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Election preparations moving forward PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 December 2011 12:12

Despite a possible delay because of government’s financial problems, preparations are underway and on track for elections before the end of 2012 in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

That was the message Director of Strategy in the Governor’s Office Phillip Rushbrook gave to the Consultative Forum at its Dec. 13 meeting.

New measures to govern the electoral process, regulation of political parties and integrity and accountability in public office will soon to be ready for consideration and consultation.

“With regard to the question on the electoral boundary commission, an Order in Council was passed by the Privy Council in November which provides the legal base for an electoral boundary to be set up at an appropriate time by the governor here in the TCI,” Rushbrook said.

“This will happen in spring next year following the inputting of census data into the process for setting constituency boundaries for the (House of) Assembly. This will lead to voter registration and a new electoral list by summer 2012.”

Rushbrook said new ordinances and updates are being prepared to ensure that future elections are representative and conform to the new Constitution.
“The (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) has financed two new ordinances,” he said. “One is an update and revision of the elections ordinance, and that is currently being drafted and will be circulated early next year. This is already at an advanced stage and is being finalized before consultation now.

“This ordinance takes into account the changes recommended by CARICOM following the last elections and by the ERIS — the Electoral Reform Intellectual Society, as well as observations made by the supervisor of elections here in TCI,” Rushbrook said.

“The drafting of the second ordinance on the conduct of political parties and individuals both during elections and when in public office will be drafted by March 2012. It will also take into account provisions regarding campaign financing, campaigning techniques and party donations.”

While most U.K. and interim government officials say they are committed to holding elections in 2012, U.K. Department for International Development Minister Alan Duncan recently said that is not set in stone because of the government’s continuing financial problems.

Duncan is in charge of the U.K. government department that guaranteed $260 million in loans to pay off or consolidate old government debts and to cover revenue shortfalls until the interim government under the governor can halt deficit spending.

That is one of eight milestones the U.K. has set before returning control of the country to elected government, which was suspended in 2009 because the country was nearly bankrupt and to investigate allegations of government corruption.

 

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