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Election campaigning begins in Turks and Caicos
Published on October 1, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands -- Both parties are in the Turks and Caicos Islands well under way in running their campaigns for the upcoming elections, with a principal focus on the ten election districts.

Progressive National Party (PNP) leader Rufus Ewing spoke about the Blue Hills district of Provo, saying, “Blue Hills has always been yellow and will continue to be yellow.” Ironically, his brother is running as a candidate for the opposing Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) in Blue Hills. Ewing’s father is a stalwart and former trustee of the PDM.

Greg Lightbourne, a former member of the PNP administration, said at a rally that voters must forget about the past and look forward. “We will concentrate on education as we did on retirement benefits in the past.”

PDM supporters have responded to Lightbourne’s comments. One nominee, who asked to withhold his name because he lost out in his quest to run for PDM, said, Lightbourne’s statement makes no sense. Since 2003, when PNP took over, they went through millions of dollars but did not build or improve any schools. Also they raided the National Insurance Fund to start the TCI Bank, which their now candidate Washington Misick ran into bankruptcy in three years. No wonder Greg wants us to forget what he failed to do.”

PDM leader Oswald Skippings said his party was on a roll as it opened an information booth and the candidates, accompanied by party leaders, wearing the party’s trademark blue colour, began to conduct “walk-throughs” in the election districts.

Peoples Television TV 8 began an online poll of voters’ preferences. The initial report had 77 percent expressing a preference for the PNP and 13 percent supporting the PDM. A small 1 percent supported the new Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). However, the TV reporter admitted that less than 30 people had voted. In the Sun newspaper leadership poll, 624 voters registered 45 percent support for PDM leader Skippings and 55 percent for PNP leader Ewing.

This result came after a scathing editorial against Skippings by Sun publisher and editor Hayden Boyce. The Sun has now published a follow up article calling for an apology by Skippings. Skippings recently came out against replacing the foreign principal of the country’s largest high school, Provo's Clement Howell High School with another foreigner. Skippings called for picketing of the school to prevent the new Guyanese-born educator from taking his post. Skippings has received widespread support for his position that the important post needs to be filled by a qualified Turks and Caicos Islander.
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