HISTORY OF ELECTIONS IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS
BY DEREK H TAYLOR

The first recorded elections in the Turks and Caicos Islands took place in 1797 when Colonel Alexander Murray, the King’s Agent approved, the request of the Bermudian Settlers for the election of a board of representatives to serve for a period of 12 months (1 year) only. The settlers pointed out the difficulty of obtaining decisions from Nassau in New Providence, the capital and seat of Government for the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands. This move resulted in Board of Assembly being establish with the elections of seven representatives who were authorized to enact and pass Resolutions having effect for one year.

These Elections took place annually for nine (9) years up until 1805, when they were said to have been suspended by an Order in Council from and by the Bahamas Legislative dispatch on the 29th April 1804. This resulted in the Turks & Caicos Islands not having Elected Representatives from 1805-1849.

It was in 1848 that Queen Victoria granted a separation from the Bahamas and introduced the Presidency system and in 1849, elections were held under this new system to fill four seats in the new Legislature. There were only some 250 settlers who were qualified to vote. (Note: There were also 2-4 crown nominees.)

Again in 1873, 26 years after its reintroduction in 1849, local elections were abolished when the Islands became a dependency of Jamaica.

Eighty-six years (86) later (1873 – 1959) under a new Constitution (July 1959) elections were held allowing the vote to all adult British subjects who were resident in the islands for more than 12 months.

In 1962 after Jamaica gained its Independence, in August of that year, a new Constitution was introduced. In September fresh elections were held for the first time by secret ballot on a basis of universal adult suffrage and a new Legislature was elected with a majority of unofficial members and a three-year term instead five years.

In 1965 elections were held and the Constitution was amended making provisions for the Governor of the Bahamas to be the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands by virtue of this Document also shared the same Court of Appeal with the Bahamas.

Elections were held in 1968 and 1969 under a new Constitution, The Legislature was renamed State Council, embodying Executive (an Advisory Body) and the Legislative Council.

The Elections of 1972 saw for the first time a candidate from the First Political Party (The Labour Party) contested and won a seat in the State Council. In 1973, the Bahamas gained its Independence and the Turks and Caicos Islands saw the appointment of a resident Governor. A Constitutional Commission was requested in 1973 to review the State Council. The Junkanoo Club incident took place in 1975, followed by a Commission of Inquiry into same, hence the Chief Justice SMALL Report.

In 1967, Elections were held that ushered in the Ministerial system of Government and four-year term of membership within the Legislative Council and Executive Council (A Chief Minister and three other Ministers, the Governor or President, the Chief Secretary, the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary as official members.)

The Parliament of the Turks and Caicos Islands evolved from the relationship that existed between the Islands as a dependency of the Crown Colony of the United Kingdom and the Administration of the islands affairs through Jamaica and the Bahamas. The first Parliamentary Election was held in September 1976 under a Party System.

The 1976 Elections was fought along Political Party Lines, PDM and PNO (which was later changed to PNP). The PDM formed the Government in 1976.

The issue of Independence was highlighted in the 1980 Elections; that year the PNP formed the Government. It must be noted that there were bi-elections in 1980, North Back Salina, Grand Turk and in South Caicos North, Salt Cay, North Caicos East (Bottle Creek) in 1985 and in 2003 as was stated above, South Caicos North and Five Cays Providenciales seats.

The PNP was re-elected in the 1984 General Elections.

On July 4th, 1986, the report of the Commission of Enquiry investigating evidence of arson, corruption and mal administration in the Turks and Caicos Islands was submitted. Prior to this in March 1985, the Chief Minister, the Minister of Development and Commerce and Parliamentary Secretary were arrested and convicted in Miami on narcotics charges. An interim Constitution Order came into effect July 24th, 1986 for a period of two years unless continued or revoked earlier. A Constitutional Commission was appointed on September 15th, 1986 to review the Turks and Caicos 1976 Constitution and make recommendations, taking into consideration the various events that took place over the past few years.

