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Opposition Leader’s Outlook on Recent Constitutional Talks

Opposition Leader Hon. Edwin Astwood

Opposition Leader Hon. Edwin Astwood, who was involved in the constitutional talks with the United Kingdom is giving his view on how he believes the talk is going. The following is a news release issued by his office:

All would have seen the releases stating that the Constitutional talks had occurred last week, at Waterloo, Grand Turk.

My super team comprised the Opposition’s Appointed Member, former Premier Hon. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, Mr. Allen Wood, KC, and myself.

Former Premier Robinson was appointed to the first Indigenous Constitution Review Body in 2002, and then again in 2006. She was a part of the 2015 Constitution Review Team and submitted new and supplementary proposals to the UK Government in 2019 as Premier. Those 2019 proposals, gathered from our people have for the basis of much of what is going forward now.

KC Allen Wood is no stranger to Judicial work in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He led the legal team during the election petition in 2012 Oral Selver vs Amanda Missick & Others, in which Mr. Selver was successful. Mr. Wood KC is also a Turks & Caicos Islander and has had a long-standing relationship with the PDM Party. Those older persons who lived in Grand Turk should know of his aunt, we called her Ms. May Wood, who lived in the big pink house on Middle Street.

Hon. Alvin Garland, since becoming the Opposition Appointed member, has been a part of the constitutional talks between the Government and the Opposition leading up to the meeting with the UK delegation and has made significant contributions during the meeting with the UK delegation.

the Constitutional parties take time for a photo op

Let me categorically state that it is my view that all the United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories should at least have a constitution similar to that of the Cayman Islands. Full Internal Self-Government should be the Norm and not the exception. Being granted Full Internal Self-Government will make the transition to independence much easier.

It will give the next government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which will be the PDM, the opportunity to get as many of our people financially Independent as possible, to get as many of our people trained and educated to be leaders in all sectors in the country, allow the PDM to get crime and illegal immigration under control, Health Care in a better place, True and attainable diversification of our economy, to name a few important milestones.

The Proposals for the Reform of the Constitution of the Turks & Caicos Islands contain a list of proposals for reforms to the Turks & Caicos Islands Constitution Order2011, the previous 2006 T

CI Constitution, recent constitutional developments in other British Overseas Territories (especially those of the Cayman Islands – which indicate an acceptance of autonomous capacity in domestic affairs), and the report of the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) which was presented in 2019 after an extensive consultation exercise in the Islands.

These proposals have been previously submitted to the UK Government and had the benefit of a considered response from Mr. Adam Pile, Head of the Caribbean Department in the UK FCDO’s Overseas Territories Directorate (‘the Pile Letter”).



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