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PNP Cabinet sworn, PDM challenges 4 district results PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 November 2012 17:08

New Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing has named five ministers from his Progressive National Party to take the reins of government’s five ministries.

However, People’s Democratic Party Leader Oswald Skippings, who was defeated Nov. 9, said his party would be running the government despite the election results, in which the PNP won eight of 15 seats in the House of Assembly but lost the popular vote, 51-48 percent.

“I assure you that the popular vote which you gave to the PDM is not in vain, and at the end of the day, the PDM will be the elected government of the day,” Skippings said in a statement Nov. 15.

On Nov. 20 Skippings announced that the PDM will be challenging the validity of the election results in the constituencies of Grand Turk North, District No. 1; North and Middle Caicos, District No. 4; Leeward, Providenciales, District No. 5 as well as Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hills, District No. 7.

Those district results were:

  • District 1: George Lightbourne (PNP) 353, Derek Rolle (PDM) 336
  • District 4: Don-Hue Gardiner (PNP) 261, Ashwood Forbes (PDM) 250
  • District 5: Akierra Missick (PNP) 337, Ezra Taylor (PDM) 305, Benneth Williams (IND) 4
  • District 7: Amanda Misick (PNP) 394, Oral Selver (PDM) 364, Edward Smith (PPP) 58

The Attorney General said he had received information on the District 7 challenge, which alleges Smith was not qualified under s.49(1)(a) of the Constitution, which requires that a candidate cannot be “by virtue of his or her own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to any foreign power or state.”

“If that is true, the election may be declared void and, if it is, a by-election must be held,” Attorney General Huw Shepheard said.

The balance of power will stay the same until the court rules on the challenges. If the PDM is granted and wins any by-election seats, the elected member of those seats would be removed from government pending the by-election.

On Nov. 16, PDM Deputy Leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, who received the most votes in the election as an at large candidate, was sworn in as opposition leader in the government.

But for now, PNP leads the government. Ewing will have responsibility for Investment and Trade, and his ministers will oversee the following ministries:

  • Deputy Premier Akierra Missick, Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture
  • Washington Misick, Ministry of Finance and Tourism
  • Porsha Stubbs-Smith, Ministry of Environment and Home Affairs
  • Amanda Misick, Ministry of Health and Human Services (Gender Affairs, Social Services)
  • Don-Hue Gardiner, Ministry of Border Control and Labour
  • George Lightbourne, Government Support Services

The new ministers were sworn in Nov. 14, then met for the first time as Cabinet, which includes Deputy Governor Anya Williams and Attorney General.

“One of the first pieces of business was to fix the date of the recall and inauguration of the House of Assembly as Wednesday, Nov. 28,” His Excellency the Gov. Ric Todd said after the meeting in a joint statement with the premier. “We also agreed that Cabinet would meet fortnightly on a Wednesday, with the exception of the next session which will happen on Thursday, Nov. 29, due to the events of the previous day.

“We also discussed the proposed procedures for the Cabinet, and we will finalise these at the next meeting. Cabinet briefings were received from the deputy governor on public sector preparations to welcome their ministers and the Public Service Ordinance, and from the director of the Integrity Commission on the Code of Conduct for Persons in Public Life.

“Cabinet also discussed the Integrity Commission’s report of remuneration for members of the legislative assembly and ministers. This will be considered by the House of Assembly in the near future.”

The governor gets to appoint four additional members to the House, two at his discretion and two more, one each recommended by the PNP and PDM. Unsuccessful candidates in the election cannot be appointed members.

On Nov. 19 the governor announced that his two selections are former Consultative Forum Chairwoman Lillian Misick and forum member John Philips.

The PDM says it will request appointment of Clarence Selver.

Click here to read the PDM statement

Click here to read the AG's statement

Photo: Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing (left) and Gov. Ric Todd


Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:36

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