Health about his/her intention to go to the polling station before leaving the isolation facility for the officers to prepare.

Besides that, the voter will also be required to produce proof of permission to participate in the advance polls before gaining access to the polling station.

Additionally, the voter should use a private or personal car to go to the polling station.

While at the station, he or she must put on an N95 or KN95 mask covering the mouth and nose, gloves, face shield, and a disposable gown.

The voter should also keep a physical distance of at least six feet from others at the station as much as is practical.

Moreover, the advanced safety protocols state that the voter should comply with all other protocols set at the station and wash their hands with soap for at least 20-seconds to kill any covid-19 virus that might have come into contact with the hands.

General Election training; file photo

Also, traveling to and from the quarantine facilities by the voters is restricted to direct routes only, and the voter should return to the isolation centres immediately after casting a vote.

After the polling exercise is over, the used polling stations will undergo deep cleaning in preparation for the main polling day.

If the proposal is approved, the advance election polling process is expected to kick-off at 8.00 AM and wrap up at 4.00 PM.

Consultation on the proposal concluded October 21.

By Magnetic Media Editorial Department

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PDM Party announces date for Official Launch of All Island Candidates

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#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Movement, Ezra Taylor on Friday March 1 announced that “During this crucial time in our country, our people need leadership that will address the needs of our country. The People’s Democratic Movement is ready willing and able under the proven, caring, and trusted leadership of the Hon. Edwin Astwood, assisted by a dynamic group of candidates, who together, will forge a future where Turks and Caicos Islanders will feel safe, and be true beneficiaries of the resources of our economy.”

The PDM informed: after an extensive exercise conducted by the People’s Democratic Movement and much anticipation by the electorate, we are pleased to announce to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands that an official launch of our All-Island candidates will take place on March 22, 2024, at 7:30pm, venue to be announced.

Secondly, the official launch of our constituency candidates will take place during the month of April 2024. The people of the Turks and Caicos Islands will be able to witness the launch of our candidates via The People’s Democratic Movement’s various social media platforms, and in person

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Another Poor Judgment by Premier Misick, says Sean Astwood

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#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – Sean Astwood, former Deputy Premier says with the firing of E. Jay Saunders, the Deputy Premier and MoF, current Premier Charles Washington Misick has put himself in another compromising position.

With an ongoing investigation before the Integrity Commission alleging a serious conflict of interest for a Gaming Amendment Bill, brought to the HOA by the Premier, when Gaming Commission fell under the Former Minister of Finance, the choice of the Premier to make himself the Minister of Gaming is troubling. The Gaming Commission falls under the Ministry of Finance and will undoubtedly receive directives from its Minister who now, conveniently, is the Premier.

I am extremely concerned as to what directives the Premier will be issuing to staff of the Gaming Commission that could potentially interfere with the ongoing Integrity Commission investigation. With seven other ministers as a part of his ministerial team and the ability to appoint a new minister to replace his former deputy, the Premier should have used better judgment and select a different ministry to oversee or continue to oversee none at all, as he has been doing for the past three years. It is now even more important for the Integrity Commission and the Governor to pay closer attention to the Gaming Commission and conduct a full review of that body since its inception to date.

This cannot be an oversight by a Premier who has been involved in politics for decades. The consistent poor judgement by this current Premier is both disappointing and disturbing and should have every voter wondering if he truly came for this “wuk” or did he just comeback for something else, as many believe.

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“Move on” from the PNP says PDM National Chairman Taylor 

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – “There is obviously a great deal of internal conflicts going on within the PNP party,” says Ezra Taylor, PDM Party National Chairman in a new open letter following leadership challenges and changes affecting the Progressive National Party, PNP in the aftermath of a spirited National General Council (NGC) meeting.

In the February 27 letter, Taylor speculated on why there were so many hands vying for top spot of the PNP.

“There can be no doubt after this past weekend that there are large and different factions within the PNP party that are dissatisfied with the Hon. Misick’s leadership and are seeking a change in direction and leadership is a straight up power struggle. Three different members of his party challenged him inclusive of the most recent past Campaign Chairman and his current deputy leader.  This is an indictment on his leadership or the lack thereof,” Taylor maintained.

The PDM executive maintained that it does not bode well for Misick’s chances at the polls in upcoming elections.

“A challenge with such large support this close to the general elections also indicates that there are many members and supporters of the PNP who do not believe that Hon Misick can take the PNP successfully through the next general elections.”

Taylor echoed sentiments shared by other residents speculating that the leadership challenge was just a symptom of much larger cracks in the party.

“How will they function / govern moving forward with the hatred and mistrust that they all are feeling for each other?  With the challenges facing our people and our country, we the people cannot allow this Washington Misick led government to be re-elected,” Taylor maintained.

He also had his own suggestions  about what could have caused the rift,

“The challenge may indicate underlying tensions or disagreements within the party, some say over leadership styles others say over certain actions Premier Misick has taken like the Write off for Provo Water Company that seemingly was the major issue between Premier Misick and Hon. Akierra Missick that resulted in her abrupt firing as a Minister.  Now to more recently the move to quickly passing the Gaming Bills in the Deputy Premier’s absence noting that those bills fell directly under the remit of the Hon Saunders.  We are also understanding that there are also serious tensions in the PNP’s camp over the airport deal and who will be the one/s eventually benefiting from it.  Speculation is that this tension has been the main reason the process has been moving so slowly.”

None of these reasons have been substantiated publicly.

Taylor maintains that ‘for the perseveration of our people and country we must move on from this Government.’

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