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No support for Fahie – Motion against finance minister fails

Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party Andrew Fahie

By Horace Mills, BVI News Online Journalist

A motion to have Premier Dr D Orlando Smith relieved of his duties as Minister of Finance did not materialize in the House of Assembly this afternoon, August 1.

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie moved the motion, claiming that the premier has been doing a poor job as finance minister.

But, after the motion was read, there was no one in the legislature willing to second it. In other words, a second person was needed to support the motion in order for it to be acknowledged and debated.

One would have expected the only other member of the parliamentary opposition, Julian Fraser, to be the lawmaker most likely to second the motion.

But he noticeably was absent from the House at the time the motion was read. He was present earlier in the sitting.

The reason for Fraser’s absence is not clear, but he and the Opposition leader seem to have a hostile relationship.

Meanwhile, apparently aware that he did not have any one to support his motion, the Opposition leader started to debate without the motion even being seconded.

He was stopped in his tracks by the Speaker of the House, Ingrid Moses-Scatlitffe.

“Honourable Leader of the Opposition and member for the First District, are you seeking to debate your motion before it is seconded?” the Speaker asked.

The Opposition leader replied: “No, Madam Speaker, I am laying the motion.”

The Speaker insisted: “The motion was read in its entirety from the copy I have before me and I think all members have before them.”

The Opposition leader then said he was moving to give the ‘objects and reasons’ for the motion.

“Motions don’t have objects and reasons, Honourable Leader of the Opposition,” the Speaker quipped.

She then asked if any member of the House was willing to second the Opposition leader’s motion. There was no answer.

As such, the Speaker ruled: “Having none [of the members willing to second it], the motion has failed.”

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