by Chris Burke
It's official. The United Kingdom is rewriting the constitution of Turks and Caicos, which the UK invaded in August 2009. Since there is no democracy in Turks and Caicos now that the UK took over, the people have no official say in any changes.
The UK allows itself access to all facets of the islands as the ultimate moral authority. The UK decided there was corruption, not enough voters, and poor governance, quite suddenly actually. Since the take over in August, the people have been excluded from any government decisions. The UK makes no qualms about its plan to rewrite Turks and Caicos' formerly autonomous constitution. It plans to do so without the input or vote from the people.
The first meeting, held by the UK in front of a "consultative forum" (they can give only opinions) was April 13. The UK admits that it will be redrafting the electoral status, and local's government input. Furthermore, the UK admits that election in 2011, as promised, is "unlikely". Also on the list of amendments is UK's strengthening of its rights to Crown land as well as other rights to resources in the islands.
Why have the people been excluded from all decisions by the UK? The UK asserts that the people are corrupted because of the divided political loyalties between the two previous political parties in Turks and Caicos. As a result of the UK's corruption assertion, it also took the people's right to judiciary and trials by jury. This was done not to afford the accused an unbias verdict, it is due to UK's assertion that a jury panel of incorruptible jurors could not be assembled in Turks and Caicos.
There is no venue in which to challenge UK's actions toward Turks and Caicos. The official and ultimate authority is with the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. Queen Elizabeth has the final say to make any amendments to the rights of the territories at her discretion. And the Queen used her authority to allow a take over of the islands without so much as a vote from the parliament, the people of Turks and Caicos, or any other checks and balances.
The former Permier, Michael Misick, had called for a judicial review of the UK's force and dissolution of the constitution, citing the "right of peoples to self-determination". However, ultimately the Queen has authority over Turks and Caicos law, said the high court.
Many believe that all of UK's corruption assertions were hasty and made without balancing information. Indeed, not only have the people's right to self determination been taken, but a corruption hunt has been looming over the people causing a climate of fear and intimidation.
No word yet on when the UK plans to finalize or publicize any drafts of its rewritten constitution.