Elections took place on March 3rd, 1988 with the PDM winning 11 of the 13 seats in the enlarged Legislative Council from a Council from a multi-member Constituency as recommended by the Constitutional Commission.

Elections were held in 1991 with the PNP becoming the Government.

Between 1991 and 1995, the TCI Constitution was amended allowing a Minister of Government to assume the portfolio responsibility of Finance.

The Elections of 1995, 1999 and 2003 were won by the PDM. However, by a Court Order in 2003, two constituencies (South Caicos, North and Five Cays, Providenciales) were ordered in bi-elections. The PNP won the bi-elections and became the Government in August 2003.

The TCI new Constitution came into effect on August 7, 2006 with the name of the Chief Minister was changed from Chief Minister to Premier. Provisions were also made for a Deputy Governor, four Appointed Members, the House name was also changed from Legislative Council to House of Assembly and Executive Council to Cabinet, with Appointed Members being qualified to hold Ministerial positions except for the Minister of Finance and fifteen Elected Members.

In 2007 elections were held and the PNP became the Government winning 13 of the 15 seats and for the first time an appointed member was given the portfolio of Minister of Education.

In 2009 the House of Assembly was dissolved and an Interim Administration took over role of leadership for the Turks and Caicos Islands in the place of parliament representation was the establishment of an Advisory Council and the Consultative Forum.

In November 2012, General Elections were held following the establishment of the Constitution Order of 2011. The Progressive National Party succeeded in this election by winning 8 seats with the People’s Democratic Movement with a total of 7.

Elections was called and took place in December 2016 with the People’s Democratic Movement emerged victorious and won ten (10) of the fifteen seats, hence a new government was formed.

In 2018 for the first time in the history of Parliament a member crossed the floor choosing to leave the PDM to becoming an Independent Member of the House of Assembly.

There is continuous registration of electors (voters) in the Turks and Caicos Islands, with the 30th November each year being the qualifying date.

 

(Parliamentary Term 1976-1980)

Mr. George Edmund Morrison Ewing,
OBE (deceased)
Mr. Nathaniel Joseph Selver Francis
(deceased)
Mr. James Alexander George Smith
McCartney (deceased)
Mr. Lewis Edwin Astwood, III
Hon. Oswald O'Neal Skippings
Mr. Henry Leon Wilson
Mr. Charles William Maguire (deceased)
  Mr. Daniel Anthony Williams
Hon. Norman Benjamin Saunders
Rev. Dr. Albray Victor Butterfield, CBE
Mr. Walter Ebenezer Cox (deceased)
Mr. Daniel Manfred Malcolm
Mr. William Henry Mills, OBE (deceased)
Miss Helena Jones Robinson, MBE
Mrs. Madlin Augusta Wynns- Potter
(October 1976-September 1980)

  Mr. Phillip Dale
Mr. Michael Jennings
Mr. Albert Franklin Williams, OBE
Mr. Herbert Preston Been
(June- November 1980)
Rev. Peter O'Neil Nathaniel Hall
(September-November 1980)



(Parliamentary Term 1980-1984)

Mr. Lewis Edwin Astwood III
Rev. Dr. Albray Victor Butterfield, CBE
Mr. Walter Ebenezer Cox (deceased)
Mr. Larry Allan Coalbrooke
Mr. Alden Charles Durham
Mr. Nathaniel Joseph Selver Francis (deceased)
Mr. Robert Stephenson Hall
Mr. Stafford Allan Misick (deceased)

  Hon. Norman Benjamin Saunders
Hon. Oswald O'Neal Skippings
Mr. Aulden Lee Smith
Mr. Edwin Alexander Garland (deceased)
Rev. Peter O' Neil Nathaniel Hall
Miss Dimple Magnola Musgrove (deceased)
Mr. Patrick William Reardon (deceased)


