By: Chris Burke
TURKS & CAICOS – There is a crisis in the Caribbean, right under our noses. The people of Turks and Caicos have been manipulated and have become pawns for political greed. What caused this political upheaval? Was it the greed of the former Michael Misick cabinet and his PNP party in power for 6 years that caused the problems facing the country today? The UK and the opposition party in the islands would like the world to think so. However, let’s examine who let the people down now that the dust has settled and the vision is clear.
Once The Hon. Dr. Michael Misick resigned as Premier of Turks and Caicos following a corruption scandal in March 2009 (which was manufactured many say), Hon. Galmo Williams was voted and sworn in as the new Premier from the same party, PNP.
Williams’ position as the new Premier, and thus power over the government, infuriated the opposition party, PDM (People’s Democratic Movement). Why did it infuriate the PDM? It is common knowledge in Turks and Caicos that the PDM had set up Michael Misick to take a fall so that it could take control of the government. That the PDM discovered the corruption of the Misick cabinet was no accident. The PDM party waited, lurked and surveilled the former Premier to create crisis by entrapment, this is the public perception. That the UK’s installed governors never reported any corruption prior to the opposition party probe is more than a casual coincidence. That if and when any wrongdoing was discovered, it was not mitigated properly as constitutionally provided, shows that this was not a concerned group of citizens doing their civic duty, rather an agenda to take power.
Since the national matter of Misick’s resignation and Williams’ swearing in as the new Premier, the PDM grew increasingly dissatisfied with a change in leadership as a solution to their corruption concerns. That the citizens and the UK were now keeping a more keen eye on the new Premier Williams, was also not enough.
In a gesture of goodwill and unity, Williams offered the PDM three additional Ministerial positions in an effort to secure a unified political front. This was rejected by the PDM who was now threatening to summon the UK to suspend the constitution unless more power was given to the PDM party. Williams therefore made several additional concession in an attempt to keep the country in tact with its own government.
All of Williams’ offers and gestures for unity were rejected by the PDM, who argued that the opposition government (PDM) was the only answer and the only option to the former cabinet’s corruption accusations. It was the PDM’s staunch position that the PNP leave power and that the leader of the opposition party (Floyd Seymour) become the new Premier. The PDM wanted full ministerial powers in several key positions, however offered to turn over the rest of the minister positions to the PNP.
It had become obvious that the opposition party (PDM) had an agenda beyond that of revealing corruption, it was staging a power overthrow of the PNP.
Williams argued that the PDM had no democratic right to make such a negotiation nor did the PNP have the authority to “give up” Premier power at the insistence of the opposition party. After all, the office was not HIS to give away. Williams contended that he was duly elected and installed by the people. Williams further contended that he was capable of leading the country despite the corruption inquiry of Michael Misick.
The PDM party made several other demands to Williams for power over the government in Turks and Caicos for which Williams declined their ultimate agenda, which was absolute power. The PDM made good on its threats of contacting the UK parliament to overthrow the PNP government of Williams. Using a controversial media outlet, TCI Journal, and the power of the divided country in favour of the PDM and an anarchist organisation called Turks and Caicos for Justice and Equality (who all have a Mugabi agenda), they all wrote and summoned the UK government to overthrow the newly elected Premier.
Instead of a compromise between the parties to keep the government in tact, the new PDM goal was to throw away all common political goals and turn over power to the UK, to strike a deal with the UK later. The UK was more than happy to oblige. In closed door meetings between the UK powers and the opposition party leaders, a deal was made to have the UK invade the PNP and take governance for a time and in return restore the government to the PDM.
The UK invaded Turks and Caicos in August 2009 and all power was turned over to one man, HE Governor Gordon Wetherell of the UK. Wetherell has no cabinet and solely makes laws and decisions in Turks and Caicos with only the recommendations of an advisory council. Furthermore, jury trials for the entire population have been abolished. All signs of democracy have been stripped from the people. Furthermore, the UK has pillaged all of the assets of the islands and are charging taxes for the UK’s services. The UK has taken control of all of the tourism revenue, taken off shore banking away as a stimulus — altogether, these assets were worth $600 million a year to Turks and Caicos. The people see none of the money and none of the benefits.
What has happened to the opposition party? It is difficult to comprehend what has happened politically since January 2009. The opposition leaders, Floyd Seymour and Shaun Malcolm had an embarrassing public falling out. The two men who were waiting by the wayside rubbing their hands together waiting for their day were now attacking each other. Floyd Seymour left office under the pressure of a divided PDM party.
Shaun Malcolm now cleared the stage for a new opposition party leader Oswald Skippings with whom Malcolm struck a deal. At the PDM convention in October 2009, since Floyd Seymour stepped down, the favored alternate leader was Oswald Skippings. However, shocking the country, Skippings narrowly lost leadership of the PDM opposition party to new comer Doug Parnell. Parnell does call for unity in the country but to this day remains silent about the UK’s installation in the government. This has given the people of the islands the impression that he is now working with the UK instead of working for the people.
Malcolm and Skippings are rumored to be forming a new party with an anarchist group called “Justice and Equality” who hate expatriates, foreign workers and immigrants. They call themselves the United Party. The United Party is a group that is rumored to be the balance of the PDM party, a splinter. More information about the United Party has been promised. We await their political position and the announcement of its leaders.
There appears to be no official leaders who are seeking to truly reform the politics of the islands and rid the islands of the UK oppressors. Unless a new political leader emerges to put an end to all of the divisions between the political parties, the UK will go nowhere and the people will be left in financial desperation and be taxed for their trouble.