BVI News

Are term limits for legislators undemocratic?

Chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) Lisa Penn-Lettsome has revealed that some residents who submitted their views to the CRC, were strongly opposed to term limits for elected leaders, as they believe it goes against the tenets of democracy.

A term limit is a legal restriction on the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. It has been supported by many in the BVI, including legislators who see it as a tool that could prevent the abuse of power by individuals and political parties who remain in office for long periods.

Penn-Lettsome said when the CRC held public consultations last year, there was an even split in views — just about the same number of residents were both for and against term limits.

But she said there were persons who believed that they should have the right to elect their favourite candidates as many times as they wish. And Penn-Lettsome stated that those persons “couldn’t be ignored”.

“They held the view that term limits would go against their democratic rights to have the person they select represent them,” Penn-Lettsome explained on the Talking Points radio show earlier this week.

“We recommended that they (government) put it to the public (to vote). We didn’t want to cast a positive or negative recommendation because people were pretty even — whether for or against term limits,” Penn-Lettsome added.

She also said some residents suggested that the BVI implement staggered term limits for the Premier’s post, “meaning you serve perhaps two terms and take a break before you can be appointed again.”

Elected leaders such as D8 Representative Marlon Penn and Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton have voiced their support for term limits for the post of Premier but not for all elected leaders.

However, before he demitted office, former legislator Mark Vanterpool supported term limits for all elected leaders, saying it would help the public to trust leaders much more than they currently do.



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  1. Putin says:

    Obviously I’m all for it Stalinn Hitler , Trump who’s to worry go right ahead what could possibly go wrong.

  2. maria louisa varlack says:

    i was born 56 years ago. i can now see that bvi islanders are miserable. we paupers. we live below poverty and in poverty. we are poor and needy and downtrodden. we are homeless jobless and penniless with anyone to help us. we have no jobs no careers and no profession because no one wants to help any.

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    • @ Maria Louisa Varlack says:

      I rebuke everyone word that you have said about BVIslanders. However, as a people we need to repent of our sins and turn from our wicked ways and show love and compassion for our fellow brothers and sisters. You cannot be a lover of Christ if you hate your brother or sister! God is your defense and help and not man!

      If my people, which are called by by name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins, and heal their land (II Chronicles 7:14)

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  3. Guest says:

    Ultimately, term limits are decided on Election Day. When the voters had enough of you, they will bid you goodbye.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The whole point of term limits is to prevent political corruption. Why would any resident be against term limits. Are the people of BVI so happy with their politicians that they would rather remove term limits so they can have political officials longer? Getting rid of term limits is one step closer to a dictatorship.

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  5. my2cents says:

    Term limits are not needed here, or in any small island country.

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  6. Citizen says:

    Corruption needs to be stopped. We have had enough!!

  7. Maybe says:

    before 1990 when the BVI population was small at around 10,000 residents. Definitely time now for term limit of one 4 year elected term for life of any member of the HOA; no re-elections. The UK Governors only serve in the BVI for 4 years in their life in the BVI and so should the elected BVI politicians. Additionally all elected member of the HOA must retire from all public life when their 4 year term expires. No more connections with the BVI government in any capacity for the remainder of their lives. This restriction also includes any pensions derived from government service or employment. Their pension only lasts for the number of years the person was on the BVI government payroll. 10 Years on the BVI payroll and 4 years service in the HOA equals a pension of only 14 years NOT LIFE!

    If anyone disagrees then just drive through the derelict 3rd district of Sea Cows Bay and see the result of a person who is in his 6th term of 4 years of incredible incompetency and co**uption.

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