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TCI: Edwin Astwood the new leader of the People’s Democratic Movement

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#TurksandCaicos, July 6, 2021 – Edwin Astwood is now the eighth person to lead the People’s Democratic Movement party; and it was decided at the party’s constitutionally required June convention, which was held on Saturday according to a media statement from the PDM on June 28; the statement followed the 46th National Convention of the party.

Hon Astwood was the only PDM member to retain a seat following the February 19 general election; and is already serving as the Leader of Opposition business in the House of Assembly. 

The June 26 2021 convention was held virtual style and also concluded with Patricia Saunders Missick accepted as the new National Chairman. 

This PDM communication follows the announcement of resignation from frontline politics by Sean Astwood, the party’s now former deputy leader, who had been assigned as temporary leader of the party.  Astwood resigned, effective June 1, 2021. 

The PDM has yet to face the people of the Turks and Caicos in a united front or formally in any kind of media event; every official message has been delivered by email.  The country’s oldest political party appears to be unable to rebound from the devastating loss at the polls.

Forty-five per cent of electors cast votes for the PDM in the February 2021 General Elections and it remains peculiar that the party, which just months ago served up a boisterous election campaign has gone so silent and seems so shattered by the loss, unable to re-emerge. 

In the media statement, the PDM does inform that it looks forward to October 29-30 when it will gather for a national convention; hopefully in person.

The Party expressed in the statement that it is hoped by that time, public health protocols due to Covid-19 will be relaxed enough to permit a full gathering of party’s  delegates from across the islnads. 

Among the agenda items for the Convention in October are changes to the constitution; modification of old policies and standing orders and an election of party officers. 

Hon Edwin Astwood and Patricia Saunders Misick will serve in the interim. 

Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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