Turks and Caicos deputy leader contesting leadership

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos, January 28, 2009 – Turks and Caicos Deputy Premier Floyd Hall will contest the leadership of the Progressive National Party (PNP), whose current leader, Premier Michael Misick, continues to face calls from some of his own colleagues to step aside.

Mr Hall will face off against Premier Misick when the ruling party holds a vote at its February 28th convention to resolve the leadership crisis.

He was among nine PNP Parliamentarians who wrote a letter to Governor Gordon Wetherall last month in which they indicated that they no longer have confidence in Mr Misick’s leadership.

“I have never canvassed for this position,” he said at a press conference at which fellow PNP members of parliament, Samuel Been, Wayne Garland, Greg Lightbourne and Karen Delancy, were present. “People come to me to say they see leadership qualities in me and I have a duty to them to embrace them and move forward,” Mr Hall added.

He also revealed that a request had been submitted to the Governor to reopen parliament which Mr Misick had prorogued until April.

The move to suspend the House of Assembly came before a no-confidence motion, laid by the opposition People’s Development Movement (PDM) and supported by some PNP MPs, was debated.

Mr Hall told reporters that Premier Misick’s overspending was threatening the country’s credibility.

“The Premier, we all know, is brimming over with ideas. However, at this stage of our development, we need to be less adventurous and more disciplined, applying more good practices, proper administration, accountability and transparency of decisions,” he said.

“For an economy to work, a government must have access to credit. We cannot have access to credit if we constantly overspend. We cannot have credibility if we overspend on things which have little or no enduring value.”

At the same time, Mr Hall gave credit to the Premier for the positive work that he has done, noting that the country has had consistent 11 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the last five years.