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Jamell Robinson named Deputy Premier/Kyle Knowles a Cabinet Minister

Hon. Jamell Roninson named Deputy Premier

Premier for the Turks and Caicos Island Hon. Washington Misick has appointed Minister of Planning and Infrastructure Development Hon. Jamell Robinson as Deputy Premier, replacing axed Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Hon. E. Jay Saunders.


The premier has also appointed Member of Parliament for the Wheeland Constituency and backbencher Hon. Kyle Knowles to the Minister of Public Safety and Utilities.


The Office of the Premier said the appointments will take effect on Wednesday, March 6, following an official swearing-in ceremony to take place at the Office of the Premier, at the Hilly Ewing Building. 

Hon. Kyle Knowles has been entrusted with the Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities

Saunders, after accepting a motion put forward on the floor during the ruling Progressive National Party’s (PNP) Convention recently, to challenge Misick’s leadership, was fired from all his appointments days after. The Finance and Planning Portfolio is now under the premier’s aegis.


Misick, who was the finance minister under the previous PNP administration headed by Rufus Ewing, was finance minister. At the top of his own administration, he held that that position, while entrusted the Health and Human Services Portfolio to Saunders.


However, he later reshuffled his cabinet where he passed on the Finance portfolio to Saunders, and gave the Health Ministry to Robinson, who he had brought into the cabinet for the first time. At the time he pointed out that he wanted to play more of supervisory role to all the ministries, rather than to hold a single ministry that would demand all his attention.


 Robinson was later asked to manage the Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development Portfolio after the firing of Hon. Akierra Missick, Member of Parliament for Leeward and Long Bay, from that position. Then Backbencher Hon. Shaun Malcolm was brought into the cabinet and given the Health and Human Services Minister portfolio.


Premier Hon. Washington Misick retains the Finance Portfolio

Even before the firing of Saunders, public speculation was rife that Robinson would have gotten the Deputy Premier role. The seemingly long wait had caused some members of the public, including the opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) to become uneasy. On Monday, the PDM issued a news release questioning the motive behind putting off such announcement, stating the wait was unconstitutional.


“…We urgently call upon Hon. Primer to fulfill his constitutional duty by promptly appointing a new Deputy Premier.


“Pursuant to section 31 (1) ( c ) of The Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands, The Governor Shall  acting in accordance with the advice of the Premier appoint one of the Ministers of Cabinet  as Deputy Premier. The appointment of a Deputy Premier is embedded in the constitution, and not at the discretion of the Premier as to whether there should or should not be a Deputy Premier.


“Despite internal political challenges within Hon. Primer's party, we urge him to prioritize the people's interests and expeditiously fill the Deputy Premier position,” The PDM said in the statement.


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