Published on August 18, 20  


Progressive National Party (PNP) leader Dr Rufus Ewing (L) and deputy leader Carlos Simons have both been named as “at large” candidates in the November 9 election

The public relations arm of the Progressive National Party (PNP) appears to be purposely leaking the names of the individuals chosen by the party to run as candidates in the forthcoming elections, pre-empting an official announcement.

Party leader Dr Rufus Ewing, former director of medical services and architect of the National Health Insurance Plan heads the PNP team of “at large” hopefuls.

Deputy leader Carlos Simons QC, partner in the Miller Simons law firm, is the obvious second choice. 

Royal Robinson, the former land surveyor turned politician, who unseated his brother Clarence Selver in the last election, is no surprise as the third team member. Robinson, who was the project coordinator for the hospital construction when Chinese workers were on the job, has been writing lengthy weekly articles critical of the British takeover. 

However, Washington Misick is surprise number one. Returning from retirement, the former chief minister and CEO of real estate firm Prestigious Properties, was the chairman of the board during the infamous TCI Bank failure, which took down the savings of 4,000 TCI families and $23.5 million of the workers’ pension fund. Washington, brother of disgraced former premier Michael Misick, lost an election to Derek Taylor and the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) in 1995, after serving as chief minister for 3-1/2 years. He had defeated current leader of the PDM Oswald Skippings in the previous election.

Wayne Garland, a former elected parliamentarian, who headed tourist promotion for the PNP, working hand in hand with Michael Misick, is another surprise and the fifth member of the team. Salt Cay-born Garland may be the youngest member of the team and is the brother of the former PDM South Caicos Branch chairman.

Surprising omissions from the PNP’s slate of candidates are two local talk show hosts, Robert Hall and Rev. Conrad Howell.

With both parties naming their “at large” teams the line up appears to be as follows:

Leaders: Rufus Ewing (PNP) vs Oswald Skippings (PDM)
Deputies: Carlos Simons (PNP) vs Sharlene Cartwright Robinson (PDM)
Former Chief Ministers: Washington Misick (PNP) vs Derek Taylor (PDM)
Former Ministers: Royal Robinson (PNP) vs Samuel Harvey (PDM)
Wayne Garland (PNP) vs Josephine Connolly (PDM)

In the meantime, the PNP has also selected its ten choices for district candidates.

In Grand Turk, the party has picked George Lightbourne for the North district and Rex Swan for the southern seat. Each district has about 700 registered voters.

In South Caicos, former chief minister Norman Saunders Sr. will once again attempt to capture a majority of the fishing capital’s 315 voters. Saunders, who historically has gotten the nod from most of the approximately 110 voters of his district in South Caicos, had made it known he wanted an “at large” seat win to seal his legacy. 

In North-Middle Caicos, former parliamentarian Don-Hue Gardiner will contest the combination of three districts, all of which supported his party in the last election. There are 500 voters to convince that the PNP did a good job in the past for the three districts.

In Providenciales, where there are over 700 voters per district, the PNP has named the following people to represent the party:

Bight: Porsha Stubbs Smith
Five Cays: Thomas Clay
Blue Hills: Adrian Williams
Downtown: Greg Lightbourne (a former member of the Michael Misick government)
Cheshire Hall: Amanda Misick (a former member of parliament)
Leeward: Akierra Missick (attorney and law partner of PNP deputy leader Carlos Simons, and former Bar Council head)

In the “at large” and district candidates, the PNP is fielding only five members of the previous elected government, all of whom, along with the new candidates, must submit themselves for approval of the Integrity Commission. It is now a criminal offence to omit or misstate assets on the required financial disclosure statements. This applies to all candidates, whether party-sponsored or independent.

PNP member rumoured as possible candidates but now omitted are the two sons of Norman Saunders Sr. — Norman Jr. and EJ Saunders, who is the well known head of the local Digicel operation. It also appears that, despite some earlier reports, former appointed minister of education, Dr Carlton Mills, was not in the running. Also, party executives Rev. Conrad Howell and Trevor Cooke did not appear to play into the process. 

Jamal Robinson, the former head of the disaster management agency and former vice president of the Civil Service Association, who is also the son of at large candidate Royal Robinson, is also now on the outside.

Robinson had earlier been rumoured to be the Overback candidate for the capital island Grand Turk, which is heavily populated with civil servants.

Meanwhile, the PDM has not confirmed any district nominees but it appears former candidate Sean Astwood, son of party stalwart Louis, has a strong claim on the Five Cays candidacy, where he lost to Lillian Boyce in 2007. Boyce, a former minister, is now before the court facing allegations of corruption while in office.

The PDM will be looking to replace Arthur Robinson and Floyd Seymour, who won two of the four Grand Turk seats in 2007, but have now returned to their respective private business interests. 

The other two Grand Turk seats were won by Floyd Hall and Samuel Bean of the PNP, both of who are also facing corruption charges.

In the meantime, the four Grand Turk districts have now been reduced to two as part of the recent redistricting exercise by the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

Whoever PDM selects in Grand Turk are expected to be backed by party leader Oswald Skippings and former leader Derek Taylor, both of whom reside on the capital island.


Governor Must Confirm Election Date.By Carlos Simons

On Monday,07th of May the Governor published Quarterly Milestones Update. The Governor is aware that these Updates are highly anticipated for one principal reason: any indication they might give as to a date for elections. Like people anywhere who have been disenfranchised, the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands yearn for the return of their universally recognized right to elect and be governed by their own representatives. The British Government knows this as well: it is the same principle that they went to war for in Iraq, and continue to fight for and promote around the globe. Yet it is one they continue to deny in the TCI.

