British Turks and Caicos Islands to hold general elections

The British Overseas Territory of Turks and Caicos will hold a general election today. Candidates will vie for ten constituency

Photo: Office of the Premier of TCI

The British Overseas Territory of Turks and Caicos will hold a general election today.

Candidates will vie for ten constituency and five all-island seats of the island’s unicameral House of Assembly and will choose the premier for the next four years. The two largest parties, the centre-right People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) and the centre-left People’s National Party (PNP), face off in what is likely to be a close race. Premier and PDM leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson has struggled with a stalled economic development agenda that was further impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic. High-profile defections from her party in 2017 may shift the electoral balance toward the PNP.

However, polls indicate widespread support for PDM’s handling of the pandemic and the party’s manifesto promises increased spending on housing, infrastructure and border control. Vaccinations arriving from the UK are set to immunise 40% of the island’s population within the month. Thus, expect PDM to win majorities in both constituency and all-island races, ensuring a new term for Cartwright-Robinson.

Assuming a PDM victory, expect Cartwright-Robinson to pursue a diversification strategy to offset Turks and Caicos’ dependence on tourism. This would include a fresh stimulus for the economy, investment in small-to-medium size enterprises and vocational education.

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