  Mr. Albert Franklin Williams, OBE
Mr. Patrick Terence Nessan Donegan
Mr. William Henry Mills, OBE (deceased)
Mr. Austin Alexander Robinson, MBE
(September 1980)
Mr. Edward Charles Brooks (deceased)
(January 1982)
Mr. David Geoffrey Lang
(June 1982)

(Parliamentary Term 1984-1988)

Mr. William Henry Mills, OBE
Mr. Lewis Edwin Astwood III
Dr. Rosita Beatrice Butterfield, MBE
Mr. Alden Charles Durham
Mr. Nathaniel Joseph Selver Francis (deceased)
Mr. Robert Stephenson Hall
Mr. Ariel Rudolph Misick, OBE
Mr. Stafford Allan Misick (deceased)
Hon. Norman Benjamin Saunders
Mr. Aulden Lee Smith
  Mr. Edward Charles Brooks (deceased)
Mr. David Geoffrey Lang
Mr. Austin Alexander Robinson, MBE
Mr. Edward Carlton Higgs
Mr. Gustavus Othneil Lightbourne
Hon. Arabella Rosalinda Smith
Hon. Oswald O'Neal Skippings
Mr. Clement Ernest Howell (deceased)
Mr. William James Ronald Pincott, MBE (deceased)
(May 1985)
  Mr. Richard Emmanuel Misick
(December 1985)
Mrs. Emily Augusta Saunders
(December 1985)
Hon. Carlos Wilbert Simons, QC
(December 1985)
Mr. Allan Norman Hoole (deceased)
(February 1987)
Mr. Ian Stuart Lamb
(December 1987)

(Parliamentary Term 1988-1991)

Hon. Oswald O'Neal Skippings
Mr. Llewlyn Navance Handfield
Mr. Wendal Lawrence Swann
Mr. Larry Allan Coalbrooke
Mr. Hilly Arthur Ewing
Mr. Alden Charles Durham
Mr. Christopher George Forbes
Mr. Simeon Joseph Hamilton
  Mr. Samuel lotus Harvey
Mrs. Sarah Isabella Misick
Mrs. Emily Augusta Saunders
Hon. Derek Hugh Taylor, OBE, JP
Mr. Henry Leon Wilson
Mr. Allan Norman Hoole (deceased)
Mr. Ian Stuart Lamb
Mr. Austin Alexander Robinson, MBE
  Dr. Rosita Beatrice Butterfield, MBE
Mr. William Theophilus Thomas
Mr. Charles Washington Misick, OBE, JP
Mr. Micheal Cox, MVO
(April 1989)
Mr. Glenn Dale Gatland
(February 1991)

(Parliamentary Term 1991-1995)

Mrs. Emily Augusta Saunders
Mr. Charles Washington Misick, OBE, JP
Mr. Alden Charles Durham
Hon. Michael Eugene Misick, LLB
Hon. Derek Hugh Taylor, OBE, JP
Mr. George Washington Hinson
Mr. Hilly Arthur Ewing
Mr. Wendall Lawrence Swann
  Mr. Henry Leon Wilson
Mr. Albert Alexander Grant, CPM
Mr. Andrew Paul Fabian
Mr. Austin Alexander Robinson, MBE
Mr. Glen Dale Gatland
Mr. Lewis Edwin Astwood, III
Mrs. Rita Jean Gardiner
Hon. Oswald O'Neal Skippings
Mr. Carlton Evans Ewing
  Hon. Arabella Rosalinda Smith
Mr. Robert Stephenson Hall
Dr. Rosita Beatrice Butterfield, MBE
Mr. Mark Frederick Forrester
(1992)
Mr. David Ferguson Ballantyne
(1993)
Mr. Roger George Cousins
(1994)

(Parliamentary Term 1995-1999)

