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103 Days since the TCI General Elections; A Review of the Results



#TurksandCaicos, June 2, 2021 – Only time will tell if the newly elected, Washington Misick-led Progressive National Party government will manage to keep voters as enamoured throughout their term as they were on voting day.  When the dust had settled, the tally revealed that the PNP captured 14 of the 15 electoral districts in a record-setting win for the yellow party on General Election day, February 19, 2021.

The victory is aptly described as an avalanche of a win for the PNP; a second time for Washington Misick as democratically elected leader of the Turks and Caicos Islands and a resounding rejection of the People’s Democratic Movement, led by first woman premier, Sharlene Robinson.

In the Coronavirus pandemic, voter turn-out figures were expected to be lower than in previous years due to the threat of the contagion. In the Turks and Caicos, health protocols established by the Elections Office worked well; no outbreak was reported at any polling station.

Prior to the pandemic, voter apathy was anticipated to be high.  The Elector’s List, which could have swelled to around 10,000 voters grew by only 849 people between the General Elections of 2016 and 2021. 

In the 2016 election, there were 7,732 voters registered. In 2021, there were 8,581 people registered to cast votes.

As Opposition Leader, Charles Washington Misick dismissed the narrative of voter disinterest and it seems he was onto something.  The 2021 slate of candidates for the PNP proved to be attractive; drawing 55 per cent of the popular vote in the constituencies and taking all five of the All Island seats in the at-large category.

What the Polls Reveal

Turks and Caicos Elections Office at this stage does not categorise voters who are voting.  While demographically there is a break down in voters by sex, age and residential district; there is no dissection or distinction of voters at polling time. 

What we do know, in reviewing the official results published on February 21, 2021 is 2,121 voters were a no-show.  One quarter of the voters stayed home; leaving the job of deciding the political future of the Turks and Caicos to 6,460 people or 22 per cent of the overall population of the islands.

We also know that voter turn-out was lowest in Blue Hills, with 65 per cent participation; a staggering 349 voters did not turn out.

Here, Randy Howell of the PNP ended a two-term run for Goldray Ewing; and did something which was rare for his party.  He won a PDM stronghold; only the second time in election history – according to – this had been accomplished by a PNP Candidate.

The Cheshire Hall & Richmond Hill district, which is the most populous constituency, also recorded one of the lowest voter turn-outs at 69 per cent and 407 voters staying home.  Douglas Parnell, former leader of the PDM was topped by Sammy Been; a former MP and Cabinet Minister who had previously won in Grand Turk.

All, but two other electoral districts were in the 70 percentile range when participation was rated.  North and Middle Caicos (ED-4) had the highest voter turn-out at 86 per cent.  South Caicos (ED-3) followed closely with a voter turn-out of 85 per cent. 

Both seats were captured by the Progressive National Party candidates; Arlington Musgrove in Electoral District 4 and John Malcolm in Electoral District 3, respectively. 

The highest participation by voters on the islands of Grand Turk and Providenciales were also to the PNP. 

Grand Turk North, (ED-1) supported Otis Morris on the PNP ticket.  Morris ran in a constituency which had voted for the PNP in the preceding run-off but for George Lightbourne.  Lightbourne departed the PNP months earlier; it was not an amicable parting and one which escalated to litigation over how the new leadership of the PNP was selected; not elected. 

George Lightbourne entered the political fray of the 2021 General Elections as an independent candidate in the All-Island category where he secured the third highest number of votes; 162 behind Courtney Missick, who had 280 votes and Jacqueline Lightbourne who performed best among independents and had 300 votes.  

PNP Sweeps in Provo

Three-time Member of Parliament and a former Deputy Premier; Akierra Missick continued to make a strong impression on her district:  Leeward & Long Bay or ED-5. 

Electoral District 5 had the best turn-out in Providenciales; just under 80 per cent participation with 182 voters missing out. Of the 709 votes cast, Misick secured 460 nods of approval for a third term in the House of Assembly.

In the closest race, which also became the most grueling one for those counting and re-counting the ballots; Electoral District 10 was the biggest upset.

Exit poll interviews exposed that newbie, Kyle Knowles, invigorated younger voters. He had 697 people to sway in the months leading to the General Election.  Not an easy task, as these were electors known for being staunchly and consistently in support of the PDM and its incumbent, Delroy Williams. 

With three voters over his political rival, at least two of whom had turned up in the final hours of the polling day, which closed to Covid-19 free electors at 6 p.m., Knowles pulled off the victory.  It was a complete sweep for the Progressive National Party in Providenciales. 

Although 159 voters did not participate in Wheeland or ED-10, voter turn-out was at 78 per cent, considerably above average.

It concluded with Knowles getting 273 votes to Williams’ 270.

Never before in the history of the islands had a party won so firmly against its contender. 

PNP Party Leader and now Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, C. Washington Misick described the results as a strong show of support for his party, the deep level of disappointment in the now ejected party and a commanding message from the people of the TCI, to get to work.

May 30, 2021 marked 100 days since the February 19 General Elections in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Bahamas News

Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean  leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues.  Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.

