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EXCLUSIVE: VIP leader calls internal elections, says dissatisfied persons can throw him out

BVI News Online - Friday, March 28th, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Hon Ralph T. O’Neal (FB photo)

Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, has created the possibility of him being challenged for the position during internal elections to be held on Wednesday, April 23.

However he told BVI News Online that he is not yet sure whether he will seek re-election as Chairman of the political organization founded in 1971.

“I don’t know at the moment; I can’t say,” he declared, adding that the positions up for grabs are President, Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Public Relations Officer, and Chairman.

“The leader of the party is someone elected, I don’t know who will be elected,” Hon. O’Neal continued, when pressed as to whether he intends to lead the VIP into the general elections due next year.

“It’s not a matter of what I want”

Asked for a response to criticisms that he has been serving as Chairman for too long, the suddenly agitated 80-year-old party leader said his critics can throw him out of the VIP if they so desire.

“My dear fellow, I don’t think you know who you talking to,” he said. “The people could throw me out {of the party} if they want. It’s not a matter of what I want; is the people. What they do {at the internal elections} have to be accepted. So, those who talking can take what action they see necessary.”

BVI News Online also questioned Hon. O’Neal about whether he thinks he has the support of most delegates of the VIP in the event he decides to again make himself available for Chairmanship.

Christopher is leaving the Virgin Islands Party to form his own

He said: “I am here in this country long enough to know the people who would say I haven’t done anything for them. So I am prepared to accept what they say. I know my conscience; I know the God whom I serve know what I have done.”

The VIP leader was also asked what factors influenced the timing of the internal election, considering that one has not been called for years.

“I daresay {that} is a wise question. You would have a meeting when you think it is time or over-time,” he said.

Hon. O’Neal also indicated that he has not been prompted by the fact that one of his senior party members, Alvin Christopher, will launch a new party on Saturday.

“I didn’t know about the launching of a party tomorrow,” he said.

Possibly by coincidence, Hon. O’Neal publicly announced the holding of internal elections a day before the launch of the new party dubbed People’s Empowerment Party (PEP).

Announcing the elections in a two-sentence press release, he said: “In exercise of the powers of Chairman under the Virgin Islands Party Constitution, I have on Thursday March 27th written the Secretary of the party, as is required, directing that it is my express desire to have convened a special meeting of the party on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014.”

He continued: “The purpose of the special meeting is to conduct elections of Officers of the Executive Committee as set out in the Constitution.”

Possible contenders

Two senior members of the VIP – Julian Fraser and Andrew Fahie – are being touted as possible replacement for Hon. O’Neal.
Neither of the two has responded to the latest developments.

Andrew Fahie (left) and Julian Fraser are being touted as possible leaders of the VIP

However, Fahie has repeatedly expressed confidence in the Constitution of the party, noting that he will stick to whatever leadership decision is made at the appropriate time.

Downplaying developments in the VIP, he also previously claimed there is no in-fighting in the political organization.

In 2013, Fahie publicly stated that Hon. O’Neal had promised to serve as Leader of the Opposition for only 18 months, counting from late 2011. The party leader, at the time, did not indicate how long he would serve as Chairman, according to Fahie.

Copyright 2014 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.



49 Comments

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  1. interested citizen
    March 31, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    The VIP congress will have to make the choice between the lesser of two evils–FAHIE or FRASER ! This should be very interesting ! Let’s all wait with bated breath !

    Reply to this comment
  2. March 30, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Fahie will not get a second chance to screw the VIP

    Reply to this comment
  3. OBSERVER
    March 30, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    After Satuday’s meeting with those Virgin Gorda supporters, there can be nodoubt, Tilford will not be running next time round.

    Reply to this comment
  4. 3rd District for you
    March 30, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Fraiser and Willock need to lanuch PAP
    The People Arogant Party soon.

