NEW TCI PREMIER SAYS VICTORY WAS A CRY FOR HELP
New Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Charles Washington Misick, has credited his Progressive National Party’s (PNP) overwhelming victory in last month’s elections to a cry for help from voters due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
"COVID-19 has taken a severe toll on our people and has ravaged our economy and we can see the evidence everywhere; increase in poverty, unemployment worsening standard of living.”
In his inaugural address, Premier Misick, a past TCI chief minister, said his new government isn’t taking their overwhelming mandate victory lightly.
The PNP won all but one of the 15 elected seats, with former Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson losing her seat in the process.
“As we celebrate our victory we are also mindful of our responsibility to honour the faith and trust that you have reposed in us. You have given us a mandate to work on your behalf to empower you and to build the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Mr Misick said.
He listed job creation, especially for young people, providing quality healthcare and education, investing in agriculture and infrastructure development among his top priorities.
Premier Misick said, “The last 50 years of development in this country has, to some extent, been at the expense of the people of these islands and the next 50 years have to be different.”
EX-PREMIER CONCEDES AND LEAVES
Meanwhile, ex-Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson who lost her seat has also resigned the leadership of the People’s Democratic Movement which won just one seat.
In a concession statement, she informed that she had “officially handed in my resignation as leader of the PDM, and cleared the way for the rank and file to decide on a new leader; a position that I have held since December 2012."
"My exit from active politics marks nearly 12 years of service,” she stated.
CARICOM CONDEMNS BVI INQUIRY
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) government has welcomed a statement from the regional heads of government questioning the British government’s recently established Commission of Inquiry (COI) into maladministration and corruption in the territory.
At their late-February Intersessional Meeting, Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders said they were “dismayed at the manner in which the COI was established with no consultation, or prior communication, between the United Kingdom Government and the duly-elected government of the British Virgin Islands.”
Commenting on the Caricom statement, BVI Premier Andrew Fahie stated: “Caricom’s interest in the Commission of Inquiry is positive, especially their understanding of how damaging the approach taken to the COI’s announcement was for the image and economy of the Territory that is based on tourism and financial services.”
The British Virgin Islands is an Associate Member of CARICOM.
The UK-funded - and commissioned - inquiry is currently taking evidence and is expected to report by the summer.
BERMUDA BACK UNDER CURFEW
Bermuda has re-introduced a curfew due to a spike in local COVID-19 cases.
The midnight to 5am curfew comes after what the government said were signs of a new “emerging outbreak” of Covid-19 which authorities believe might be linked to the virulent UK variant.
Calling it a precautionary measure, Premier David Burt said “we learned our lesson in November and we will not make the same mistakes again.”
Minister of Health Kim Wilson has warned that social gatherings were most likely to lead to increased transmission of the virus.
She recalled three events over one weekend last November which resulted in a spike in cases with 81 people testing positive and more than 550 quarantined.
According to Bermuda health experts, there have been 35 confirmed cases of the virulent UK variant which they’ve linked to passengers arriving on British Airways flights.
GIBRALTAR DEVELOPS VACCINE PASSPORT APP
The Gibraltar Government reports that it’s developing an app to certify that residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The app which will serve as a vaccine passport will also include the result of tests they have taken.
The territory’s Minister of Health, Samantha Sacramento, said,“It is important that as we move to the next phase of our fight against Covid-19 that we prepare to have our own Covid vaccine passport."
She said it will be "a digital representation of the cards we have already issued and will verify the person’s Covid-19 vaccination history.”
The Gibraltar government said the app is being programmed to be compatible with systems being considered by the UK and the European Union.