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Caribbean News

CARPHA Observes World No Tobacco Day



Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, June 5, 2023 –   Tobacco use remains a major public health concern in the Caribbean Region. There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. The use of tobacco products in any form harms nearly every organ of the body, irrespective of whether it is smoked, smokeless, or electronic.  Of all the forms of tobacco use, most common in the Caribbean region is cigarette smoking.   Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for this disease.

Second-hand smoke exposure causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults; and acute respiratory infections and severe asthma in children. It is a preventable risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are the leading cause of death, disease and disability among Caribbean people.

This year, World No Tobacco Day focuses on Grow Food, Not Tobacco. This campaign advocates for ending tobacco cultivation and switching to more sustainable crops that improve food security and nutrition. The campaign observed annually on 31 May, also informs the public on the dangers of direct use, and exposure to tobacco.

In the Caribbean Region, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death and disability – 76.8% of the total deaths (non-Latin Caribbean, excluding Haiti) were due to NCDs in 2016. Cardiovascular diseases 30.8% and cancer 17.2% are the leading causes of death due to NCD, both linked to tobacco use. Many of these persons die in the prime of their lives before the age of 70 years old. The prevalence of smokers for overall tobacco products ranged from 57.2% prevalence (95%CI 48.4 to 65.4%) to 16.2% (95%CI 11.2 to 23.0%). According to the Report on Tobacco Control in the Region of the Americas (2018) Caribbean countries have the highest levels of tobacco experimentation before the age of 10.

Dr. Joy St. John, Executive Director at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) “Smokeless does not mean harmless.  Nicotine in e-cigarettes is a highly addictive drug and can damage children’s developing brains.  Children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes at least double their chance of smoking cigarettes later in life.  Preventing tobacco product use among youth is therefore critical.  It is important that we educate children and adolescents about the harms of nicotine and tobacco product use. We must work to prevent future generations from seeing such products as “normal”.”

In 2008, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) endorsed the recommendation to ban smoking in public spaces.  Later, in 2012, CARICOM regulated a standard for labelling retail packages of tobacco products with health warnings. Caribbean civil society organisations (CSOs), working in collaboration with local governments and international partners, have led the charge in fighting for significant gains in tobacco control in the Caribbean region.

Dr Heather Armstrong, Head, Chronic Disease and Injury: “At CARPHA, we believe that reducing the harm caused by tobacco use requires a collective approach, where government, civil society, and the individual play a critical role. CARPHA promotes the prevention of tobacco use in all forms and commitment to the WHO FCTC. The focus on tobacco control deals with the youth of the Region.   Children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes at least double their chance of smoking cigarettes later in life.”

The Chronic Diseases and Injury Department of CARPHA provides leadership, strategic direction, coordinates and implements technical cooperation activities directed towards the prevention and control of NCDs in CARPHA Member States. CARPHA’s message for prevention of tobacco product use has spread across its Member States.

In 2018, CARPHA in partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Global Health Diplomacy Program at the University of Toronto, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Healthy Caribbean Coalition evaluated the Port of Spain Declaration to learn which mandates helped to prevent and control NCDs. Taxation, smoke-free public places mandate, and mandatory labelling of tobacco products are some of the leading policies making the biggest impact on reduction of tobacco use in the Caribbean regions.

CARPHA urges Member States to work together to prevent and reduce the use of all forms of tobacco products, and scale-up efforts to implement their commitments under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).  By doing so, the negative impact of smoking and its consequences on the health of our people, especially the younger generation, and the tremendous burden on the economies of the countries in our Region, will greatly be reduced.

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Caribbean News

Hunger rates rise in Latin America and the Caribbean



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



June 5, 2023 – It’s an unfortunate reality for Latin America and the Caribbean as the number of people suffering from hunger surged by 30 percent;  56 million people now facing hunger, a large increase from 43 million in 2019.

It was revealed by Mario Lubetkin,  Deputy Director General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), where he further informed that the war in Ukraine, COVID-19, and the ongoing climate crisis are to blame for the surge.

Regarding the climate crisis, he emphasized that climate related challenges are on the rise as the region experiences combinations of droughts and floods; and to combat this, he expressed that proactive measures should be put in place to prepare farmers for potential severe impacts.

To help mitigate the surge in hunger rate, he put forth a three fold approach.

The first is the importance of effectively managing the current situation by whatever means necessary; for the second, he fingered the need for the creation of sufficient funds to mitigate the impact on farmers, for the third, he highlighted the need for collaboration among Governments, public sectors, and private sectors in order to mollify the burden of rising prices on consumers.

These highlighted efforts are in line with the aspirations and duties of the FAO which is devoted to supporting family farming, which makes up 80 percent of the workforce in the Agriculture sector.

Additionally, Lubetkin spoke of FAO’s commitment to quality products and brought attention to the United Nations Decade of Family Farming, which is geared towards  eradicating hunger, ensuring food security, and promoting sustainable development in rural areas.

The organization also aims to enhance food security, a needed element in the regions, through innovation and digitization processes for example “1,000 digital villages,” one of their projects  aids countries in using  digital tools in agri-food systems and rural territories.

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