Turks and Caicos Islands: Official recount of ballots confirms results giving Turks & Caicos closely divided Parliament | The Washington Post

A Monday recount of paper ballots from parliamentary elections in the British territory of the Turks & Caicos Islands confirmed no changes from the provisional tally. The recount established that the Progressive National Party won eight of the 15 Parliament seats in Friday’s elections that will lead to a government that will resume local administration after three years of direct rule by Britain, the governor’s office said in a statement Monday evening. Provisional results announced Saturday showed that Ewing’s party won the election, but People’s Democratic Movement leader Oswald Skippings pushed for a recount of the overall vote. He failed to win a seat but his party claimed the remaining seven seats.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Hague: TCI Elections Mark “Return to Democratic Government” | Caribbean Journal

Turks and Caicos Islanders will head to the polls on Friday, a “significant step” on the path to democracy, according to British Foreign Secretary William Hague. The elections come more than three years after the British installed an Interim Administration in the territory. That was the result of a finding by the Auld Report of systematic corruption in the territory, which ultimately led to the partial suspension of the TCI’s constitution.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Local and British politicians concerned about Turks and Caicos democracy | Caribbean News Now

The timing of elections in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) and the milestones that have to be met before such elections can be held has resulted in questions, opinions and concerns being aired by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

Direct rule was imposed on the TCI almost two years ago in August 2009. One year earlier, current Governor Gordon Wetherell arrived and began immediately to introduce restraints on the then elected government of the Progressive National Party (PNP).

Turks and Caicos Islands: Elections Next Year Doubtful | Turks and Caicos SUN Newspaper

There appears to be great doubt about whether elections that will return the Turks and Caicos Islands to self-rule, will be held next year. While officials from the United Kingdom keep saying in broad and general terms that it is their intention to hold elections in 2012, they have so far refused to give a date and have been expressing concerns about the milestones that have to be met before voters go the poll.

It was widely expected that when Hon. Henry Bellingham, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, visited the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday July 14, that he would made a major announcement such as releasing the date for elections. However, when pressed by The SUN to give a date, he refused. He said the Constitution has been passed, and that was a major milestone, but he is not prepared to say categorically that all of the work will be completed in time for elections.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Minister is ‘optimistic’ following Turks and Caicos constitutional reform talks | tcweekly

Significant changes to the proposed constitution have been made and elections are on track for 2012. That’s the word from FCO Minister for Overseas Territories Henry Bellingham.

Thursday’s announcement came following two days of “very fruitful” talks on constitutional reform in London this week. A seven member TCI delegation visited the capital to persuade ministers to alter their stance on some of the draft document’s most contentious prescripts. And as a result details surrounding Belongership bestowal, the electoral system, and the Governor’s role were all changed for the final constitution package.

Turks and Caicos Islands: UK calls for $20m fiscal surplus before Turks and Caicos Islands elections | tcweeklynews.com

TCI must be “well on course” to achieving a colossal $20m fiscal surplus by April 2013 in order for elections to take place. And that’s no mean feat with the current financial crisis equating to a staggering $12,000 debt for every man, woman and child living in the Islands.

Overturning the country’s pecuniary woes is one of the much touted “milestones” before a return to self-government. It is hoped that the string of recently announced taxes will prompt a sharp spike in revenue. But it presents Islanders with something of an economic ultimatum – pay up or stay under British rule.

A statement issued by Government on Wednesday reiterated London’s stance that the country must balance its books.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Constitution might change dual citizenship election rule for Turks and Caicos Islanders | fptci.com

A little noticed change proposed for the 2006 Constitution would make Turks and Caicos Islanders holding dual citizenship eligible for election to the House of Assembly if they renounce their citizenship in another country before nomination.

Section 47(1) of the 2006 Constitution — which is currently suspended — states, “No person shall be qualified to be a member of the House of Assembly who is, by virtue of his or her own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to any foreign power or state.”

Editorials: Editorial: ‘Don`t mess with TCI’s voting system’ | Turks and Caicos SUN Newspaper

Many locals reject UK’s plan to move from the traditional first-past-the-post system. Residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands have made it abundantly clear to officials from Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and by extension, the United Kingdom (UK) Government, that they have no appetite for any proposed changes to the current voting system that…