Above: British Foreign Secretary William Hague (Photo: FCO)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Turks and Caicos Islanders will head to the polls on Friday, a “significant step” on the path to democracy, according to British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
The elections come more than three years after the British installed an Interim Administration in the territory.
That was the result of a finding by the Auld Report of systematic corruption in the territory, which ultimately led to the partial suspension of the TCI’s constitution.
“Tomorrow’s election in TCI heralds the islands’ return to a democratic government,” Hague said in a statement. “This is a significant step and I would like to thank the interim administration and public servants and advisors of the TCI for their hard work to bring us to this day.”
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is sponsoring an electoral observation mission organized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association with participation from regional countries and UK parliamentarians.
The UK has provided what Hague called “practical support,” along with financial support in the form of a $260 million loan guarantee to Turks and Caicos over the last three years to help implement large-scale reforms.
“A solid foundation has been built for a successful return to elected government,” he said. “There is still a challenging road a head, including the need to maintain prudent financial management and I hope the new government will continue the hard work to consolidate and build on the interim government’s legacy.”
Hague said he looked forward to “building a strong and constructive partnership with the newly-elected government.”