|PNP picks Clayton Greene as leader||| Print ||
|Tuesday, 10 August 2010 13:11|
Former House Speaker Clayton Greene was chosen leader of the Progressive National Party over the weekend, despite a strong bid by former Premier Michael Misick.
Misick won the first round of voting at the PNP national congress Aug. 7, defeating all other challengers with 29 votes. Carlos Simons, a lawyer, received 26 votes; Greene, a lawyer, received 25 votes; and E. Jay Saunders, CEO of Digicel TCI, received 11 votes.
In successive rounds of voting, the candidate with the least number of votes is dropped from the ballot. Voting continues until one candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote, plus one.
With Saunders out of the running, Greene narrowly won the next round with 31 votes, with Misick and Simons tying with 30 votes each.
In a subsequent tie-breaking vote, Greene received 32 votes, Simons 30 and Misick 29.
Misick congratulated Greene on his victory, but said his strong showing has encouraged him “to re-commit myself to front line politics.”
“I am pleased to have won the first round, which clearly indicates the people’s choice above all the other candidates,” Misick said in a press release Aug. 7.
As PNP leader, Greene would face People’s Democratic Party Leader Doug Parnell to become the next premier in the next elections.
After a Commission of Inquiry report in July 2009, Sir Robin Auld recommended both criminal and civil investigations of Misick and former PNP ministers. He also recommended suspending the Constitution and government, giving full power to the governor.
In August 2009, His Excellency the Gov. Gordon Wetherell suspended the Constitution and sitting government for two years, making elections possible as scheduled in July 2011. However, the U.K. House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) believes that deadline is “unlikely.”
Likewise, Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick has said that her criminal investigation is unlikely to produce prosecutions before September 2011.
“If elections proceed on this timetable, there is a real danger of a return to the status quo ante, and the possibility that politicians against whom serious allegations of corruption are pending could seek to return to power,” the FAC said in a report published in March.
However, Constitution and Elections Reform Advisor Kate Sullivan says her work on changes in the Constitution and election laws should be in place in time for elections in July 2011. The governor also has said elections were still planned for next year.
How Constitutional changes will affect elections is still up in the air, as Sullivan will hold two more rounds of public consultation before finalizing the changes. Those changes will go to U.K. ministers for review and finally to the Privy Council for the Queen’s Assent.
Both the PDM and PNP have refused to take part in the reform process, instead saying they would hold their own joint process to recommend reforms. Sullivan said she welcomes those recommendations, and the parties have said they will submit their report to her.
In an Aug. 10 press release, Simons congratulated both Greene and Saunders.
"I congratulate Mr. Greene on his victory and pledge him my full support in bringing about the changes in structure, political philosophy and outlook that must now be made without delay to repair the grievously injured reputation of our Party, restore its creditability as a government in waiting and then to lead the people of the TCI in a sober, responsible way through the difficult times ahead," Simons said.
Saunders congratulated Greene and urged all party members to support him.
"To my many supporters and well wishers throughout the country, thank you," Saunders said in a press release Aug. 11. "You have always made me feel like the “Country’s favorite candidate.” You got my message and I have gotten yours. The country deserves a government that operates at the highest standard – one that governs for the people and by the people – and I am committed to ensuring that the country gets that government."
Former PNP Leader and Premier Galmo Williams also congratulated Greene on his victory and urged all Turks and Caicos Islanders “to unite together like never before to fight and bring an end to this modern-day colonization," he said in an Aug. 10 press release. "We must continue to speak up for our rights and freedoms and if we fail to do so then the British would have won. In the year 2010 we must, together in unison rally around this important cause because our children’s future depends on it.”
Click HERE to read Simons' complete statement.
Click HERE to read Saunders' complete statement.
Click HERE to read William’s complete statement.
Click HERE to read Misick's complete statement.
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