Nassau, Bahamas – Members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) propose to make representation to the British Government regarding recommendations in the Interim Report of the Turks and Caicos Commission of Inquiry, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham told Parliament Wednesday.
After reading into the record of Parliament the March 24 Statement by Caricom on the situation in the TCI Prime Minister Ingraham said, “ We are proposing that each of us, each country, will make separate representation to the British Government provided we can get the two political parties in the Turks and Caicos to agree upon a set of things.”
The Commissioner in the TCI recommended in the Interim Report “the suspension of the entire Constitution for an indeterminate period, to replace the democratic process presently provided by the Cabinet and the House of Assembly with direct rule from Westminster, acting through the Governor with, but not bound by, the advice of an Advisory Executive Council”.
Caricom in its Statement said, “ An Order in Council was subsequently made on 18 March 2009 and will be laid before the British Parliament on Wednesday 25 March 2009. The Order will continue in force for a period of two years from the date of its commencement unless it is revoked earlier, or continued in force, by a further Order in Council.
“Once given effect, the Order in Council will suspend certain provisions of the Constitution of the TCI relating to ministerial government and the House of Assembly.It will also remove trial by jury and enlarge the franchise to the disadvantage of the TCI people,” Caricom said.
Mr. Ingraham said, “In my discussions with both sides I gathered that they could agree upon some items. Whether they can agree upon all I do not know, but whatever they can agree upon are the things that we will undertake on their behalf and seek to persuade as best we can, if we can, the British Government to give some consideration to not proceeding for certainly not the length of time, and in some cases not undertaking some of the measures being proposed.”