<<< Hon. Fred Mitchell
Nassau Bahamas — The Progressive Liberal Party notes with interest that on Monday 8th March, there was a joint march of the political parties in the Turks and Caicos Islands in opposition to direct rule by Britain. Direct rule was imposed on the Islands last year. At the time of the British decision to impose direct rule, the PLP expressed its concern that democracy was being withdrawn in the Turks and Caicos Islands by the colonial power. At the time, the PLP urged the British to reconsider. The PLP supported the Caricom position. At the time, the PLP urged the political parties in the Turks and Caicos to come to a joint position on the matter. We are pleased that there is now a joint position.
Both the leader of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) led by Douglas Parnell and the Progressive National Movement (PNM) led by Galmo Williams, former Premier, held a joint march in the Turks and Caicos Islands to protest the direct rule and in particular, what appear to be plans by the British to expand the franchise for voters to a class of foreign nationals in the Turks and Caicos Islands who have been given ‘Belonger’ status. The status of the ‘Belonger’ is the equivalent of citizenship in a country that is not independent.
We view the joint march as a positive development in the development of Turks and Caicos democracy. We applaud the fact that the two parties are now working together. We urge the British to restore democratic rule to the Turks and Caicos and to resist any move that would weaken the ability of the native peoples of the Turks and Caicos to run their own affairs.