Latin America & Caribbean

Turks and Caicos profile - Leaders

Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor

Premier: Rufus Ewing

Image caption Mr Ewing's PNP narrowly won elections in 2012

Rufus Ewing is the first premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands since Britain restored home rule under a new constitution in November 2012.

Parliamentary elections that month handed a narrow win for Mr Ewing's Progressive National Party (PNP), which took eight seats to the People's Democratic Movement's (PDM) seven. The two parties have alternated in power since 1976.

A major issue in the election was the British interim administration's introduction of Value-Added Tax, which both major parties pledged to repeal. London agreed to scrap the tax in 2013.

Britain temporarily abolished home rule in March 2009 after a parliamentary inquiry found evidence of widespread corruption at the top of Turks and Caicos politics.

The report accused the then Chief Minister, Michael Misick, who resigned soon after, of enriching himself and other ministers by selling Crown land to fund investment.

Mr Misick, who was arrested in Brazil and extradited back to Turks and Caicos in 2014, faces charges of conspiracy to receive bribes, conspiracy to defraud the government and money-laundering.

Mr Misick denies any wrong-doing, and says the allegations are politically motivated.

The territory is self-governing, with the governor overseeing foreign affairs, defence and offshore finance. Power is exercised by an elected legislative council and an appointed executive council.