    Reply to this comment
  5. March 30, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    I think Mr. O’neal has done a magnificent job for his country and country men, but there comes a time when you have to know when to fold them. I think its now time to leave office while people still have respect for you. Now is the time to spend time with your family and friends, and smell the roses while you can still pick them. Its impossible to enjoy them when they are displayed on your expensive casket. I applaud you for your tireless efforts, but its time to give the young men and women a chance to shine in the spotlight. Let us proudly remember what the dash between your birth and date of death means to us when your time comes to leave this earth. with deepest respect. I am a Virgin Islander living abroad.

    Reply to this comment
  6. eagle eye
    March 30, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    i think Ralph will forget the date he call the internal election

    Reply to this comment
  7. For God's sake
    March 29, 2014
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Rastarite
    March 28, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

    With Christopher gone and the NO HOPE Frazer and Fahie left with O’Neal too old and forgetful, I think the VIP is dead.

    Give O’Neal a “GOOD NIGHT” H%$$%^%^

    Reply to this comment
    • March 29, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      Next election VIP 11 NDP 2- Alvera and Myron sole survivors – if Alvin not careful a NEW CANDIDATE will take him out in the second

      Reply to this comment
      • Lol
        March 29, 2014
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

        Boss you got to be smoking. Dr Smith and Myron will retain their at large seats. Mark will win again if he can get things going in town and territory wide as comms and works minister. Deloris loses her seat if a viable candidate comes forward..same for Alvera and Kedrick. Marlon will win his seat and uncle will be sent home if a young candidate emerges for the ninth. At this point ndp has four sure seats and then rest in play. How will VIP win 11-2 and they only have 5 candidates at this point? Muggy not going back..scar life can’t go back. Omar can’t go back. Uncle can’t go back and they jus lost 4. So I explain that rubbish boss lol.

        Reply to this comment
      • YES
        March 29, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        Dream on zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        Reply to this comment
      • Dream On 2
        March 30, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        You pick the two weakest links to pick as sole survivors for the ndp. At large is the popular vote and the ndp isnt popular neither is myron. Dr Smith got 500 more votes than myron and he and Dr Pickering barely got back in last time. Alvera only got in because the people in the sixth district were tired of omar hodge. Alvera didnt even campaign just put up pictures and they hardly let her speak publicly before she was elected. and since being elected she hasnt done much. If anyone decent runs against her she is gone.

        Reply to this comment
  9. strupes
    March 28, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

    why is VIP even studying Fahie after what he did last elections to the lady of the 8th?! Omar get his dose now it is high time Andrew get his. Very disloyal and distasteful what was done to Dancia.

    Reply to this comment
    • For God's sake
      March 28, 2014
      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

      Fahie didn’t do Dancia a thing wrong so give this lie a rest because she did it to her own lazy stubborn self.

      Reply to this comment
      • VIP
        March 28, 2014
        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

        Why do you all forget all the foolishness Fahie did against his own VIP at the last election- trust me Fahie will not be leader – We will never forget AF and what he did to undermine the VIP- so decide now FAHIE- if you want to join Alvin or stay in the VIP and shut it

        Reply to this comment
      • PEP
        March 28, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        Would anyone in their right mind trust AF with the country – yes- a KANGAROO

        Reply to this comment
      • Boiman
        March 30, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Stop covering up for Andrew cause he dug a hole her and some others but the hole was open and the VIP fell in it including himself.

        Reply to this comment
  10. Virgin Gordian
    March 28, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    The yellow belly site would publish my comment, lets see if you will.

    Corrections on the yellow site so call story.
    Nurse Iris O’Neal Clinic was funded privately by the…., not Government. All three community centers in the 9th District are privately owned.

    just to name a few of the misleading items.

    Reply to this comment
    • hmm
      March 28, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Ummm the community center that first floor os finished in north sound is GOVERNMENT OWNED…

      Reply to this comment
      • QOQ
        March 29, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        North Sound does not have a community center,
        there is a basement for a community center,that was rushed by VIP Government and finished by NDP Government.The remaining has to be redesigned to become a Community Center it was very poorly design and cant even be used. Its an expensive goat pen.

