CaribWorldNews, BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, Thurs. MAY 14, 2009 : New Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Galmo Williams, has called for a referendum to be taken or a general poll held before the United Kingdom government suspends the territory’s constitution and imposes direct rule from London later this month.
Addressing the Caribbean Regional Seminar for the United Nations Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism in St. Kitts on Tuesday, Williams, who assumed the premiership in February told delegates that the action of the British government is draconian and has dealt a severe blow to achieving the goal of preparing its colonies and its people to determine their own destiny.
Recalling the statement by then British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook in 1998 that the democratically-elected governments of the Dependent Territories have the right to govern and to be consulted by Britain on any constitutional changes, Williams told delegates: `The UK Government have not consulted the People of the Turks and Caicos Islands on the proposed suspension of TCI’s Constitution, and we call on the Special Committee of 24 to urge the UK Government to cause a referendum to be held or a general poll be taken on the wishes of the people before the UK Government proceeds with suspension of TCI’s Constitution at May 31st 2009.`
He added that with the support of the United Nations, the Turks and Caicos Islands will work to ensure that elections continue to be free and fair and commended the organization for being at the forefront of this important issue that protects democracy around the world.
`My country might be challenged in its current state but I call upon all of you to make representations to HMG on the behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands and its people. We have a democracy that is still alive and a government that is capable of running the affairs of the country. There is no need to resort to old colonial behavior when there are better alternatives that will not erase our democracy,` Premier Williams urged the delegates to the Seminar at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino.
Former Premier Misick resigned amidst claims of corruption which were released in a draft report following a British hearing earlier this year.