The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed its condemnation of the British government’s decision to take control of the government of one of its associate members, the Turks and Caicos Island. A CARICOM release on Thursday said the regional grouping notes “with profound concern and deep disappointment the decision of the British Government to dissolve the Government and the legislature, as well as to suspend the right to trial by jury in the Turks and Caicos Islands all in reaction to the adverse findings of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the administration of the territory”.
The imposition of direct rule by the Governor the release is a step backwards for the islands and as such this and view the action as counterproductive adding that the democratic process within the region cannot be strengthened by removing representative democracy from the citizens of the Islands. ”It maintains that, on the contrary, it would have been far more beneficial, and the results more sustainable, to involve the people of the territory through their elected representatives, in the efforts required to strengthen the good governance and public administrative processes of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is the stated ultimate goal of the British Government” the release continued.
The regional grouping added that it is the firm hope of CARICOM that this action by the British Government will be for a very limited duration.
The UK took control of the islands on Friday last after claims of widespread corruption in the British overseas territory. Local government in the islands, was suspended for up to two years while their affairs are put back in “good order” the British press reported. The islands’ newly appointed governor, Gordon Wetherell, has denied that the step was a “British takeover”. “Public services will continue to be run by the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as indeed they should be,” he said. “Our goal is to make a clean break from the mistakes of the past by establishing a durable path towards good governance, sound financial management and sustainable development.”