Providing support to independent candidates standing at the Turks and Caicos elections on 9 November is one of the key aims of the third visit by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy on 23-27 July 2012.
The WFD team will again meet with the leaders of both the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and Progressive National Party (PNP) to continue their ongoing ‘politician to politician’ dialogue about how to run effective election campaigns that comply with the election-related ordinances.
During this visit they are extremely keen to meet with those persons considering standing as an independent candidate on 9 November, whether as a constituency or at large candidate. Indeed, Scott Martin, a lawyer for the Scottish National Party, has direct experience of the similar Scottish system whereby there is both constituency and regional representation.
Specific time slots have been set aside for prospective independent candidates to meet with members of the WFD delegation on Thursday, 26 July: from 10.00am-12.00pm on Grand Turk and 10.00-11.30am on Providenciales.
Anyone wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should reply in confidence to Philip Rushbrook at the Governor’s Office on GovernorGT@fco.gsi.gov.uk
marking their email ‘Private Meeting’ in the subject line. Their email should include their full contact details (name, telephone and email) in their message. The Governor’s Office will provide precise time and venue details subsequently.
During the course of the week the WFD group will:
1. Jointly meet the PDM and PNP parties on Monday, 23 July, to discuss sources and uses of political finance and implementation of the new Elections and Political Activities ordinance.
2. Hold separate workshops will be run with workers from both parties on both 24 and 25 July 2012, further examining campaigning and its associated legal issues. Later they will meet with the Governor and members of the Advisory Council.
3. Split itself between Grand Turk and Providenciales on 26 July: meeting the team at the Elections Office, Integrity Commission and TCIG staff at the House of Assembly Building on Grand Turk; the Provo team will meet with the Chamber of Commerce and separately with members of the anti-VAT campaign
4. Meet with members of the Consultative Forum on Friday, 27 July before departing later in the day.
In addition to David Thirlby of the WFD, the following politicians and political representatives will travel with the party: Andrew Percy, Conservative, and Stephen Gauge, Liberal Democrat, will lead on campaigning; Scott Martin and James Swindlehurst, Labour Party, will lead on the legal aspects of campaigning.
The WFD is one of the worlds’ leading supporters of democratic institutions. It has previously visited TCI and met with its politicians and civil society figures in both October 2011 and March 2012.