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TCI: Court Justice reports: Votes Must Count; Two Candidates rank higher, but General Election results unchanged



#TurksandCaicos, June 10, 2021 – Two All Island Candidates got more votes than the final, official results showed and while this will not change the outcome of the general election, it does change how each person finished historically.  Both Jamell Robinson, an all island candidate on the PNP ticket and Karen Malcolm, an all island candidate for the PDM have moved up in placement because a block of voters were left out and off of their final tally.  This was concluded by Justice Carlos Simons, QC who accepted the request of the Governor to review the complaints of not one, but two candidates from the February 19 national poll.

“…His Excellency the Governor asked me to undertake this effort. Summarizing his email correspondence of 26 April and surrounding conversations, he noted the key objectives to be: a) Maintaining public confidence in the accuracy of the electoral process; b) Understanding the details that underpin Hon. Robinson’s complaint and whether and what remedy is/was available, and if there were courses of action open to him under the Ordinance that he could or should have utilized to ensure that this late challenge was not needed; and c) Produce a Report on this basis or any other basis necessary as befitting a matter touching and concerning the Constitution and the democratic process. 10. A day later His Excellency brought to my attention a similar complaint from Hon. Karen Malcolm and asked that I widen the scope of my inquiry to include that, to which I agreed,” outlined Simons in his report, which was made public on June 8, 2021.

 Justice Simons said Turks and Caicos was fortunate, this time around that the discrepancies in tallies for the concerned candidates did not change the overall election results, but strongly advises that changes be made and recommendations taken on how to ensure this never happens again. 

“We are lucky that in neither case was the diminishment of votes sufficient to affect the overall result of the election for either candidate or for their Parties. And in the absence of any evidence of fraud, it seems to me the proper response would be to see how the system can be made less vulnerable such human errors in the future. Before we go there however, I have been asked to consider what remedies the candidates might have availed themselves of under the Ordinance.”

Simons, a former candidate himself said what was most bothersome to him was that voters who would have wanted their voice to be heard in their selection of a candidate would have been missed out, had the candidates not questioned their individual and cumulative results. 

“The entitlement to vote is provided for by s. 55 (5) of the Constitution and s. 10 of the Ordinance. The issue in play in both cases here is important because each miscounted vote, or uncounted vote represents a denial, or at least a distortion of the electors’ right to choose their representatives in the House of Assembly. The fact that the numbers by which the votes of these two candidates were under reported were not sufficient to affect the overall outcome is not relevant to this fundamental consideration.”

In the case of Karen Malcolm, who was on her second run as an at large candidate; her final results after ballot counting left out all of the people who voted for her in North and Middle Caicos or ED4.  All 39 of the votes cast were left off the tally.  It takes her from the recorded 2,491 votes nationally to 2,530; she finishes in sixth place and as the top performing People’s Democratic Movement candidate; a step up from second. 

In the case of Jamell Robinson, he was shorted 82 votes and the shortfall came in The Bight, ED6.  It makes Robinson, as he had claimed, the second best performing candidate not just for the Progressive National Party but overall; falling second to Washington Misick, with his now confirmed 3,500 votes. 

The Governor in releasing the full report concludes that he accepts the findings and conclusions; explaining Justice Simons did the work pro bono.

“I accept all of his conclusions and recommendations as do the Candidates and the Supervisor of Elections.

Of importance to the two ‘All Island Candidates’, and to those who voted for them in two electoral districts, Justice Simons concludes that: Honourable Jamell Robinson and Honourable Karen Malcolm both polled more votes in ED6 and ED4 respectively than were recorded in the final election results.  The accompanying conclusion is also important because had those additional votes impacted the election results, then the impact would be significant.  That conclusion is however that the number of votes made no difference to the election result, in either case,” said the Governor in his statement on the Election Discrepancies Report.

Suggestions have been made by both Robinson and Malcolm on what “guard-rails” could be established to avoid any repeat and “These improvements will therefore be incorporated by the Supervisor of Elections in future elections,” advised Governor Dakin. 

The Governor reiterated, there was no election fraud and that electoral law is uninterested in the ranking of the five all island candidates; only that the top five finishers be counted as members of the House of Assembly and in this case, fortunately, all five of them are.

“In terms of whether the official election result – in terms of numbers polled – can be retrospectively changed, the answer is that it cannot. As far as electoral law is concerned, the Ordinance is entirely uninterested in the relative ranking of ‘All Island Candidates’ save to say they are either in the top five, or they are not.  They win or they lose. They gain a place in the House of Assembly or they do not.  While Justice Simons does not say it, the fact that such rankings may or may not be important in terms of internal party considerations, is not the concern of the law nor, therefore, the Supervisor of Elections or the Courts who must be guided by it. Justice Simons explains in his report the error made no difference to the election result, and that is all the Elections Ordinance seeks to achieve,” explained HE Nigel Dakin in his June 8 statement.  

