Interim government hit by resignations

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands: The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) interim administration has been hit by two unexpected resignations.

Carlos Simons, who was chairman of the Consultative Forum which was set up when the TCI Constitution was suspended and direct British rule implemented, has announced he is leaving to run for the leadership of the Progressive National Party (PNP).

In addition, Dr. Carlton Mills has announced he is quitting the Advisory Council because he wanted to pursue business opportunities.

Simons wrote in his resignation letter to Governor Gordon Wetherell that “the prospect of helping to lead the way to the return of self-rule at the head of the PNP and of assisting in securing responsible management of the country’s affairs in the long-term thereafter, is a duty I feel obliged to undertake”.

He subsequently told the Turks & Caicos Weekly News that he had been contemplating exiting the post for several weeks.

“It is something I have carefully thought through and planned. I am unhappy with the current state of affairs – that’s a reality – but I would not want that to cloud my departure,” he told the newspaper, adding that he believed the current government is doing the best it can in very difficult circumstances.

Mills explained in his letter to Wetherell that he was part of a group actively working to establish an offshore medical university in the TCI and that there were other investments he may be involved in.

“These matters are of interest to me and in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest with my involvement in the advisory council, I regrettably tender my resignation with immediate effect,” Mills wrote.

The consultative forum which Simons chaired, made up of members from the community, has the role of making recommendations on proposed legislation, policies or proposed policies referred to it by Wetherell or on any other matter brought to it by one of its members.

Simons criticized Wetherell for not consulting with the forum before recently deciding on cutting public sector wages by 10 per cent. He said there should have been debate by members of the forum before a decision was made.

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