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The Turks and Caicos Islands

Published Monday, December 31, 2012

This note briefly reviews the crisis of political and economic governance which has affected the Turks and Caicos Islands since 2008. A period of direct rule came to an end when fresh elections were held in November 2012. Only time will tell whether the Turks and Caicos Islands are now set on a new course – and, if so, what that course is.

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This note briefly reviews the crisis of political and economic governance which has affected the Turks and Caicos Islands since 2008, leading to the imposition of direct rule, the launching of anti-corruption investigations (including against senior government figures) and, with the economy experiencing serious problems, the exceptional introduction by the British Government of a rescue package in the form of a loan guarantee of £160 million over five years (2011-16). Significant sections of the local population strongly resented direct rule. With trials now under way and a range of other measures enacted to improve governance, fresh elections were held in November 2012, bringing to an end the period of direct rule. These elections were won narrowly by the Progressive National Party, now under new leadership, which had been in government when the crisis originally broke. The UK is also currently seeking the extradition from Brazil of former Premier Michael Misick, who was arrested in Rio de Janeiro in December 2012 after his application for political asylum was rejected. Only time will tell whether the Turks and Caicos Islands are now set on a new course – and, if so, what that course is.

Commons Briefing papers SN05038

Author: Jon Lunn

Topics: Constitution, Election results : international, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Overseas territories

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