#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 22, 2020 — PNP leader, Washington Misick has called for resistance against, what he described as ‘the UK agenda’ by making the process of gaining citizenship in Turks and Caicos more rigorous.
In response to the FAC report entitled: ‘Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship’ that includes the latest pronouncement of the UK of its intentions for the Overseas Territories on important issues, the opposition leader asks Turks and Caicos Islanders to petition the Governor. Hon Misick also admonishes voters to push for the draft points criteria which are meant to supplement the requirements of the Ordinance for public consultation to be published.
In order for anyone to vote for any cultural, social and economic change that is significant for the enlargement of the franchise, they must have Islander Status under the Turks and Caicos Islands Islander Status Ordinance 2015.
Currently, the Islander Status is acquired by right or by grant. According to Misick, many Turks and Caicos Islanders are concerned about the acquisition by grant.
Hon. Misick suggested that the amendment to the Turks and Caicos Islands Islander Status Bill that was approved on January 8 be replaced with one that accounts for the current trend and the need to protect the interest of heritage Turks and Caicos Islanders.
He argued that at minimum, subsidiary legislation should have rigidified the assessment criteria, suggesting that all applicants should stand before the Commission in person especially because of the large number of applications that were received between 2016 and 2018.
The Opposition Leader is also concerned by how the system’ favours’ the financially influential, which he believes potentially side-lines others with otherwise substantial contributions.
Hon. Misick has condemned the Government for ‘bending over backwards and putting the system through legal contortions just to accomplish the UK’s agenda’ but having what he believes is a completely dissimilar assertiveness laced with ‘excuses and roadblocks’ when it is time for the UK to assist and deliver to the people of these islands.
“With all of the challenges faced by the Government and the hardships of the people the Government is caving into the dictates of the UK to expand the franchise with the expressed intention to alter the political hegemony in the interest of those who already have control of the economy,” he said.
Furthermore, Hon. Misick recommends that the Commission adopt rules to undertake a comprehensive interview of each applicant to determine whether the granting of Status to them is in the Public Interest, and in particular meet the criteria set out in Section 4 (7) of the Ordinance.
This, he said, is because the public is allegedly anxious over the fact that there is now an inverse relationship between the economic development of the islands and the social development of the local people.
Hon. Misick, the former Minister of Finance in the 2012-2016 PNP Administration thinks the Commission does not respect the Ordinance, however, they have been “advised by the AG Chambers that it has a quorum in the absence of a fully constituted membership”.
The Opposition Leader explains, “people who apply for Status have nothing to worry about. People who have made TCI their home and have shown that they are committed to “inclusive prosperity and camaraderie with the people of the islands” deserve to be granted Status. It is the people who have no respect for the culture, people or place who do not deserve to be granted status and who the rigid process is supposed to pick out.
Washington Misick, in the statement issued October 13 said the Opposition will not participate in any process which advances the Commission; restating the need for the draft points criteria for public consultation to be published.
By Magnetic Media Editorial Department