After two years, home rule is to return to the 45,000 people of the Turks and Caicos Islands following November 9 elections.
The announcement has plunged the political parties on the tiny northern Caribbean group of islands into campaign mode, five months ahead of the elections.
In an unprecedented move, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which oversees the defence and foreign affairs of overseas territories and appoints the governor, disbanded the Michael Misick administration in 2009 and took control of the island’s domestic affairs after an inquiry found evidence of corruption.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said critical financial controls have been implemented in the TCI to pave the way the elections and a return to home rule for the islands’ 45,000 people.
The return to home rule will end a saga that goes back to 2008, when a British parliamentary committee began to hear allegations of systemic corruption in the PNP government.