Sunday, August 16, 2009

Her Majesty Appoints Governor for Turks and Caicos Islands

On 14 August 2009,Her Majesty has reaserted direct rule on the Turks and Caicos Islands after Misick's last legal appeal failed. The Caribbean islands' administration has been suspended for up to two years and power has been transferred to the directly appointed governor, with the Royal Navy also stationing a supply vessel in between Turks and Caicos. Politicians were accused of selling crown land for personal gain and misusing public funds. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Chris Bryant said of the decision to impose rule, "This is a serious constitutional step which Her Majesty's Government has not taken lightly but these measures are essential in order to restore good governance and sound financial management."

The move was met with vehement opposition by the corrupt and ousted Turks and Caicos government, with Misick's successor Williams calling it a "coup". Despite this, the civilian populace was reported to be largely welcoming of the enforced rule. Her Majesty's government stated that they intended to keep true to their word that the country would regain sovereignty in two years or less, and Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant said that elections would be held in 2011. Governor Wetherell, stated that he would aim to "make a clean break from the mistakes of the past" and create "a durable path towards good governance, sound financial management and sustainable development". Wetherell continued to say that, "In the meantime we must all learn to foster a quality of public spirit, listen to all those who have the long-term interests of these islands at heart, and safeguard the fundamental assets of the Territory for future generations... Our guiding principles will be those of transparency, accountability and responsibility. I believe that most people in the Turks and Caicos will welcome these changes."

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