British Virgin Islands MP’s switch allegiance to deputy premier Wheatley

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BVI Premier Andrew Fahie, Friday April 29 court hearing
      • Monday, May 2, Minister for Overseas Territories, Amanda Milling to discuss Commission of Inquiry (CIO) recommendations
      • Virgin Islands Party (VIP) have all thrown their support behind Deputy Premier, Dr Natalio Wheatley
      • BVI prefers democratic governance enjoyed in these islands since 1950 when the legislature was restored.

By Caribbean News Global Caribbean News Global fav British Virgin Islands MP’s switch allegiance to deputy premier Wheatley

British Virgin Islands, (BVI) – Members of parliament of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) are said to have “all thrown their support behind deputy premier, Dr Natalio Wheatley,”  meanwhile; “efforts are underway to seek the resignation of Andrew A. Fahie as premier of the Virgin Islands,” currently at a federal facility in Miami.

Saturday, April 30, Dr Wheatley issued a statement following the public release of the British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry Report recommendations – British Virgin Islands Commission of Inquiry Report of Commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom – publication date, Friday, 29 April 2022.

“It is time to turn the page. As acting premier, I am committed to continuing our modern partnership and working together in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands,” Dr Wheatley continued: “My political colleagues and I are also committed to working with the opposition in good faith and as one people, to achieve the best outcome for the people of the Territory. Toward this end, I wish to inform you that I met with the leader of the opposition and representative of the Eight District Marlon Penn and had very positive discussions. He expressed his support and that of the opposition.”

BVI acting premier very concern about Commission of Inquiry recommendations

The British Virgin Islands MP’s and the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) shift of allegiance seemingly follows premier Andrew Fahie being detained in Miami, Friday, April 29, on charges related to “conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering,” – meantime, premier Fahie remains in a federal facility in Miami. He was denied bail on Friday.

On Monday, May 2, the UK minister for Overseas Territories, Amanda Milling is expected to discuss Commission of Inquiry (CIO) recommendations, with BVI officials.

“My political colleagues and I still fully support the proposal for UK-BVI talks on the findings and recommendations of the report which the Governor previously announced, including the participation of the political parties represented in the House of Assembly, UK ministers and the Governor himself,” said deputy premier, Dr Wheatley, Saturday evening. “This format ensures the democratic representation of the people of the Virgin Islands in the dialogue on the UK-BVI response to the report,” he said.

Related: BVI premier Andrew Fahie – BVI ports director Oleanvine Maynard and Kadeem Maynard, drug trafficking and money laundering related charges

In a statement Friday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, said:

“The Inquiry report published [today] by the governor shows clearly that substantial legislative and constitutional change is required to restore the standards of governance that the people of the British Virgin Islands are entitled to.”

But Dr Wheatley’s statement Saturday noted:

What I believe is in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands, is an enhanced cooperation mechanism or framework between the Governor and the government to swiftly implement recommendations under a very tight timetable, without resorting to direct rule. These arrangements can be extended every 12 months until satisfactory progress is made. We already have some very good examples of good cooperation of this kind, including the Recovery to Development Agency and the Protocols for Effective Financial Management.

He continued: “The goodwill between the BVI and UK should continue to be nurtured and not eroded by the removal of democratic governance which has been enjoyed in these islands since 1950 when the legislature was restored. There is much more work to be done to strengthen the systems of government, but this should be done in partnership.” 

Should Sir Hickinbottom recommendation prevail, the new administrative arrangement of the BVI “should last two years”. The political hiatus affords time to recoup.

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