Speculation is growing about the current fitness of the Smith administration and its ability to properly govern since it is being described as a government that is no longer united.
Opposition legislator Julian Fraser — who is among those questioning the administration — made comments about the governing party in a recent sitting of the House of Assembly.
“I told the Premier that, to be honest, he presides over a government of thirds. One-third of his government ain’t coming back, one-third has left, and he has a third. So, why is he pushing a [recovery] plan like this at this time?” asked Fraser during the debate on the recovery plan, which has now passed.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith’s government currently comprises 10 legislators – himself, Mark Vanterpool, Myron Walwyn, Ronnie Skelton, Dr Kedrick Pickering, Melvin Turnbull, Marlon Penn, Alvera Maduro Caines, Archibald Christian, and Dr Hubert O’Neal. The eleventh legislator would have been the late Delores Christopher, whose funeral service was held at the weekend.
Given Christopher’s untimely death, she is now counted alongside Vanterpool and Christian who, according to reports, will not be seeking re-election when the territory next goes to the polls.
Skelton, in the meantime, is reportedly breaking away to establish his own political party and unconfirmed reports are that he has the support and following of Dr Pickering and Turnbull. That trio would, therefore, be considered as the third of the Smith administration who are breaking away from the NDP.
Walwyn, Penn, Dr O’Neal, and Maduro-Caines will then be the sitting NDP legislators who, so far, plan to remain with the party, BVI News understands. Dr Smith is now on his final term as Premier and party leadership is in the hands of Walwyn.
Meanwhile, opposition legislator Fraser is not the only one that has been raising questions. During the governing party’s latest of a series of radio shows, residents made call-ins to inquire why a number of NDP legislators such as Skelton have consistently been absent from the show.
There is yet to be a direct answer.
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