Independence vote delayed
An election to return selfgovernance for the Turks and Caicos Islands has been postponed, a British Foreign Office minister announced, extending London’s direct rule over the Caribbean dependency.
Henry Bellingham, minister for overseas territories, said elections set for July 2011 would be delayed to allow time for anti-corruption and good-government reforms to take effect in the islands about 500 miles southeast of Florida.
Britain imposed direct rule on Turks and Caicos in August 2009 after a government investigation into allegations that local leaders misused public money and profited from the sale of government-owned land to developers.
A British panel found a need for “urgent and wideranging systemic change” in the former colony.