Mr. Winston Rudith Outten
Mr. Felix O'Neal Delancy, JP
Hon. Derek Hugh Taylor, OBE, JP
Mr. Samuel lotus Harvey
Hon. Oswald Skippings
Mr. Hilly Arthur Ewing
Hon. Clarence Wesley Selver
Mr. Staven Sinclair Rigby
Mr. David Ferguson Ballantyne
  Mr. Roger George Cousins
Mr. Charles Washington Misick, OBE, JP
Mr. Larry Allen Coalbrooke
Hon. Dr. Michael Eugene Misick, LLB
Hon. Arabella Rosalinda Smith
Hon. Norman Benjamin Saunders
Mrs. Emily Augusta Saunders
Mr. Simeon Joseph Hamilton

  Mrs. Cheryl Ann Astwood-Tull
Mr. Ervine Miguel Quelch, OBE
Mrs. Cynthia Anita Louise Beatrice Astwood, MBE
(March 1997)
Mr. David John Jeremiah
(March 1998)



(Parliamentary Term 1999-2003)

Mr. Felix O'Neil Delancy, JP
Mr. Ashwood L. Forbes
Hon. Derek Hugh Edward Taylor, OBE, JP
Mr. Hilly Arthur Ewing
Hon. Oswald O'Neal Skippings
Hon. Clarence Wesley Selver
Mr. Noel Theophilus Skippings, BLS, LLB, CLE
  Mr. Larry Allan Coalbrooke
Mrs. Cheryl Ann Astwood-Tull
Hon. Lillian Elaine Been
Mrs. Cynthia Anita Louise Beatrice Astwood, MBE
Mr. David John Jeremiah
Mr. Ariel Rudolph Misick, OBE
Mrs. Sharlene Louise Cartwright- Robinson, CLE, LLB
  Mr. Charles Washington Misick, OBE, JP
Hon. Jeffrey Christodal Hall
Hon. Norman Benjamin Saunders
Mr. Robert Stephenson Hall



(Parliamentary Term 2003-2007)

Hon. Glenevans C. Clarke
Hon. Dr. Michael E. Misick, LLB
Hon. Floyd B. Hall, CPA
Hon. Lillian E. Been
Hon. Jeffrey C. Hall
Hon. Karen L. Delancy
Hon. McAllister E. Hanchell
Hon. Cynthia A. Astwood, OBE
(Retired April 2005)
Hon. D.J. Jeremiah, QC
(April 2003-November 2004)
  Hon. Derek H. Taylor, OBE
Hon. Norman B. Saunders
Hon. Galmo V. Williams
Hon. Oswald O. Skippings
Hon. Clarence W. Selver
Hon. Vaden D. Williams
Hon. Dwayne S. Taylor
Hon. Arabella R. Smith
Hon. Floyd E. Seymour, CPA
Hon. Carlos W. Simons, QC

  Hon. Sean Astwood
(April- August, 2003)
Hon. Noel T. Skippings
(April- August, 2003)
Hon. Mahala K. Wynns
(April 2005)
Hon. Kurt De Freitas
(April 2005)



(Parliamentary Term 2007-2009)

Hon. Clayton Green, MHA (Speaker)
Hon. Dr. Michael E. Misick, LLB,  MHA (Premier)
Hon. Floyd B. Hall, CPA, MHA
Hon. Lillian E. Been, MHA
Hon. Jeffrey C. Hall, MHA
Hon. Karen L. Delancy, MHA
Hon. McAllister E. Hanchell, MHA
Hon. Greg Lightbourne, MHA
Hon. Wayne Garland, MHA
Hon. Galmo V. Williams, MHA

 

Hon. Norman B. Saunders, MHA
Hon. Royal Robinson, MHA
Dr. Charlton Mills, MHA
Hon. Samuel Been, MHA
Hon. Ricardo D. Gardiner, MHA
Hon. Art Robinson, MHA
Hon. Douglas Parnell, MHA
Hon. Floyd E. Seymour, CPA, MHA


  Hon. Kurt De Freitas
(Attorney General)







"The House of Assembly was dissolved when the Interim Administration Government took over at the end of 2009 until elections was held in 2012."