Caribbean News







April 17, 2024, Montego Bay, Jamaica –  In an intimate ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating Sandals Resorts’ entry into the largely undiscovered destination of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the only Caribbean born superbrand welcomed its first guests to a nature-forward experience brimming with island inspiration and stirring ‘Sandals Firsts’.

Witnessed by government officials, Sandals executives, guests and resort team members, an emerald green ribbon, representative of the island’s flag and lush surroundings, was cut signaling the official opening of Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart, spoke on what the opening of the hotel chain’s 18th resort meant for the brand, the island and the Caribbean at large. “This is a multi-generational act in the making that began with my extraordinary father Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart and Prime Minister Gonsalves many years ago. They flirted heavily about flying the Vincy flag not only here but in all the other islands across the Caribbean that Sandals has its operations. Little did we know that 43 years later the Sandals brand would grow from one 99-room hotel in Montego Bay to a top 500 brand known on the world stage as a super brand. The only Caribbean born commercial super brand known across the United States, Europe and Canada with over 84% brand penetration and recognition,” he shared.

He expounded further on what he dubbed the Sandals Effect, a confluence of things that happen when Sandals comes to town.  “First and foremost, we market the destination, both St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The landscape that makes up this incredible archipelago will benefit. Directly and indirectly for linkages, tour operators, taxi operators, restaurateurs, musicians, farmers, fishers, entrepreneurs, hardware store operators, the entire ecosystem and connectivity we plan to make sure that the entire world knows.”

With Sandals’ expansion to the island, airlift has increased exponentially with more availability on the horizon.  According to Adam Stewart, numerous airlines have adjusted their schedules in anticipation for the demand. “American Airlines used to fly twice per week to and from the Argyle Airport, since April the airline has increase to four times per week and is expected to have daily flights by the end of 2024. Air Canada and Virgin have increased their airlift with JetBlue and United Airlines now flying to the island for the first time.  Nationals and visitors will have the opportunity to fly more conveniently and we will continue to grow. ,” expressed Stewart.

The resort, in May 2024, is expected to host some 300 top travel advisors from around the world, the largest contingent of international travel professionals to ever visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dr. The Honourable, Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in his main address added further credence to the impact Sandals has on his country and the CARICOM community. “During COVID, unemployment went up, there was a decline in economic activity in the region. At the time we also had volcanic eruptions, Sandals came to us with a proposal to recruit Vincentians and send them to their resorts across the Caribbean to be trained. We had to evacuate 20,000 persons with some in shelters for four to six months. Along came a friend in Sandals who said they could ease some of the pressure providing opportunities for 500 people and these little things talk to me about partnership. This might have been small for Sandals but it was a huge thing for us in the condition in which we found ourselves and I want to thank Sandals and Adam.”

“It is an understatement really to call Sandals a brand. It has become an existential part of our Caribbean civilization. This civilization is tailor-made for tourism and Butch Stewart has helped to shape this aspect of the material to help sustain us. I think that when the history of the 20th into the 21st century is written, there would be a towering place for this legend,” The Hon. Gonsalves continued.

In honour of the late Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, Prime Gonsalves in opining that the relationship he enjoyed with the late founder made him “one of us” shared a remarkable plan to celebrate his memory and contributions to tourism and economic development in the region. “The government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines had indicated to Sandals that we will build the road coming to the entrance of the hotel. Having built it, we will call it the Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart Boulevard,” the Prime Minister announced proudly to stirring applause from the audience.

Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines offers 301 rooms and suites across 50 lush-laden acres, authentically embracing its Saint Vincent location with an experience that is as thoughtful as it is meticulously local.

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Sandals Foundation and Partners Install and Commission 750 Gallon Ultra-filtration Water Tank at Enid Capron Primary School





PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands, April 17, 2024 – “Thousands have lived without love, but no one has ever lived without water,” according to poet, W. H. Auden. More than 500 students and teachers at the Enid Capron Primary School in Providenciales stand to benefit from a 750 gallons filtration water tank system valued at almost US$15,000 courtesy of the Sandals Foundation, Beaches Turks and Caicos and SIP Water, distributers of ICON LifeSaver®. The system that was recently installed will be able to use harvested rain water along with its ultra-filtered system to provide potable water.

This project had SIP Water, which is the Caribbean Distributors for ICON LifeSaver®, install and commission the system which was handed over to the administrators of the Sandals Foundation adopted school. ICON LifeSaver® is a British company providing some of the safest, potable water purification solutions in the world through supporting organisations.

Paul Girling, Director of SIP Water says, “This system is able to change untreated, contaminated water into ultra-pure, micro-biologically clean drinking water.  Its multi-filtration system removes all micro plastics, bacteria, protozoan cysts and viruses to a minimum level of 99.99% without the need for any electricity or chemicals”.

Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services and Member of Parliament for the Five Cays area, Hon. Rachel Taylor was present as the system was commissioned. “This is a landmark achievement for the school and the community of Five Cays. This location is an emergency shelter and with the Atlantic Hurricane season not far away, having this in place will serve our students well and by extension, the community. We are grateful for the continued partnership with Sandals Foundation and Beaches Turks and Caicos in giving back to the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Taylor shared.

Beaches Turks and Caicos Managing Director, James McAnally shared, “this project is a giant step towards ensuring the basic necessities in our community are safe and sustainable.  We continue to grow and look at new ways to serve in the areas of education, the community and the environment. This tank will go a long way in helping to improve the quality of life of the children and faculty in the Five Cays community especially during times of disaster.”

Principal at Enid Capron Primary School, Sophia Garland elatedly shared, “our students’ health will be improved as they consume more water daily. This system will provide for us a level of sustainability throughout the school and the community. As an educational institution, we continue to celebrate partnerships with corporate entities that seek to support key infrastructural needs of the students, staff and wider community.”

The ICON LifeSaver® product is environmentally friendly. As a leader in sustainability, this will help in the reduction of plastic bottles. The filters are reusable and typically have a 1-2 year span. This is a patented ultra-filtration technology which is independently tested to the highest portable water standards.



Header: Paul Girling (left), director of SIP Water, Sophia Garland (2nd left), principal of the Enid Capron Primary school, Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services, and Joe Lovegrove, Operations and Technical Director of LifeSaver gave thumbs up sign to the completion of the project.

1st insert: Joe Lovegrove, Operations and Technical Director for LifeSaver takes his time to insert one of the six filters that the filtration system that was recently installed and commissioned at the Enid Capron Primary School.

2nd insert: Enid Capron Primary School teachers share a moment with the ICON team following the successful completion of the installation of the water filtration system with Paul Girling (left) director of SIP Water and Joe Lovegrove Operations and  Technical Director for LifeSaver.

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Caribbean News

Foreign Minister Provides Update on Transitional Presidential Council for Haiti



#Kingston, Jamaica, April 17, 2024 – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says significant progress has been made with the publishing of names of the members of the Transitional Presidential Council for Haiti.

The names of the members were published on April 16 in the Le Moniteur. Haiti has been experiencing a humanitarian, security, socio-economic and political crisis.

Establishment of the Transitional Presidential Council for Haiti was the landmark outcome following a high-level meeting of regional Heads, international partners, and Haitian stakeholders on Haiti, on March 11, which paves the way for a peaceful transition of power and the road to free and fair elections.

The high-level meeting was hosted by Jamaica and chaired by Guyana.

“The landmark outcome was the document which sets out the agreement to establish a transitional presidential council, comprised of seven voting members and two non-voting members, and the agreement that, on the establishment of the Council and their naming of a Prime Minister, Prime Minister (Ariel) Henry and his Council of Ministers would resign, paving the way for a new political process towards new free and fair democratic elections,” the Minister said.

Senator Johnson Smith was speaking today (April 17), at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.

“I just wanted to update that the process made significant progress yesterday (April 16), when the official decree naming the members was published in Le Moniteur in Haiti, as required by their legal procedures,” she stated.

She noted that queries arose when the decree was previously published without naming the members of the Council.

“The Council members have now been named… which we believe will set a new path, or rather a new energy behind the process which is under way,” the Minister said.

“There are still some issues that are being sorted out in terms of the content of the decree, but it has included the criteria that had been agreed in the outcome declaration of March 11, and does set the way for the next procedural steps on the path back to democracy,” she added.

The Minister noted, too, that a political accord has been developed by the Transitional Council, which builds out their areas of responsibility and sets a framework for how they will function.

“So, that has built a lot of confidence, in the sense that there is clarity around how it is they plan to vote internally and operate the areas of focus, including, of course, the establishment of the Provisional Electoral Council and a National Security Council that will manage arrangements in respect of the Multinational Security Support (MSS) Mission, which has been authorised by the UN,” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith encouraged members of the international community to provide support for Haiti.

“The partners continue to meet; the US, of course, has been the primary proponent of funding for the MSS, but we continue to encourage all members of the international community to provide support, even as they are providing support to other conflicts across the world. We also continue to thank Kenya for their willingness to lead the initiative,” she said.

The Minister said training for the multinational mission that will provide support to  the Haitian National Police Force is also progressing.

“So again, I remind this is not an intervention. It is not a military intervention. It is not a takeover. It is a provision of necessary and practical support to  a national police force that is outgunned and outmanned in the face of criminal gangs,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

The Minister noted that training is going well.  “We have 59 members of the Royal Bahamian Defence Force, 50 members of the Belizian Defence Force here training at the JDF with support and engagement by members of the Canadian Defence Force, who again are all here in partnership, looking at how we can work towards restoring peace and stability in Haiti to set the stage for free and fair elections,” she said.


Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS



Photographer: Yhomo Hutchinson

Header: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, addresses today’s (April 17) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.

Insert: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, converses with Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, at today’s (April 17) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.

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