November 26, 2020

TCI by-election for Cheshire Hall/Richmond Hills set for Friday March 22nd

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turks_and_caicos_island_flagFrom Turks & Caicos Sun

The date for by-election in the Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hills constituency has been announced as Friday, 22nd March 2013 by Governor Ric Todd and the Supervisor of Elections Dudley Lewis.

A government press release issued Tuesday afternoon said the announcement of the date was withheld until the ruling on the two other election petitions were made, because it would have been preferable to have all by-elections on one day.

The North Caicos petition between incumbent Hon. DonHue Gardiner of the Progressive National Party (PNP) and losing opponent Ashwood Forbes of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) was withdrawn on Monday and the Grand Turk matter which was brought by defeated PDM candidate Derek Rolle against the incumbent Hon. George Lightbourne of the PNP was dismissed on Tuesday.

The press release said that in accordance with the Constitution a by-election cannot be called sooner than 35 days following the seat in the House of Assembly becoming vacant and in any event, within 3 months.
The steps in the calculation of the date of an election, as specified in the Elections Ordinance, exclude some days such as weekends or public holidays and an election is not permitted to take place on a Saturday or Sunday.

“Consequently, a Writ to authorise the holding of a by-election on 22nd March has been signed today (Tuesday) by the Governor,” the statement added. “The Governor has consulted with the Premier and Leader of the Opposition before taking this decision and agreed with the Premier that it would be right to hold the election before Palm Sunday and Holy Week. The Governor has also separately consulted the Leader of the Opposition.”

In order to comply with the provisions of the Elections Ordinance this requires moving the Commonwealth Day Public Holiday from 11th March to Monday, 25th March. The Governor will make the change for this year only by Notice published in the Gazette under section 3 of Public Holidays Ordinance.

Governor Ric Todd said, “After some weeks of uncertainty the outcomes from the election petitions are now clear. As we are all aware, the Court’s decision on the Cheshire Hall petition means that an equal number of elected seats in the House of Assembly are held by the PNP and PDM. It makes sense to resolve this situation as swiftly as possible with a by-election in March.”

The Supervisor of Elections, Dudley Lewis, will publish further details on the arrangements for the by-election and a Nomination Pack for prospective candidates shortly.

Dudley Lewis added, “I wish to remind electors in the Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill District that the existing Register of Electors (valid until 31st March) will be used for this by-election. To reduce the delays experienced in the previous election in November, I am arranging for an increased number of polling stations and increased voting lines in each place. We will give more information in due course and I ask voters to refer to the media and TCIG web site for further announcements to familiarise themselves with the improved voting arrangements.”

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