Caribean Briefs

NO SUCCESSOR

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands: Governor Gordon Wetherell has announced that he will not seek to fill the spot left vacant by former Deputy Governor Mahala Wynns, who retired from public service last week.

“I have given much thought to the appointment of a successor. But, in circumstances which are very different from those in which the post was created under the 2006 Constitution, I have decided not to appoint anyone for the time being and to keep the situation under review,” Wetherell said, referring to the fact that the Turks and Caicos Islands’ (TCI) constitution has been suspended and British direct rule implemented.

Wetherell has been in charge of the day to day running of the TCI ever since the United Kingdom instituted direct rule on the overseas territory.

That step was taken after a Commission of Inquiry found evidence of widespread corruption by the government of former premier Michael Misick.

ELECTION DATE SET

Paramaribo, Suriname: President Ronald Venetiann has announced that general elections will be held on May 25, 2010.

Venetiann heads the New Front coalition government, which faces a potentially tough challenge from an opposition combination headed by Desi Bouterse, the opposition leader and former military ruler.

Bouterse, who seized power in a 1980 coup, stepped down in 1987 under international pressure.

A locally published opinion poll puts him in the lead in four of 10 districts.

Hans Breeveld, a politics professor at the University of Suriname says Bouterse, like other party leaders, would likely gain power only if he can work with other partners.

VOLCANO RUMBLES

Plymouth, Montserrat: In its first sign of activity in 10 months, the Soufrière Hills volcano shot a plume of ash more than two miles into the sky on Monday.

James White, Montserrat’s acting director of disaster management, said the rumbling was a reminder that the volcano is still active, but there was no need to panic.

The expulsion left a light coating in the island’s inhabited areas.

The Montserrat Volcano Observatory said more ash could fall depending on the wind direction.

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