        Reply to this comment
  11. Reply
    March 28, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    Disclaimer: Lengthy. I had hoped to submit this as a commentary onto it’s own, but then came this article, so I decided to post instead.
    ———————————————
    What will become of the party of Lavity? I was pondering this question in the past few days as media reports began trickling in that a new political party, People’s Empowerment Party (PEP), was being formed under the leadership of Mr. Christopher, a current member of the VIP, and reportedly former elected members of the VIP were being courted.

    Adding to my query was the fact that the current leader of the VIP, Mr. O’Neal is 80 years old.

    As I thought about it, I could only see a party in crisis and possibly unraveling before our eyes because of perhaps its own doing and poor succession planning if not internal conflict. But before I go further, let’s me briefly give some background information about the VIP in case some people are not up to speed on the history of the party.

    The VIP was a party formed by the former Chief Minister, Mr. Lavity Stoutt after he defected from the United Party led by Mr. Willard Wheatley. Mr. Wheatley during his tenure also served as Chief Minister for two terms.

    The VIP has held power in this country for all but 15 years since the advent of the modern Legislative Council in 1967 and prior to its most recent two defeats at the hands of the National Democratic Party. The party has only been led by two men, the former Chief Minister Mr. Stoutt, and now Mr. O’Neal.

    As I read this exclusive, and other media reports, I am more convinced than ever that this party which has been in existence for over 4 decades is at a critical cross road if not in it’s last throws if it does not re-invent itself and do so quickly. Thus, this upcoming internal election should be quite critical to its survival.

    The fact that you have an elderly 80 year old party leader who does not appear to readily relinquish his party leadership post and signals he would rather be voted out is not a good sign.

    Complicating matters are news reports that that former high profile VIP elected members such as Mrs. Penn Salah, and Mr. Vernon Malone are being considered as members of this new party.

    One has to wonder why they would contemplate leaving their party for a new one. Adding more to its troubles is that Mr. Christopher is reportedly defecting himself to form his own party, and the two remaining elected VIP members have questionable support among the larger general electorate outside of their districts.

    What is shaping up here is not pretty. Looks like the VIP party will be left with an elderly leader and two questionable members in terms of their national political appeal. This all does not add up to me as a party that will be viable & competitive in the future short of some major restructuring. As such, here are my thoughts for the VIP future viability:

    1. Mr. O’Neal should seriously consider relinquishing his post for the good of his party, and passing the mantle of leadership to the next generation. I take him at his word that he “knows his conscience” and “knows the God whom he serves know what he has done.” As such his legacy is assured and he has nothing to worry about from that standpoint. I would also dissuade him from running in the ninth again in the next election.

    2. When the party meets, they should NOT vote him out as he suggested out of respect to his leadership over the years, but rather convince him to do so voluntarily for the good of the party. He is being a bit stubborn now, but with a good argument, I think he can be convinced to do otherwise.

    3. The party should elect new member and leadership. Despite I have been a harsh critic of both Mr. Fahie’s and Mr. Frasier’s politics, if I were to choose among them, I would choose Mr. Fahie.

    Why? I believe Mr. Fahie is more sincere of the two men, is more well intention, and has the greater potential to be a better leader. On the other hand, I do not see Mr. Frasier as a team player, but one who will throw the party under the bus for his own expediency.

    I can work with Mr. Fahie if he would just leave his bible at home. He just needs to go about his politics a bit differently and get some fine tuning with his style. If he does, I believe he has the potential to become a better leader.

    4. Finally, get some experienced and younger blood in that party who will get the respect and political appeal of the larger community.

    I must say that I personally like Mr. O’Neal. Every time I see him, he reminds me of my belated dad, and I just get an urge to hug him. Nevertheless, I just want to say to him thank you sir for your service to our country, but I would like to see you leave with dignity and pride.

    When I was a high school student about my graduation, I recall you speaking to our graduating class and telling us young people then that we “were the future of this country.” If you believe those words then, I want you now to live up to them and trust that all the work that you have done will not be for naught. Should you leave I want you to believe that you will be leaving the country in good hands.

