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Governor called out over ‘secret’ negotiations

Governor John Duncan (left) and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith. File photo

Governor John Duncan (left) and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith. File photo

Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Andrew Fahie has called out Governor John Duncan over what he called ‘secret closed door negotiations’ with the National Democratic Party (NDP) government.

According to him, a wide range of issues are being discussed. Fahie however suggested that the governor should instead take action.

“The secret closed door negotiations between this government and His Excellency [John Duncan] is not good enough. Ten years of non-presentation of audited financial statements to the House of Assembly is unconstitutional, and no closed door negotiations are acceptable,” Fahie declared on Saturday (January 28) during his annual report to his constituents.

He further lamented: “The redefinition by any Attorney General of ‘conflict of interest’, and when permission is required [from] the House of Assembly [for lawmakers to do business with Government] will not go unnoticed, and will never be acceptable. It is unconstitutional and must be corrected.”

“My people, it is these unconstitutional activities that will restrict our future progress. These must be addressed as a matter of national urgency. No closed door negotiations!” Fahie further declared.

He, in the meantime, stated that he does not support the government’s attempts to hire persons to examine alleged infractions involving Government.

The Opposition, over the years, has called for the governor to appoint the investigators.

“Those who were responsible for these infractions cannot investigate themselves, cannot audit themselves, and cannot choose their own auditors. What respect do they really have for you the voters and people of these Virgin Islands?” he asked.

Fahie also vowed to ensure Government abides by the Protocols for Effective Financial Management that it signed with the United Kingdom (UK) back in 2012.

“My people, with Andrew A Fahie as political leader, the Virgin Islands Party is resolved to being able to negotiate from a position of strength with the UK government by having this government abide by the tenants of the documents they themselves have signed. Follow them or change them! To continue to allow them to do otherwise is contributing to the degradation of our Constitution,” added Fahie.

Andrew Fahie

Andrew Fahie

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