Turks and Caicos Islands Premier resigns

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Michael Misick, the Premier of the United Kingdom overseas territory the Turks and Caicos Islands, resigned Monday from his post in the West Indies territory. He is accused of corruption. Oliver Galmo Williams, a member of Misick's Progressive National Party, has been sworn in to replace him as Premier.

Misick had previously announced plans to resign on March 31 but says he wants to allow his successor more time to form a government, even though the UK intends to suspend most of the constitution. A retired British judge is leading a Commission of Inquiry, with an interim report pointing to a "high probability of systemic corruption." Misick also called the suspension of the constitution "tantamount to being re-colonised".

"I still think I have the majority of support in the public and in the country but suddenly the majority of elected members, who represent voters at this time, wanted me to step aside, therefore I think I have done the honourable thing. At this time the country needs a unified government. I did not want to hold on to leadership at all costs," he told the Caicos Free Press.

British Governor Gordon Wetherell is expected to be given power by the UK. Misick, a judge who trained in Britain, is accused of selling state lands to property developers for his own profit.