Published On: Sat, Dec 1st, 2012

Turks and Caicos government pushes for independence

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands - The newly-elected government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), led by Premier Dr Rufus Ewing, has indicated that one of its top priorities is to move the territory rapidly towards independence.

In the Throne Speech outlining the government legislative agenda, delivered by Governor Ric Todd on Wednesday at the opening of the new National Assembly, he said, “My government holds as one of its greatest charges, the responsibility of readying our Islands and our people for the move toward independence.”

“We will convene a Commission for Independence whose mandate will be to define the process required to achieve this goal by creation of specific developmental targets. The achievement of these objectives will enable this eventual transition when called for by our people through a free and fair referendum on the question,” the governor concluded.

In the recent election campaign, the question of independence was frequently raised but the narrow winners at the polls, the Progressive National Party (PNP), appeared to back away from the issue in the final days, possibly fearing an absence of widespread support locally for independence.

The fear of many people in the TCI is that independence would cause the loss of use of the American dollar as the official currency, and the loss of 10-year US visas and unrestricted access to the US. It is also feared that a mass exodus of expatriate home and condo owners will follow independence and cause a massive depression in the already badly damaged economy.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Throne Speech and the campaign calling for independence is being orchestrated by former PNP premier and current fugitive from justice Michael Misick, with the goal of escaping prosecution and sentencing on corruption and fraud charges for himself, his brother(s), relatives and friends.

By Caribbean News Now contributor

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