Post By-Election Statement by Albray Butterfield, Jr.
published in TCI Post,on 31th March 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By Albray Butterfield, Jr.
26th March 2013
Post By-Election Statement and Letter to:
Hon Premier Ewing,
Hon Amanda Missick,
Mr Oral Selver
First and foremost, let me give thanks to our awesome God for granting us Turks and Caicos Islanders the courage and stamina to endure seven long months of a hard fought political campaign, a general election, endless Supreme Court battles of election challenges, a by-election, and several occurrence of external political interference by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (“FCO”) and Waterloo. True democracy was on display for the world to see, as we exercised our democratic franchise to self-governance. Today I am proud to say that we as a people are well on our way to one day achieving our national aspiration of political independence.
CONGRATULATIONS are in order to Honourable Amanda Missick for her successful unquestionable victory in the general election of 9th November 2012, and again in the by-election of 22nd March 2013, in the constituency of Cheshire Hall, Richmond Hills and Kew Township – electoral district 7 of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hon. Amanda Missick’s margin of victory in the by-election spoke loud and clear that “We The People” of Cheshire Hall, Richmond Hills, Kew Township and by extension the Turks and Caicos Islands support and have full confidence in The Honourable Premier Dr Rufus Ewing, his leadership and the direction he is taking the country. Hon Premier Ewing’s stellar management of his professional “Team PNP” and the long hard fought political campaign demonstrated his managerial and leadership abilities necessary to navigate the Turks and Caicos Islands through this current tempestuous period in our history, which will eventually lead us into a prosperous future.
Congratulations are also in order to Mr Oral Selver for running a stand-up, clean and respectful hard fought political campaign. He demonstrated true strength and courage, as well as helping to usher in a new generation of honourable persons seeking to enter public office. I would encourage Mr Selver to stay the course and continuing to support his community.
Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, you have no reason to hang your head down as a result of the defeat of your political fraternity at the polls. You stood strong throughout the entire political campaign, and you gave the incumbent a real fight. In your concession speech/press statement to your political fraternity supporters, you showed the nation and the world what it is to possess political maturity by opening your speech with sincere congratulations to Hon. Premier Ewing on his victory and for also retaining the government of the day. Continue to represent the people, as you progress in your political endeavours.
Now that the issue of our political governance has been decided; the euphoria of victory among the victors has subsided; the shocking disappointment of defeat has finally settled in among the defeated; we should have by now returned to the realities of life, and realise that we have to reunite in order to fight for our economic prosperity, constitutional rights, and democratic and political freedoms. This cannot be achieved if we continue to allow ourselves to be divided on important issues that are in our national interest. The same way we united to fight the FCO and Waterloo against the implementation of Value Added Tax, we now have to do the same to fight for our socioeconomic prosperity and freedoms.
Hon. Premier Ewing, you have been given an unmistakable and clear mandate of what and how the electorate are expecting you to govern. At the moment, you possess tremendous political capital, PLEASE SPEND IT WISELY AND DO NOT SQUANDER THIS ONCE IN A GENERATION OPPORTUNITY, OR YOU WILL BE A ONE TERM PREMIER. King Solomon gives some sound advice that if followed, will avoid various pitfalls while in office. King Solomon advised: “Where no (wise) counsel is, the people (nation) fall, but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14 (KJV). Hon. Premier, it is recommended that you encompass yourself with wise counsellors from both sides of the political divide; blind partisan counsel will only lead you and your government down the same primrose path as your predecessors. You have been elected to govern this nation of all political persuasions, race, and creed.
The Lord instructed Habakkuk to: “… Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” – Habakkuk 2:2-3 (KJV).
The sort of “vision” the Lord instructed Habakkuk to inscribe plainly upon tablets, you have outlined such a vision in your political manifesto titled “Going for the Gold: A Plan For Prosperity”. The Turks and Caicos Islands electorate have read your vision and elected to run with it; and on Friday 22nd March 2013, the appointed time has come for you to commence implementing that vision, hence, the electorate have granted you forty-eight months to bring the vision to fruition. Your four months honeymoon, and the period of getting familiarised with your new appointment came to an end on 22nd March 2013. Therefore, I plead of you to tarry no longer, time is of the essence, the electorate have been crying for strong, prudent leadership; the nation is now in your hands. Only your performance during your tenure as Premier will determine how kindly or harshly history will judge you, and whether history will label you as an Armorbearer of the United Kingdom’s Pharaoh at the FCO, or our modern day Moses, or Joshua as outlined in the biblical canon books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua.
We the people will continue to hold you up in prayer, as you continue to seek Gods guidance during your tenure as Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“UNEASY LIES THE HEAD THAT WEARS A CROWN”; William Shakespeare; 1597.
Press Statement from Premier Ewing Re By-Election
On behalf of the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I would like to thank the Almighty God for a peaceful day of proceedings on March 22nd. I would also like to extend to the voters of the Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill Constituency, our gratitude for their continuing support and their vote for Ms. Amanda Missick. Her resounding victory at the polls this past Friday is seen as a clear mandate by the people of the Turks and Caicos for the Progressive National Party Government to continue its work in the best interest of our country.
