December 4, 2020

T&C By-Election imminent

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Margaret-Ramsey-HaleFrom tcfp

Turks and Caicos Supreme Court Judge Margaret Ramsay-Hale revealed today, Feb. 7, her decision to declare the Nov. 7 election in the Richmond Hills/Cheshire Hall electoral district of Providenciales void.

The petition was brought before Ramsey by People’s Democratic Movement candidate Oral Selver, who lost the seat by only 30 votes to Progressive National Party candidate Amanda Missick. Of 844 votes cast in the District, Selver received 364, Missick 394 and Dr. Edward Smith representing the Peoples Progressive Party received only 58 total votes. However, Selver argued in his petition that Smith stood as a candidate when he was disqualified under s.49(1)(a) of the Constitution from doing so. Dr. Smith held a U.S. passport at the time of the election.

On Nov. 20, 2012 Attorney General Huw Shepheard commenting on the Petition, said, “The legal position is that a Member of the House of Assembly continues to be a Member until the petition has been heard and determined. The Government therefore continues on its existing basis. If the petition is successful, the Member will cease to be a Member.”

With the election in the Seventh District being declared void, a by-election will have to be called, the potential of which could have a profound impact on the local government. The Progressive National Party won a narrow victory in elections held Nov. 9 in the Turks and Caicos Islands, winning a total eight of a possible 15 seats, including the District Seven seat won by Missick.

Commenting upon hearing the ruling by Judge Ramsey, His Excellency Governor Ric Todd said, “It is my intention to consult with both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition this week and announce the date of the by-election in due course. In the meantime, I am confident that the Elections Office is making ready all of the necessary preparations for this vote.”

Turks and Caicos Island’s Supervisor of Elections Mr. Dudley Lewis has advised that preparations for possible by-elections began in December 2012 when the election petitions were raised. As with all elections, Lewis explained the procedure is as follows:

The Governor will issue a Writ for the holding of by-elections within 35 days of receiving notice from the Judge indicating that the seat has been vacated.

The Writ will specify the day and place of nomination of candidates which should be no less than 14 working days after it has been issued.

In accordance with the Elections Ordinance, the date of the by-elections will be no more than 21 days from the date of nomination. Given the above calculations, by-elections could be held by the last week in March, 2013. If By-Elections are to be held before March 31, 2013, the 2012 Electors register will be used. If By-Election is held after March 31, 2013 the new register will be used.

In response to complaints in the last elections, the Elections Office will employ additional staff for each polling station, and increase the number of polling areas.

To speed up the process electors will not be required to return to the Presiding Officer for verification of signature on the ballot, instead they will deposit the marked ballot in the boxes provided to ensure the secrecy of their vote. Voters will be required to have their finger inked to indicate that they have voted.

Please note that as of November 9, every employer MUST allow electors in his or her employ reasonable time for voting. Electors are reminded that proof of identification is required. These include the TCI Status Card, passport, NIB Card, NHIP Card or Drivers License.

Nomination Packs have also been prepared and will be issued to the candidates. Voter Education materials and sessions will also be carried out. Check back regularly for more information on this developing story.

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Also see this story about Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale also from tcfp

Allegations of Justice Margaret Ramsay Hale drinking in public when she was Chief Magistrate in the Cayman Islands

The allegations were not stated aloud in the tribunal, as the lawyers were at pains to avoid the rumours and assertions in various witness statements coming into the public domain.

Efforts by Mr.Brodie not to mention some of the allegations against her were brushed aside by Ms Ramsey-Hale,who said they referred to her playing dominos  and drinking at Sunset House.

“That is not rumour.I t is true that Iused to have drinks and play dominos in public,” she said,adding, however, that she no longer does.

Ms Ramsey-Hale said she had given up drinking while she tried to give up smoking, but now enjoys an occasional glass of wine with meals.

Ms Ramsey-Hale said she was astonished by a letter, read out by Mr.Brodie, from Howard Hamilton QC to the chief justice in which Mr.Hamilton said he had brought to Ms.Ramsey-Hale’s attention Mrs.Levers’ concerns over her playing dominos and drinking in public.

She insisted Mr.Hamilton had never told her to stop drinking or playing dominos, nor mentioned that Mrs.Levers had brought this to his attention. Ms Ramsey-Hale said he merely asked her. “What have you done to that lady?” and would not elaborate on the subject while in her chambers.

Ms Ramsey-Hale said that Mrs.Levers had also appeared to make disparaging comments about her in the Court of Appeal. However, she added that she would be “hard pressed• to name an occasion when the judge was unkind to her in person.

For more on this story go to:

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