|Misick announces return to politics||| Print ||
|Thursday, 08 July 2010 10:40|
After weeks of speculation, Michael Misick put the rumours to rest, announcing July 3 in North Caicos his intention to seek the leadership of the Progressive National Party.
“I will be standing again as a member for Parliament, whenever an election is called, for North Caicos,” Misick said. “I am here tonight to tell you and I wanted you to know, because I know that Bottle Creek people and North Caicos people can’t keep no secret, so I wanted to tell you, so you can tell everybody else tonight I am announcing my leadership for the Progressive National Party.”
The charismatic previous premier said he is asking for a second chance from the people of the country, admitting he made some mistakes. “We are not perfect, I am not perfect, no one is perfect.”
However Misick said he has done nothing wrong. “On my father’s grave, we have done nothing illegal.”
He also apologized to the people for any unintentional harm his mistakes may have caused.
“Anything we have done to cause us to be in this position, we certainly are sorry for it. We believe that if given a second chance, another chance, there are a lot of things we did then that we would do differently now, because you learn from your own experience.”
The 44-year-old Misick says although the mistakes have caused the country to be put in a bad position, the good he did outweighs those misfortunes. When he took over in 2003, the national budget was less than $90 million dollars, and when he left office it was up to almost $300 million, he said. “Us simple guys from Bottle Creek and Bambarra and Grand Turk, we were the ones who did it in spite of the British, not because of the British.”
Misick stood before a crowd in his home island of North Caicos and told the people, “I am offering myself to get you out of this mess.”
“There are people who will come and say it is Mike Misick and his government that get us in this mess. If it was me who got you into the mess, let me take you out of this mess.”
“If I made my way into the mess, then I must know a way out of the mess.”
But the truth of the matter, he said, “is that this whole mess was created by the British.”
Misick made clear that his plans included putting the TCI on the road to independence from the U.K. “The journey of empowerment, progress, developing into a first world nation is leading our country into its own nation.”
“My biggest regret is that we didn’t move a referendum and get rid of the governor, and then we would have been farther ahead,” he said.
Misick says the best is ahead still for the TCI, but the only way to take the country forward is without British influence.
“As grown men and women we live once, and this generation, we have an opportunity to make a change and make greatness out of this country, but we cannot do it as long as we are a British colony.”
Misick asked his supporters to join him in the movement “to save our country and free our country and to free our people.”
Misick resigned as the leader of the party he lead for almost seven years in February 2009, just weeks after the Commission of Inquiry finished four weeks of open hearings. During those hearings, evidence was presented by witnesses suggesting possible corruption on behalf of Misick and several others in his administration.
In his final report made public in July 2009, Commissioner Sir Robin Auld found that “there is a high probability of systemic corruption in government and the legislature and among public officers” and “serious deterioration from an already low level in the territory’s systems of governance and public financial management and control.”
On Sir Robin’s recommendations, the U.K. partially suspended the Constitution in August, putting the governor in charge and launching criminal and civil investigations into the allegations made during the inquiry and other matters.
Misick, a lawyer by education, has been involved in island politics since 1991 when he was first elected to the legislature. He has served in various positions of the government, including Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Communications before being elected leader of his party in 2002. He was elected to Chief Minister in 2003 and re-elected in the role of Premier in 2007.
Alongside Misick during his speech were his former cabinet Ministers Jeffery Hall and McAllister Hanchell.
“Let the war begin,” Misick said in closing, followed by the playing of “We are the champions” by rock group Queen.
Also running for PNP leadership are local lawyers Clayton Greene and Carlos Simons, and Digicel TCI CEO E. Jay Saunders. The decision will be made as to who will lead the party at its national convention scheduled for August 6 and 7.
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