We the Government would like to reassure the Turks and Caicos Islands, that we will continue to uphold the honour and dignity of the office to which we have been elected and will continue to strive towards a brighter future for our nation, in accordance with our manifesto and in consultation with the people of these islands Indeed many more challenges lie ahead but with the help of the Almighty God none are insurmountable.
During the By-election season, strong sentiments and opinions by supporters of both of our political parties have unfortunately resulted in defamatory remarks being made against the character of those holding political office. I condem this behaviour as these practices damage the image of all Turks and Caicos Islanders. I am making a request to all persons, to desist from engaging in such behavior on the social or other media and to give all whom we have elected to lead us, the respect that they deserve as they represent the best interest of the people of the Turks and Caicos. I call on supporters on both sides of the aisle to rest partisan politics aside and to rally together to provide support to the Government and to continue to forge stronger links that will make us a force against which no enemies can move.
Now is the time for us to work together in unity, as we stay the course and move full speed ahead in the right direction to fulfill our destiny which awaits us on the new horizon. May God continue to bless our Turks and Caicos Islands.
PNP united on former premier’s talking points
Published on March 28, 2013 ,TCI News Now.
The Progressive National Party (PNP) is apparently now unified behind specific “talking points” that are being spoken to by the party and its supporters and are seemingly being orchestrated by its former leader Michael Misick.
The principal point being made was the primary platform of the PNP during their 2012 general election campaign and that is the issue of independence and preparing the TCI to separate itself from Britain.
This was addressed in each and every letter received from Misick and was spoken to by Premier Rufus Ewing on his return from last month’s Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government meeting in Haiti. In Ewing’s view, all the Caribbean nations, including those who are currently one of the 14 British overseas territories, must not only achieve independence but must also form republics and not be associated with the Commonwealth of Nations.
The second talking point spoken to by Misick and Ewing is the forthcoming prosecutions of former PNP cabinet ministers and others. Both Misick and Ewing have said that the prosecutions are a farce. Misick said this is because he claims that laws were changed and he personally cannot receive a fair trial and will fight returning home until that is resolved, while at the same time proclaiming his willingness to return to the TCI by private plane instead of waiting for his extradition from Brazil to be completed.
Ewing has not explained why he feels the imminent trials are a “farce”, as he called them in a recent letter to Britain’s Overseas Territories Minister Mark Simmonds.
The third talking point that is being spoken to widely by PNP members and supporters is their view of the overstepping of authority by Britain. This is being described by Ewing as an abuse of power and corruption on the part of William Hague, Britain’s Foreign Secretary. The tone of this talking point echoes similar comments made by Misick in each and every letter he has written.
One of the principal points aired by Ewing was the looming imposition of value added tax (VAT). On this issue, both political parties and the business community were united in asking for VAT to be abandoned.
Both Hague and Simmonds responded to Ewing’s speech to CARICOM heads by accusing him of failing to address the reasons why VAT and other measures were necessary.
In particular, Ewing failed to explain that the TCI is bankrupt and became bankrupt due to the actions of the PNP administration from late 2003 through August 2009, when Britain imposed direct rule.
Further, Hague said that Ewing not only failed to speak to this problem that brought British direct rule but also ignored the consolidated loan of $260 million guaranteed by Britain and the support of numerous British advisers who, in three years of direct rule, have been able to raise government revenue and cut expenses to a break-even position.
Britain imposed certain milestones that had to be achieved before direct rule could be withdrawn and an elected government returned. However, the final milestone yet to be reached was the pay down of the loan, which must be refinanced by 2016 when the British guarantee is lifted. Britain requires the TCI government to submit an acceptable financial plan, which has not yet been achieved by the PNP government in its almost five months in power.
Hague pointed out in a letter to Ewing that there needs to be not only additional taxes but further cuts in spending. Ewing and finance minister Washington Misick and several other PNP ministers have seemingly turned their backs on this requirement and are promising the territory new infrastructure, more government jobs and a growing public sector.
Education minister attacks Jamaican newspaper
Published on March 28, 2013 !TCI News Now.
The minister of education, youth, sports and culture, Akierra Missick, said she is “appalled” at a recent article published in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper which, she said, sought to sensationalize what was touted to be an interview on the TCI educational system.
According to the Gleaner, Missick is planning to scrap the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) curriculum and consider the British education system for all schools in the TCI, a move that would place the jobs of some 250 Jamaican teachers in jeopardy.
In a statement on Wednesday, Missick said that the cabinet recently agreed a stakeholder consultation to garner views , recommendations and comments on various aspects of TCIs educational system including:
• Curriculum Development
• Security issues
• Ordinance and Policy issues
According to the minister, there will be several avenues for the public to participate in this consultation. It is from this initiative that the ministry hopes to garner ideas that will help to steer the TCI toward the ultimate goal of the development of a graduate that is able to stand as a global citizen and make a mark in his/her country’s development.
However, Missick would only go so far as to say there were no “immediate” plans to send home 200 teachers.
“Any action concerning the well being of the children of the TCI, will be carefully planned and in their best interest,” Missick said.
The minister reiterated what she described as her mandate to develop local talent in an effort to reduce the overall dependency on expatriate labour. The minister said she is also keen on expanding opportunities and options for high school graduates to matriculate to the best universities and complete programs in the shortest time possible.
“This may mean introducing other types of assessments,” she said, in an apparent reference to a different curriculum and/or examination system.