Turks and Caicos Islands head to the polls next month

By Craig Brewin, craig.brewin@fotbot.org

The Turks and Caicos Islands will hold their general election next month. This follows the dissolution of the Assembly, last year, at the end of its five year term.

As usual, the election will be fought between the People’s Democratic Movement, who took office in 2016, the Progressive National Party, and several independents. The exact number of candidates will be known when nominations close on 29th January. Both parties have announced that they will stand a full slate of 15 candidates. The party leaders are the Premier, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, for PDM, and the leader of the PNP, Charles Misick.

The constituencies of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Elections are close fought in TCI, with PDM winning last time around with a swing of around 4%. This was enough for the former Premier, the PNP’s Rufus Ewing, to lose his seat. The large number of foreign nationals on the island means that only around 25% of the population are eligible to vote. However, the number of registered electors has increased by over 10% in the last 4 years, to 8,623, and this could impact on the result this time around. Turnout is traditionally high, with 80% of registered electors voting in 2016.

The House of Assembly has 15 elected members. Ten are elected in single-seat electoral districts, with another five elected from an all-island district. Both routes to the assembly use the first past the post system. PDP won 51% of the vote in 2016, which was enough to give them six of the ten constituency seats, and four of the five-at-large seats.

The election will be on the 19th February 2021.