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General Election next summer, maybe sooner — Premier

Premier Smith

The British Virgin Islands could see the next General Election earlier than anticipated, according to Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

In a broadcast on Monday evening, Dr Smith said: “At some point next summer, or maybe even before, we will have another general election.”

“In that election, the National Democratic Party (NDP) will once again stand,” added a confident Dr Smith, who said he will not be leading the party to the polls come 2019.

It is expected whoever is elected to replace Dr Smith as NDP President will attempt to lead the party into its third consecutive term in government.

Come Saturday, June 23, the NDP will host a conference in which it will elect a new president, among other things.

Government ministers Myron Walwyn and Ronnie Skelton are both contending for the top post.

While the territory anticipates what could be a snap general election, the opposing Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is yet to announce its candidates who will contest at the polls.

VIP leader Andrew Fahie recently said his party would begin making political rounds to recruit potential VIP candidates. Notably, Fahie recently underwent a tour of the territory, which some have labelled as a political campaign.

Premier grateful

Meanwhile, in what resembles an early ‘farewell’ address, Premier Smith said he was thankful to have been allowed the opportunity to serve the BVI.

“I am grateful for all those who have been my fellow travellers through good times and bad over these past twenty years – who have shared with me the victories and the defeats.”

Though not denying his Administration’s ‘failures’, Premier Smith was keen to note ‘successes’ under his leadership such as setting aside reserves in excess of $60 million, which he said ‘proved crucial in the recent hurricanes’.

He also noted other ‘victories’ such as ‘building a global financial services sector’, investment in the local tourism sector, building the cruise ship dock and pier park village, building Peebles Hospital, and launching the National Health Insurance policy, among other things.

“Through good times and bad, we never swerved from our philosophical North Star,” the Premier noted.

“I am grateful to my wife and family who have stood beside me and given me strength when I needed it most.
I am grateful to the people of the BVI who entrusted me and my colleagues in three out of the past four elections to lead our territory and whose hard work, creativity and bedrock values are the true engines for our growth. And I am grateful for the one year we have left in this government’s term – a year that I am committed to making a time of relentless effort to continue down the path to recovery.”

He added: “I will try to do so as I always have – with humility and with a promise that while I may never be free of mistakes or of missteps, I will always seek to do the right as God chooses to show me the right.”

“I look forward to that work ahead. And I look forward to the bright future that we, the people of the BVI, will build together.”

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17 Comments

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  1. Sam the man says:

    Sad really that the only victories mentioned have been monumental failures 1. The hospital cost nearly 3 times what it should have done and took nearly 14 years to eventually build…2. The cruise ship dock and pier park was a financial black hole and we still cannot comprehend where the money was spent! and 3. NHI is an unmitigated disaster and not popular…apart from that great job….

  2. TurtleDove says:

    Thanks for your service Doc!…It takes a strong man or woman to be in politics in the BVI. Even though some of us bloggers get a little too personal at times it’s all good. God bless!

  3. Albion says:

    Two things seem very likely to me right now: First, the election will be called early, possibly later this year. Second, the VIP (and probably Fraser’s new party too) will be caught flat-footed again without a decent slate candidates to contest it for the second election in a row.

  4. Political Observer (PO) says:

    “VIP leader Andrew Fahie recently said his party would begin making political rounds to recruit potential VIP candidates.” Is this exercising fire discipline or just plain unpreparedness? The last general election was held on 08 June 2015. And per the constitution, the next general election is due no later than the summer of 2019 so what is the tall pole in the tent for the VIP or other opposition groups? Here is a news flash. A snap election can be called at any time as was done in 2015 when the Opposition was caught napping.

    And despite a floundering NDP, the Opposition look like it is still napping. A date certain time for election is needed to level the playing field; currently, the sitting government has the advantage. The conventional wisdom is not waiting until an election date is announced to announce a list of candidates and start campaigning. The election may be lost by then. The VIP was ill-prepared for the last election and the one before. It seems to be still ill-prepared.

    Look like the Opposition is missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. If the Opposition cannot have a strong showing showing at the polls, given a weakened NDP, then it may never do. Is the Opposition squandering a golden opportunity?

    • BoyBlue says:

      A—- is a liability and that cannot change.
      Good decent and capable candidates would not want to get in the VIP pool with A—– there.
      In my opinion, this is why VIP continues to be a sad joke.

  5. Laura says:

    Not one thing under this administration has been successful which is a monumental catastrophe. The party had all the makings of a force to be reckoned with yet nothing at the end of the day to show for all the brains aboard deck.

    But Dr. Smith started/created a dream it just didn’t materialise as he anticipated and now we the people must suffer until all is rectified for our precious BVI.

    Give Jack his jacket tho Dr Smith remained the dame throughout his service to our beloved country and he deserves to be recognized for his professionalism at all times in all arenas.All the best in your retirement, hopefully you get to enjoy it thoroughly but I highly doubt you will.

  6. If it can't be Smith or Pickering says:

    …we’ll take Ronnie some how…but NOT Myron (God forbid)

  7. WoW says:

    Why don’t you all keep of Myron.

  8. Concern says:

    Why is this the BVI one of the only countries who don’t have a set election date. We all know in US it is November, every 4 years.. but BVI can say… oh in 2 months we will hold is election..like really? That is too much power, and needs to be regulated to be fair to both parties.

    • Observer says:

      Have you been following elections across the Caribbean..most countries in the Caribbean do not have a set date for election..case in point, the recent elections in Barbados and Antigua

  9. La La Land says:

    Wait for the mad rush to jump aboard the “gravy train express” and see those so principled politicians fight it out shamelessly whilst the country continues to go to S….t . At least M painted the abandoned derelict houses at CGB I guess that’ll make him qualified to be deputy big cheese!

  10. Well says:

    How is it in the best interest of the BVI to have elections early? Granted the Incumbent government has a head start but after all the country has been through having early elections would self serving and not in the best interests of the People!!!!!! Fight the election based on your record not on your perception of the competition.

  11. VIP says:

    The VIP already has 10 top quality candidates and in the process of confirming others.
    STAY TUNE

    • /////// says:

      Why are the opposing parties not making their goods public. What are they all waiting for? They going to wait to the day before a snap election is called to announce candidates? Is there a big secret or do they just don’t have candidates?
      If VIP has 10 candidates……announce it!

  12. VirginIslander says:

    It’s sad that we don’t have more credible people from whom we could choose to represent us and represent our Territory.

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