As for the 7 May Update, the words that caught most people’s attention were these:
“It is clear that while significant progress has been made in many areas, further work remains to be done before UK Ministers can judge significant enough progress to allow them to reinstate the Constitution, thus triggering fresh elections.”
Most people see this as a walk-back from the previously clear indication that elections will be held before the end of 2012. It appears to be part of a continuing pattern of borderline deceptions that include leading us to believe that HMG would bear the cost of SIPT!
It is a reckless and dangerous way to conduct the serious business of governance. As I travel around the Islands in my campaign for the leadership of the PNP, I sense a rising tide of frustration with the Interim Administration’s fixation on Milestones progress as opposed to the welfare and well-being of real people. The growing attraction of full independence is fed by this frustration as much as it is by the arrogance, insensitivity and double standards that have come to characterize the British mission here.
In my first address as Chairman of the Consultative Forum, I said that the best job the Forum could do for the people of the TCI is to work itself out of a job as quickly as possible. I resigned more than two years ago to undertake the far more important work that I am currently doing, and almost three years on the Forum is still firmly in place with no apparent end in sight.
So we are halfway through the year and suddenly doubt has been cast on the widely accepted belief, created and encouraged by the Governor and his bosses that elections will be held before the end of the year.
Many people will find that disappointing and discouraging and the only way to repair the damage now is for the Governor to expressly confirm that elections will be held before the end of the year, to name the date and to make the Milestones fit that date. They are after all his milestones, not ours!
Having had the opportunity to gauge the mood of the people, I have come to the view that an early date for elections is the single most important item on our agenda of things to be settled with the British. If that continues to be denied I will, as Leader of the PNP, and after close consultation with my Party’s Executive and with their support, devise and pursue such strategies as may be necessary to restore this most basic of human rights to the people of the TCI.

posted in SUN TCI,on 11th May 2012

Genel News

Carlos Simons says He will Fire Helen Garlick


Queen’s Counsel Carlos Simons says if he becomes leader of the Progressive National Party (PNP) and Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, he will fire Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick and her Special Investigations and Prosecutions Team (SIPT). 
Speaking on Robert Hall’s Expressions call-in programme on Radio Turks and Caicos on Monday April 23rd, Simons said the SIPT was nothing more than a “gravy train” and that they should really be called the “Garlick Time and Money Team”. 
The prominent lawyer, who is running for leadership of the PNP at its upcoming convention, said: “Here we have a situation in which the British Government is forcing us to pay millions of dollars to Helen Garlick and their other lawyers to investigate so called crimes that were committed on their watch and to recover land, every acre of which was doled out over the signature of their Governor (Richard Tauwhare). At the same time as we are paying these millions of dollars to Helen Garlick and other British Government lawyers, public servants and others are being laid off and the people of Grand Turk have to line up at the public tank with buckets for water.Now just ask yourself, what is wrong with that picture? And the answer is everything.”
 Simons said that on the one hand the British are “terrorizing and traumatizing” the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands with their own money and on the other hand they are “driving the rest of us into poverty”. 
He added: “It is morally wrong. The only reason it is not legally wrong is because the British have made the laws. They call it the SIPT. But it’s really nothing more than a gravy train. Its name ought to be the GTMT- The Garlic Time and Money Team. But I promise you this- the day I take office is the day Helen Garlick gets laid off. That gravy train they’re riding will not just be stopped; it will be brought to a screeching halt. I will not spend on dime, no not one dime of TCI taxpayers’ money on Helen Garlic. The events they are investigating took place under the watchful eye of their Governor, the investigation was recommended by their Commissioner, it is being conducted by their lawyers, applying laws that they themselves have recently made. But it’s all being paid for with our money. That is not justice and I will see justice done or I will die in the process. So the day I take office, I will be saying to the British Government is relation to Helen Garlic, not in my name and not on my dime. You hired her, you pay her. Otherwise she can pack her bags and go home. I just don’t roll like that.”
Simons also called on Governor Ric Todd to withdraw the international arrest warrant against former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Michael Misick. 
“Imagine issuing an international police warrant with our money as though they’re hunting some kind of genocidal maniac and as though they had nothing to do with the circumstances. It is an affront to this country as a whole. I call upon the Governor to rescind that warrant today. If he does not I will the day I take office,” Simons added.
Meantime, Simons said in a separate press release that he was “outraged” by the recent statement from the owner of Beaches TCI to the Jamaica Observer revealing plans to increase his Jamaican staff in the TCI by 150 workers. 
“I am similarly outraged that the Interim Government of Governor Todd could countenance such an arrangement. The quote attributed to Mr. Stewart in the Observer to the effect that he is happiest when he is in a position to provide jobs for Jamaicans who deserve to have employment so that they can take care of themselves and their family”, is at best insensitive and at worst offensive because the jobs he is referring to are being provided in the TCI at the expense of TCI workers, who equally need jobs to feed their families and who have a greater entitlement to those jobs,” Simons said. 
He said it is clear that the Interim Administration which ought to be protecting the TCI workforce has abandoned its responsibility to do so. 
“How else can you explain laying off hundreds of public servants but at the same time allowing a private sector employer to import hundreds of foreign workers without first offering those opportunities to the laid off public servants and other unemployed TCI workers? I call upon the Governor to release immediately the details of this scandalous arrangement so the public can see what his government is up to and to forthwith reverse the decision to allow this to happen,” the Queen’s Counsel added.

published in SUN,Turks and Caicos Islands ,25th of April 2012