Turks & Caicos: Voting underway to elect new government

Incumbent Premier of Turks & Caicos Rufus Ewing (l) and Opposition leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson

Voters in Turks & Caicos are electing a new government on Thursday.

While the outgoing Progressive National Party (PNP) government of Premier Rufus Ewing boasts of its achievements, and has outlined how it will take the country to the next level, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) led by Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson says it is convinced that its message of hope and change is resonating with the voters.

The third party, the Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) is led by former PDM leader Oswald Skippings, who during the 2012 election failed to win his own seat at large.‎

Three main issues have dominated the election campaign which included debates among the 3 party leaders.
They were the ongoing corruption trials; the National Health Insurance Plan (NHIP); and the potential impact of independent candidates and the third party.

‎The ongoing trial of 5 government ministers, including a former premier on multiple corruption charges, seems not to be helping Ewing and his PNP – even with its base.
The PNP may have lost its credibility with voters and with investors.

Coming into Thursday’s general elections, ‎Robinson and her PDM is promising all citizens that they will have a “fair share” of the wealth of the Turks & Caicos Islands if elected to office.

Cartwright-Robinson said if elected into office, her administration would make all citizens shareholders of this wealth fund, and disburse shares to them from birth, which they can cash in at retirement.
“A PDM government believes that all our citizens must have a fair share in the wealth of our country. PDM Government is committed to not just create savings for our people, but to actually put that money back into your pockets, even as we secure your financial stability for the future! Your children and our grandchildren will be shareholders in the future of a prosperous Turks & Caicos Islands,” Cartwright-Robinson added.

She accused the Ewing administration having led the Turks & Caicos into an abyss for which the citizens are suffering.

Both the ruling PNP and the PDM have announced their lists of 15 candidates. This includes 5 running “at large”, who will vie for votes from all of the 10 separate election districts. -(CMC)