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Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson

Sharlene-cartwright-robinson.png
Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands
Assumed office
20 December 2016
Monarch Elizabeth II
Deputy Hon. Sean Astwood
Governor John Freeman
Preceded by Rufus Ewing
Personal details
Born 4 September 1971 (1971-09-04) (ageĀ 50)
The Bahamas
Political party People's Democratic Movement

Sharlene Linette Cartwright-Robinson JP (born 4 September 1971) is a Turks and Caicos Islands politician and lawyer who is the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands. She is the territory's first female premier. She was also the first woman to become first, deputy head, and then, head of the People's Democratic Movement (PDM).

Career

Cartwright-Robinson passed the bar in 1998. Her political career began the following year with an appointment to the Legislative Council, in which capacity she chaired a variety of committees, and served until 2003. She stood as a candidate in the 2003 election, but was defeated. After self-government in the Turks and Caicos Islands was suspended in 2009, she became a member of the Consultative Forum. She was removed from that position in May 2012 after Governor Ric Todd indicated that people planning to run in the November election should not continue to sit on the Advisory Council or the Consultative Forum.

In July 2012, Cartwright-Robinson was named Deputy Leader of the PDM, under Leader Oswald Skippings. In the 2012 election, she ran as one of the eleven candidates for the five at-large seats in the All Island District, where she obtained the highest number of votes. Due to provisions in the new 2011 Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands, running for election required her to renounce her birth-right citizenship in the Bahamas. Following the general election, her party (the PDM) elected her the Party Leader.

Cartwright-Robinson led her People's Democratic Movement to a victory in the December 2016 general election beating out fifty-two other candidates for the premiership. This ended the thirteen year ruling stretch of the Progressive National Party (PNP).

Personal life

Cartwright-Robinson was born in the Bahamas on 4 September 1971 to Turks and Caicos Islands parents who were working there, and was issued with a Bahamian passport. Her family returned to the Turks and Caicos Islands when she was six.

Cartwright-Robinson is Baptist. She has served as Youth Director of the Turks and Caicos Islands Baptist Union since 2006. In 2012 she also became president of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship's Youth Department, making her ex officio a member of the CBF executive board as well as a vice president of the Baptist World Alliance Youth Committee. She is also an active member of the Kiwanis Club.

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