Apparently demonstrating that blood is thicker than politics, Hilly Ewing said that he is supporting his son, Dr Rufus Ewing, the recently elected leader of the Progressive National Party (PNP), who he feels is following in his political footsteps.
The elder Ewing was a founding member of the PNP, then known as the “Tea Cup Party”, but later moved over to the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and was elected to office under the PDM banner. He has been a stalwart and trustee of the PDM for many years.
In the meantime, the younger Ewing continues to draw media attention, claiming he will overcome whatever leader the PDM puts up against him.
During one of his numerous interviews, television appearances and press conferences, Ewing also promoted his newly selected deputy leader and former contender for PNP leadership, Carlos Simons, saying he will be an important element of their campaign.
It has been widely reported that former chief minister Oswald Skippings will try to unseat current PDM leader Derek Taylor at the party’s convention at the end of June.
Acknowledging that “Skippings is a great speaker, a stronger orator”, Ewing is reported to disagree with a Heroes Day speech by Skippings wherein the former chief minister not only called the British interim government to task but also went on at length about the historical and repeated problems of the PNP governments and, in particular, the most recent Michael Misick administration, which resulted in the prolonged British takeover.
Britain’s minister with responsibility for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, in his latest visit to the TCI to announce elections, cautioned both political parties to prepare their platforms and manifestos, which have yet to be addressed by either party.
Despite the political rhetoric coming from politicians in both parties, the electorate is has been slow to register to vote. With registrations ending this month, the latest voter/Belonger registration figure is 4,269. In the 2007 election, almost 7,000 voters went to the polls. The election was a landslide victory for the PNP, which won 13 of the 15 seats and 57 percent of the popular vote. Only Grand Turk voted in Floyd Seymour and Arthur Robinson of the PDM. The six seats in Provo all went to the PNP as did two seats in South Caicos, two seats in North Caicos and one in Middle Caicos.
Rufus Ewing has now come out saying his party will field a fresh and younger group of candidates. The PDM appears to be planning on running their experienced and older candidates with two notable exceptions. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, who was a member of the Consultative Forum and national chairman of the PDM during the years Floyd Seymour was leader, has said she will run, as well as the politically active Euwonka Selver, daughter of former minister of education, Clarence Selver.
The youthful Selver has wide appeal, having attended many of the PNP protests and rallies as well as speaking out against the British at PDM functions. Her father is reported to be interested in running for the combined seat in Middle and North Caicos. Ewing has been reported to have been campaigning there already. North Caicos, which fields most of the family islands voters, was won by Michael Misick and Royal Robinson of the PNP in 2007. Former PNP premier, Galmo “Gilly” Williams, also hails from North Caicos.
It is expected that if Taylor loses to Skippings he will go back into retirement. Taylor (61) and his wife, whose home was badly damaged in the 2008 hurricane Ike, live with his aged mother in Grand Turk. Skippings (58), also a resident of Grand Turk, is unmarried.