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TCI Parliament must dissolve in 11 weeks; Elections could still be months away as PNP demands a date

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – October 18, 2020 — The Turks and Caicos Islands, according to its constitution has to dissolve the House of Assembly within the next 11 weeks; Leader of the Opposition (LOO) Washington Misick is using this premise to demand a date for the next national polling.

“This Government has less than 11 weeks to the four-year anniversary of their election, 13 weeks before the date for an election must be announced, and the House of Assembly must be dissolved. In percentage terms, this government is 93% through its allotted term.”

Premier Sharlene Robinson has however, expressed that she will not be rushed in her prerogative to name the next voting day.

It could still be months before a general election is actually held in these islands.  The TCI Constitution Order 2011 establishes that an election cannot happen before 35 days after the dissolution of parliament.  It also gives the Premier, any premier, three months from the date of dissolution to actually state what will be the general election day. 

In other words, the Turks and Caicos Islands could be well into March 2021 before any general election is held.   

PNP Leader Misick, in a September 24 statement said Premier Sharlene Robinson would be ‘illegitimately’ making long term fiscal decisions if indeed a slew of measures announced were to come to fruition.  The actions are touted as critical financial strategies the Turks and Caicos will take in order to ride out the Covid-19 imposed recession. 

“For this Government to have squandered the last six months, and now to negotiate such a long-term commitment that will tie the hands of the next Government, is clearly unacceptable. There is also the undeniable fact that this Government is negotiating this significant obligation with one eye on the upcoming election, and may be more pre-occupied to get it done quickly, rather than get the best possible deal.

PNP members in a Elections Commission seminar, file photo

 I do not believe the UK Government should allow this significant lending to be passed in the dying days of this administration. The answer is simply to call the election now, allow the people to make their choice, and let the winning party negotiate the lending, knowing they will have to live with the terms for the next four years,” said Hon. Misick.

The PNP Leader has been shepherding his flock toward increasingly vigorous campaign activities including: rallies; door-to-door visitations by its ratified candidates; erection of street signs and the announcement in August of its general election campaign manager:  Jas Walkin.

JAS Walkin; PNP announced on August 25, Walkin of North Caicos would be its National Campaign manager

The fifth all-island elected member, who is also the immediate past finance minister said the PDM Administration cannot take credit for the tens of millions of dollars which it has been able to access amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“I said in the House of Assembly, that no one should confuse good luck with good management. I also pointed out that the $25M in the Capital Wealth Fund was not there through prudent management, but because of a law passed by the PNP Government to put money aside in good years. And finally, that $80M is reserved because of a requirement under the PFM. So, the majority of cash available left at the end of last year was not the result of prudent cash management, but luck, a law that the PNP introduced, and the PFM,” said the LOO in his press statement.

As the country’s constitutionally entrenched watch-dog, the LOO warned the premier about using her office to sway voters.

“I am especially concerned about the method of the food relief distribution announced by the Premier. It would be unfortunate if it were used as a political weapon ahead of the election – as it currently appears to be happening with small contract awards – especially in Grand Turk.  Perhaps the Governor should be concerned about this as well.”

The country’s last general election date was announced on October 27, 2016, when former Premier Rufus Ewing (PNP) dissolved parliament. 

Seven weeks later on December 15, Sharlene Robinson, the PDM Party Leader became the first woman premier.  Hon Robinson’s first House of Assembly meeting as the new premier was two weeks later, on December 29, 2016.

The TCI constitution outlines that the House of Assembly has to be dissolved four years from the December 29, 2016 date.

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EXCLUSIVE!  Police black CID Vehicle shot up by bandits in Five Cays

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Wilkie Arthur

Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 15, 2024 – It was an uneasy night on Tuesday May 14 for some residents of Five Cays, Providenciales owing to continuous, serious fire power with gun shots blaring in various areas of the community.

Some say they heard shots in Granny Hill and reported a man walking around with a gun, randomly shooting at unidentifiable targets. Some say shots were heard behind the Enid Capron Primary School.  Some say they heard gun shot sounds coming from a residential area as well.

The most compelling accounts, however, were on reported events in another area called “The Wells”; a community in the depths of Five Cays and South Dock.

Criminals took on law enforcement in a gun battle involving the armored truck and a CID vehicle.

No members of the Royal TCI Police were hit.

Not the same for the other side.  One person was hit, a young man not known to police and it’s not clear if he was one of the men shooting at the police or an innocently caught in the crossfire.

The man was arrested as a possible suspect.  He is also in hospital with an “entrance and exit” gunshot wound.

During the shootout in The Wells, the CID vehicle was shot at repeatedly, disabling its movement as gunfire damaged the engine. Concerning to us, these shootings were at different times and locations but came in rapid succession; one right after the other, I was told.

Most described the sounds as coming “from some big guns.”

Police the morning after allowed me in to see up close.

Video, photos feature my EXCLUSIVE, close-up look at the damage done by criminals; it is clear high powered rifles were used by these suspects still at large.

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Charred Remains Found in Back Seat of Completely Burnt Vehicle

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Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Correspondent

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – A gruesome discovery was made around midday today (Sunday, May 19th, 2024) when police and fire rescue teams responded to a call at a location on Blue Hills Back Road, off Millennium Highway. The area, situated next to the Fortis Sub-Station, is accessible via a long, secluded dirt road.

Upon arrival, authorities found a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. The vehicle was later removed by police after being alerted by an anonymous source to its burnt-out location. Local residents indicated that the fire had been ignited around 2-3 a.m. earlier that morning, but authorities were not notified until later in the day.

Residents could not provide details about the individual inside the vehicle or even discern its color due to the extensive damage caused by the fire. Videos of the discovery location are available, but footage of the vehicle itself will be provided once it has been located. The vehicle was reportedly still burning when police arrived at the scene.

Official Royal TCI Police Report:

Media Release – May 19th, 2024: Active Investigation Officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) are currently on the scene of a vehicle fire in the Blue Hills, Providenciales area. Acting on received information, officers arrived at the location along North Side Close and discovered a burnt vehicle with what appeared to be a body inside.
The RTCIPF is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the circumstances of this incident. As this is an active investigation, more details will be provided to the public as they become available.

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Caribbean News

NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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