    There is a part of me that would like to gave you a good bath, powder your neck, tuck you in bed, give you a warm glass of milk, say the Lords prayer with you, and turn off the lights, close the door, and let you have a good nite sleep for a change without you having to concern yourself with politics for a change. But I will leave that up to Mrs. O’Neal.

    It’s time to rest Sir, and enjoy and appreciate your flowers while you are still alive. It’s time to say you have done your best, and God will do the rest. If you died tomorrow, the rest of us will continue to live, and the BVI will still exists. It’s time to call it a day.

    Reply to this comment
    • Reply
      March 28, 2014
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      Addenum:

      Forgot to mention, Mr. Lavity Stoutt, if memory serves me well, died in office. Mr. O’Neal might want to add that fact to his consideration. Does he wish to have dying in office become a part of his legacy as well?

      Reply to this comment
      • Sorry
        March 28, 2014
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

        I have to disagree with you cause the fact that you mention Mr. Fahie as a viable candidate to run the VIP is absolutely crazy! Fisrt and foresmost he was not a VIP in the fist place, he ran against the founding chairman Mr. Stoutt. Secondly in the recent 2011 election he played game against his own party colleagues.

        He has too much un answered questions, one being the $750K with the current Ports Director for a youth program that never came to pass. Where is the money and where is the program??!!

        I am sorry but I do not trust Andrew nor Julian (Bi-water) debacle. Consider this party gone; as I see it only a Stoutt can bring some credibility to this dying dinosaur.

        Reply to this comment
        • Reply
          March 29, 2014
          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          As I see it, the choices before the congress is between Mr. Frasier and Mr. Fahie, short of electing someone who is currently not elected. To elect someone from the outside would be a disaster as it will show the party does not have confidence in either men. If they don’t, why should we?

          Just that you know, Mr. O’neal has had his share of questionable dealings while in office as well.

          Reply to this comment
      • YES
        March 29, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        Very wise and thoughtful words my wise brother. Great advice too; I hope Mr. O’Neal takes heed.

        Reply to this comment
    • smdh
      March 28, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      Fahie as the leader of VIP??!! Fraser is the netter bet! I would rather smoke crack and be on the street cause that is where all of us would end up with the wreckless Government spending under Andrew lead! Say I say so!

      Reply to this comment
    • Blackwatch
      March 29, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Correction: The leader of the United Party from its founding in 1967 to now is Conrad Maduro, not Willard Wheatley. Wheatley ran as an independent in 1971 and as such became Chief Minister then and in 1975-79. He ran with United Party in 1983, but Maduro was still leader.

      Reply to this comment
  12. KMT
    March 28, 2014
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    VIP is starving for leadership material. Look how uncle gonna beat those two boys. shame lol

    Reply to this comment
    • Betty
      March 28, 2014
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

      Has everyone gotten amnesia? How can you forget it was Fraser, O’Neal, Hodge, Fahie and others who were in office for so many years and the people voted them OUT and were dancing in the streets? This is the same old party who said it was alright to put your hand in the cookie jar sometimes to steal money. Well I haven’t forgotten and no way I am voting for these snakes.

      Reply to this comment
  13. March 28, 2014
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  14. facts mob
    March 28, 2014
    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • YES
      March 29, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Gosh!! I thought you were only blindfolded but you seem to have stuff stuck in both your ears and s..t compressed between them.

      Reply to this comment
  15. LMAO!!
    March 28, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    This is hilarious! Christopher jump ship and fracture the VIP! Dancia and Malone who were VIP on the sidelines for PEP; Fraser and Fahie are the lead runners for taking over the VIP.

    Ting to Talk! This will be very interesting!

    People all you do; look at the individuals in each party and vote for who you think will represent you best. Don’t vote blindly party all the way! At the finish line let them negotiate and determine who will lead a COLLISION GOVERNMENT.

