While suggesting that certain forces are trying to undermine his government because it has been making good progress, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith last evening rubbished claims that the United Kingdom has threatened to actively intervene in the running of the territory if elections are not held by August.
That would see the National Democratic Party (NDP) government spending less than half of the maximum four-year term for which it was elected to govern.
Minister of Health and Social Development Ronnie Skelton, on national radio last evening, prompted Premier Smith to address the rumours that have been swirling for days.
The premier started out hesitantly, but quickly mustered enough courage to call the claim an absolute rubbish.
He said his government already ‘rescued’ the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 2011 when it defeated the then Virgin Islands Party administration at the polls.
“There has been something going around on Whatsapp that some senior person in the British government is asking the governor [John Duncan] to tell the premier of the BVI that he must call elections in August or else they will have to intervene. Let me say right now, that is absolute rubbish. There is no such thing.”
“This government and this country is progressing well… This country is doing well under the hands of the NDP government. I think, if any rescuing is needed, [it] was done when we came in [government] in 2011,” Premier Smith said while he listed some of his government’s areas of success as being finance, education, and healthcare.
He further stated that the aforementioned claim is the latest in a series of actions taken to erode the people’s confidence in the NDP government.
“Since we got into office in November 2011 and I think have been making good progress based on all the comments we’ve had over the years, there have been others who would like to see the government that is now in office not do well – and not even continue in office. So they have been making many accusations and many statements to try to sort of cause people to lose confidence in this government. This [latest claim] is just another one of those examples.”
“I won’t point a finger at whoever it might be [making the false allegations] I think… I will leave it at that. But I will say this that we will continue to do the work that we are being elected here to do so that this territory can continue to grow,” Premier Smith further said during his party’s NDP Radio programme last evening.
Premier Smith also described as ‘interesting’, a resident’s call for the person who started the rumour to be hunted down and punished.
The resident, who did not identify himself, told the premier via telephone: “I would like to know what plans we have – if any at all – to find out who it is that has been spreading this viscous, libelous rumor concerning election in August. We can ill-afford to have people do this to the territory, and I hope things are in hand to find out and to punish such persons for that type of filth.”
A ‘movement’ trying to destabilize
Minister of Education and Culture Myron Walwyn, in the meantime, last evening told the territory that he too believes a certain movement is working to destabilize the government and the BVI.
He urged residents to resist such forces.
“There is somewhat of a movement to bring discomfort, to destabilize the country, to make us appear ungrateful for what we have; and I ask you with every fiber of your being to resist and let us hold hands together and work together to make this country a better place to live in so that we can have a country that we can hand over to our children. But we must remain focused on the task, and not allow detractors to take us off course,” Walwyn advised.
He continued: “A number of other countries are having great difficulties, and we still enjoy a very good quality of life here in this country, and I want to admonish us to be thankful to God for what he has done for us, and how he is keeping our country stable and ensuring that he puts persons in place that can help to maintain that quality of life that we have grown accustomed to.”
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