Sean Astwood is resigning frontline politics, saying he will step aside as interim leader and deputy leader to allow the People’s Democratic Movement the opportunity to re-invent itself.
“As the PDM continues to reengineer, reimagine, rethink, reboot and reconnect with the wonderful people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I want to assure the Official Opposition Leader Hon. Edwin Astwood, the NGC, our various branches, especially the Provo Branch (my home branch), PDMs everywhere and all people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, that I remain committed to the orderly development of our party and country,” said Astwood in a statement issued on Sunday May 30.
The former Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos said he never anticipated rising to such ranks in his early days as a member of the People’s Democratic Movement, but is grateful for his experiences in the political arena.
“As a believer in the Party of JAGS MCCartney I started this political journey nearly two decades ago. Initially, as political neophyte who always assisted people but never contemplated political service. My journey began with great hope and soon what I thought, at the time, was a devastating legal and political defeat. Since then, this journey with its many ups and down has afforded me to raise to the position within the party politically as Interim Leader and from governance standpoint of Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands holding multiple Ministerial posts. This journey has provided me a profound appreciation for the beauty and potential of our country and its people.”
One day from commemorating the impact of the first chief minister and founding father of his party, the People’s Democratic Movement and Rt Most Excellent JAGS McCartney; Sean Astwood has decided that on June 4, 2021 his resignation should take effect.
“I take pride in my membership of the PDM and the outstanding work we have done; especially in the past term in protecting the environment, positively impacting every constituency throughout our islands, particularly through infrastructural works, and our focus on transforming the way Government does business. I am proud of my service in the various capacities over these many years. I do not claim perfection, but I am resolute in my belief that every single day I got up thinking and doing what I could to provide better for all the people of the TCI; and to protect our country and its environs for those yet unborn. On Monday, May 31st, 2021, our Country will be celebrating JAGS McCartney Day, formerly National Heroes Day. We will be celebrating the father of our Nation and of the PDM. As the JAGS McCartney holiday quickly approaches, the party of JAGS must continue to rebuild,” he penned in the statement.
The People’s Democratic Movement suffered a staggering loss at the polls on February 19; the day after its party leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson resigned from the leadership position. Now, 100 days later so does its deputy and interim leader, Sean Astwood.
“As I step aside as Interim Leader and the position as Deputy Leader of the PDM effective this 4th day of June 2021, I know our party will continue to be strong, and represent the people of these beautiful islands, we call home.”
The party has been silent. Holding no media conferences or in person sessions with the wider press core since its 14 to 1 defeat in the 2021 General Election. The PDM lost significant ground; nine seats lured away by the now governing Progressive National Party, even as the PDM held 45 per cent of the vote.
Sean Astwood’s Five Cays and Chalk Sound constituency was one of the major upsets. The two-term member of parliament, who had enjoyed huge popularity just four years prior, was unseated by Rachel Taylor.
“My undying love for our people, our country and our party, the People’s Democratic Movement, will forever burn. My passion for modernizing our government systems, party, and country, I trust, will continue to be advanced as we grow from strength to strength,” he added a thank you, “I am thankful to God and the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands; especially my people of Five Cays, South Dock and Chalk Sound for the wonderful opportunity.”