    Reply to this comment
    • Grammer
      March 28, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      The word is “coalition”, not “collision”. SMDH!

      Reply to this comment
      • LMAO!
        March 28, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Idiot, it is the same thing! Keep your panties on. The parties collide and then have to coalate!

        Happy now!

        Reply to this comment
      • YES
        March 29, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        Actually I do believe he meant COLLISION; It is really appropriate…..

        Reply to this comment
      • Oh..
        March 29, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        The word is ‘GRAMMAR’ not ‘Grammer’…SMH

        Reply to this comment
      • VIP
        March 29, 2014
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        The suffering people of the BVI will vote VIP all the way come elections – there will be no coalition- in fact the more parties on the scene the stronger the VIP will become

        Reply to this comment
    • March 29, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      @LMAO
      Indeed, this is hilarious but more importantly, it is a daring and crafty strategy, not to be taken lightly by any other party. And here is why:

      Dancia may be persuaded to run At-Large, as that is likely to be her best bet.

      Vernon is unlikely to win an At-Large seat without the popular support of a strong and entrenched Party.

      So, he will have to fight for a seat in the 7th or 8th Districts, which are not very promising at the moment for him.

      It is instructive that the Leader and Chairman of the VIP, waited until Alvin and Dancia defected from the Party, to call for Internal elections for the executive leadership of the party.

      He clearly wanted them to”SHOW THEIR HANDS” and he now knows that he was right all along not to trust them with the leadership of the Party.

      But it also has some implications for the NDP
      which must also not be taken lightly.

      This is potentially, a strike at one of the major axises of support in the EASTERN END of the island by THREE and potentially FOUR candidates from that geographic area.

      It is likely to fragment the votes in that
      area, from which the NDP traditionally garners considerable support.

      The key for the NDP, is to expand and consolidate its support base in the 8th District, as the former representative will be strongly playing the ‘VIP Victim’ card.

      WIN THE DISTRICTS AND YOU WILL IN THE AT-LARGE VOTES…….AND THEREFORE THE ELECTIONS…PERIOD / FULL STOP.

      Reply to this comment
    • March 29, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Correction- Alvin was never a VIP Alvin was always Alvin the Independent-

      Reply to this comment
  16. March 28, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

    Fraser lose and the vote aint start yet. he and Willock need to start a party and call it ARROGANCE

    Reply to this comment
  17. Bo!
    March 28, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    LMAO!! This will be very interesting. I know many people in the party are neither fans of Fraser and Fahie. Will it be enough for them to hold their nose and bring back Uncle? We will have to stay tuned. Ting te talk!

    Reply to this comment
  18. POLI TRICK
    March 28, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Hon Ralph says -you would have a meeting when you think is time or over time.its my opinion that it is overtime.the constitution of the VIP MANDATES THAT THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETS A MINIMUM OF 6 TIMES PER YEAR AND NONE HAS BEEN SO HELD.FURTHER THE CONSTITUTION MANDATES THAT WITHIN 3 MONTHS OF THE VIP LOOSING POWER THERE MUST BE A SPECIAL CONVENTION TO ELECT NEW MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF WHICH RALPH IS THE CHAIRMAN.ITS MY OPINION THAT HE IS SERVING AS CHAIRMAN UNCONSITTUTIONALLY INCLUDING OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.THE REPORTERS COULD HAVE ASKED HIM ABOUT THOSE PROVIONS IN THE VIP CONSITUTION AND WHETYHER HE IS ADHERING TO THEM.

    Reply to this comment
    • Bo!
      March 28, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      One word ‘PUNCTUATION’.Jeeze!

      Reply to this comment
    • YES
      March 29, 2014
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Thanks for this explanation, I see you have started the campaign to replace Mr. O’Neal. Can’t say I wish you luck…..

      Reply to this comment
  19. Oh dear
    March 28, 2014
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

    If Ralph didn’t know there was a new party being launched tomorrow he has to go, he clearly does not have his finger on the pulse anymore, what more is he missing?

    Reply to this comment

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