In­de­pen­dence vote de­layed

Los Angeles Times - - 9• 22•10 - — as­so­ci­ated press

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.

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