Premier Andrew Fahie has offered details of what he described as the abusive relationship between himself and former governor, Augustus Jaspert.
According to Premier Fahie, the relationship took a turn from the start after Jaspert chided the Premier on his first day in office for meeting with permanent secretaries without the governor’s permission.
Fahie told the Commission of Inquiry (COI), that he was shouted at and accused of having ‘crossed the line’ by the former governor.
Premier Fahie said he was also accused wrongfully of leaking the names of his ministers to the press before they were revealed to the governor.
The leader of government business said the underlying lack of trust between himself and Jaspert led to a situation where witnesses were at times required to be in the room to assist with having an accurate account of events that may have transpired in any meeting between them.
Premier Fahie said he even called for a meeting between the two to address the impasse, extended the proverbial olive branch by offering an apology, and proposed that they seize the opportunity to move forward.
But the Premier said the former governor‘s response was unhelpful.
According to Premier Fahie, the former governor allegedly said, “It’s good to know that you finally understood that you were wrong.”
“His language to us has always been one in which it’s as if we can’t do anything right. It was an abusive relationship if you ask me; as if we couldn’t do anything correct and I wrote all around for help,” Premier Fahie stated.
Clash of personalities
COI attorney, Bilal Rawat described the circumstances as a clash between the personalities of the Premier and the former governor.
He suggested that the fact that there could be such a clash of personality is in itself a fundamental weakness in the constitution.
Premier Fahie told the Commission that whenever he wrote letters of complaint to the UK, they would write back and effectively say, ‘I hear everything that you said but we’re with Gus’.
He said this was more indicative of a problem within the partnership between the UK and the BVI, than it was a constitutional issue.
Public officers have also offered complaints of how they were spoken to by the former governor, Premier Fahie told the COI.
He drew a stark contrast between the behaviour of the previous governor and current governor John Rankin, who he suggested displayed much more maturity in their interactions.
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