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E Jay Saunders predicts more seats for PNP after Premier’s Demotion

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – “The only thing we should be thinking about on Election Day is improving on our 14 seats and getting our premier a second term— and we want to deliver that for the Premier.”  That was the unexpected declaration coming from E Jay Saunders, All Island Elected Member, in an address to the nation via his personal YouTube channel on February 28th as over 900 residents looked on.

“I had and I retain full confidence in Hon. Charles Washington Misick,” Saunders said during the live video.

A short 24 hours earlier Saunders had been fired from his post as Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance after trying to issue a leadership challenge to Washington Misick, TCI Premier for the top spot of the PNP party over the Weekend.

The abrupt pivot left many residents confused and even disappointed while others highlighted it as a smart move.

Saunders had fallen short of gaining the two-thirds delegate support needed to truly force a vote against Misick for the top spot, only securing 40 percent of votes from delegates supporting his challenge. Had he won the runoff and went on to win leadership of the PNP, the former DP would have become the man in charge but he maintains he didn’t enter the fray at the party’s National General Council (NGC) meeting, for political gain.

“My acceptance to having my nomination being made on the floor of congress was due to one thing— my belief that governments should be of, by, and for the people. On Saturday a number of delegates, 40 percent of them specifically, had a different view than the status quo; and I gave them that opportunity to express their view,” he continued. ” I was an instrument for 40 percent of the delegates on Saturday. I was a manifestation of their view.”

Saunders’ also said that he did not  regret his decision, calling it a move that was ‘led by the delegates’ but the downplay on his personal aspirations and the reaction by the party leader to his interest, elicited strong criticism about Saunders’ address.  It was clear to some that what went unstated in the ten-minute monologue was disappointing; residents admitting they expected the former finance minister to ‘own up’ to the job he clearly wanted for himself.

Despite his abrupt exit from the Cabinet and the front bench and the fact that communication between himself and the premier seems to have stalled a bit, Saunders says there’s no drama or hard feelings.

“For clarity, the Premier and I have no disagreements, and we share no animosity towards each other. In parliamentary democracy, in some cases, if a Minister challenges an incumbent leader and fails, it leads to the resignation or removal of the Minister cabinet. This is what took place on Saturday and yesterday.”

During the live message Saunders also extended a protective hand over Delthia Missick, First Lady of the Turks and Caicos.

“Do not say or post negative things about her, it is not fair to her and her family and it is not right. If anything she should be admired for her tenacity,” he said.

Residents had launched accusatory attacks against the wife of the premier after Saunders was sacked; she too posted comments in her own defence.

Saunders, who concluded with a list of thank you and some of his favourite accomplishments used the opportunity to set the record straight, denying that he ever reported the PNP Leader to the Governor or aimed to initiate a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the leadership of Washington Misick.

The visit to the Governor before the PNP convention vote was simply a courtesy call to personally indicate that he might not be returning to cabinet, E Jay Saunders explained, adding that he realised that his challenge might result in a loss and a demotion.

All positions held by Saunders, namely: deputy party leader, deputy premier and minister of finance, investment and Trade were all bestowed by Washington Misick; his prerogative and at his pleasure as the duly re-elected leader of the Progressive National Party and the duly elected leader of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.

”Now that it’s over, we the PNP have an election to win, and we need all hands on deck fully behind the leader of the party.”

Saunders has forecast that the PNP will increase its share of constituency seats in the next national poll.

Crime

Firearm and Drug Charges

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Media Release

 

July 15th, 2024.

 

SHAIWANZO MISSICK of South Back Salina, Grand Turk, has been charged with six counts of firearm-related offences.

Missick, 30, was charged on July 13 after police officers consulted with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The offences against Missick are:

  • One Count – Discharging Firearm
  • One Count- Discharging Ammunition
  • One Count-Possession of Firearm with intent to commit a serious offence
  • Two Counts-Possession of Ammunition
  • One Count –Possession of Firearm
  • One Count-Possession of Controlled Drugs
  • One Count- Possession of Controlled Drugs with intent to supply.

The charges against Missick came following a report made on Saturday, 29 June 2024,  following a shooting incident in Breezy Brae.

Officers obtained a warrant and searched the accused’s residence based on the information received.

The RT&CIPF is asking the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on illegal activity.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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Crime

Five Cays Shooting Update

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Shortly after noon on July 12th, the Control Room of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force received reports of a shooting in Five Cays, Providenciales. A team of offices was dispatched to Granny Hill.

Upon arrival, several interviews were conducted, and evidential items were retrieved.  Thankfully, no one was injured.

Given the investigation’s sensitivity and lines of inquiry, the RT&CIPF cannot comment further.

We are aware of audio videos and photographs purporting to be the location of where the incident allegedly occurred and ask that persons circulating such be mindful of exposing victims.

The RT&CIPF is again reaching out to the public, emphasising their crucial role in this investigation.

We urge you to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231- 1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously provide any information on this shooting or any illegal activity.

Your cooperation is vital in ensuring justice is served. Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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Crime

Discharge of Firearm

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Turks and Caicos – Shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Friday 05th July 2024, the Police Control Room received a report of gunshots being heard at the TCI Disposal and Solid Waste, located along Millennium Highway, Blue Hills.

Officers and medical personnel responded, and based on preliminary investigations, a truck transporting a male occupant entered the dump and started offloading items.

An employee at the dump site confronted the occupant. However, he was shot at.

The employee managed to escape. Thankfully, he was not injured. This remains an active investigation.

The RTCIPF asks the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on illegal activity. Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app and share information anonymously.

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