(Parliamentary Term 2012-2016)

Hon. Robert S. Hall, MHA (Speaker)
Hon. Josephine O. Connolly, MHA (Deputy Speaker)
Hon. Dr. Rufus Washington Ewing, MHA
(Premier and Minister for Investment and Trade)
Hon. Akierra M. Missick, MHA
(Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture)
Hon. Charles W. Misick, OBE, MHA
(Minister for Finance and Tourism)
Hon. Ricardo D. Gardiner, MHA
(Minister for Border Control and Labour)
Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith, MHA
(Minister for Health and Social Services)
Hon. Amanda Misick, MHA
(Minister for Environment and Home Affairs)

 

Hon. George A. Lightbourne, MHA
(Minister for Government Support Services)
Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, MHA
(Leader of the Opposition)
Hon. Norman B. Saunders Snr., MHA
(Elected Member for South Caicos)
Hon. Sean Astwood, MHA
(Elected Member for Five Cays)
Hon. G. Ewing, MHA - Elected Member for Blue Hills
Hon. Ruth D. Blackman, MHA
(Appointed Member -Government)
Hon. Clarence W. Selver, MHA
(Appointed Member -Opposition)
Hon. Hew Shepherd, MHA
(Attorney General (2012 – 2014)
Hon. Rhondalee Braithwaite Knowles, MHA
(Attorney General (2014 - 2016)

  Hon. Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles
(Attorney General (2014 - 2016))
Hon. Derek H. Taylor, JP, MHA
(All Island 3rd Elected Member)
Hon. Vaden D. Williams, MHA
(Elected Member for Wheeland)
Hon. Edwin Astwood, MHA
(Elected Member for Grand Turk South and Salt Cay)
Hon. Lilian E. Misick, OBE, MHA
(Appointed Member - Governor)
Hon. John .A. Phillips, MHA
(Appointed Member - Governor)






     

(Parliamentary Term 2016-2020)

Hon. Dwayne Taylor, MHA (Speaker)
Hon. Karen Malcolm, MHA
(Deputy Speaker) (2016/2017)
(Minister for Education, Youth and Library Services
(2017)
Hon. Derek H. Taylor, JP, MHA
(Deputy Speaker and All Island 3rd Elected Member
(2017))
Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson
(Premier and Minister for Investment and Trade)
Hon. Sean Astwood, MHA
(Deputy Premier and Minister for Border Control and Employment Services)
Hon. Vaden D. Williams, MHA
(Minister for Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication)

 

Hon. Edwin Astwood, MHA
(Minister for Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services)
Hon. G. Ewing, MHA
(Minister for Infrastructure, Housing and Planning)
Hon. Ralph Higgs, MHA
(Minister for Tourism)
Hon. Douglas Parnell, MHA
(Elected Member for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill)
Hon. Charles W. Misick, OBE, MHA
(Leader of the Opposition)
Hon. Akierra M.D. Missick,  MHA
(Elected Member for Leeward and Long Bay)
Hon. George A. Lightbourne, MHA
(Elected Member for Grand Turk North)



 

Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith, MHA
(Elected Member for the Bight)
Hon. Ruth Blackman, MHA
(Elected Member for South Caicos)
Hon. Josephine O. Connolly, MHA
(Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services) (2016 - 2017)
(Independent Member 2018)
Hon. Maxovonno Thomas, MHA
(Appointed Member -Government)
Hon. Royal S. Robinson, MHA
(Appointed Member -Opposition)
Hon. Rhondalee Braithwaite Knowles, MHA
(Attorney General)
Hon. John .A. Phillips, MHA
(Appointed Member – Governor male #1)
Hon. Temard Butterfield
(Appointed Member – Governor male #2)

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