BVI News

Constitutional Review Commission being established

Premier Andrew Fahie

Pending approval from the House of Assembly, a Constitutional Review Commission is slated to be implemented to commence a ‘full review’ of the Virgin Islands Constitution.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Thursday, June 11, Premier Andrew Fahie said the Commission would comprise of nine members — two of which will be appointed by the Opposition — and comprise a chairperson and a deputy chairperson.

Among its duties will be to re-evaluate the vision of Virgin Islanders to identify any gaps in the existing Constitution. Among other things, its role will also be to make recommendations for constitutional reform based on the outcomes of the re-evaluations.

Premier Fahie said the Commission will be provided with a secretariat and the necessary staff and resources to carry out its operations.

The Commission is further expected to host public forums to garner feedback, and in that vein, the Premier has given instructions for every household to receive a copy of the current Constitution document or gain access to it on government’s official website.

Report

In the meantime, the Commission will be expected to submit this report to Cabinet six months after commencement, Premier further said.

Upon completion of the constitution review, it will be presented to the United Kingdom government, “for the realignment of the constitutional framework governing the Virgin Islands with the desire and aspirations of the Virgin Islanders and Belongers.”

Come next week, there will be a meeting to discuss the full dynamics of the undertaking.

The review

The decision to move forward with plans to review the Constitution was made in Cabinet yesterday, June 10.

He said the review is to ‘determine if [the Constitution] is in strategic fit to facilitate the achievement of the aspirations of Virgin Islanders and Belongers as already expressed and as it may have shifted in the last 13 years.”

Among benefits to the proposed review, will be to “allow the people of the territory to be able to exercise the highest degree of control over their affairs of the country,” he said.

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39 Comments

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  1. One Cause; One Goal; One destiny. says:

    Without constitutional, law astute minds and progresive Black minds making up that commission, it could be another exercise in futility in achieving full control of the destiny of the people of the Virgin Islands.

    The 21st century universal law demands that every man, woman, child and country have the inalienable right to chart his/her/its own course through destiny.

    No man, woman, child and country should be beholding or subservient to foriegn entity by means of colonial rule any longer. That is a relic that must be discarded.

    Let usher in a new era with a drive to be self reliant, self sustaining and manifesting the absolute best of our African Caribbean history and heritage.

    Let the foundation be laid within that new revised document to birth a new era of maintaining the Afro Virgin Islands culture, consciousness, traditions, values, people, achievements, organizations, and aspirations.

    Insert within that document tenents that will transform into our territory and people a vibrant, purposeful, collective, wholesome, transformative, interdependent, self-healing, nurturing, supportive, empathetic, cohesive, necessary, urgent, prioritized, and self-empowering people and way of life.

    Allow us to become our own Cultural Liberators, Ambassadors and Advocates!

    Unity is our Aim and Victory from under the colonial knee on our neck is our Destiny!

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    • Who you gonna call says:

      Who you gonna call when your on your knees begging for help. Your colonial oppressors that have been bailing your African asses out of every dilemma and catastrophic that has happened to you? Yes you should govern yourself with your corrupt politicians and their cronies stealing at every opportunity. This is the way of the African. Look around the world in every African ruled country. For that matter look at African run Cities. Look at NY. White mayor married to an African. She has stolen more money than the greatest crooks could ever think of. Look at Obama. Came into the White House poor. Now has $300 million. Can’t fix what’s in the genes. Just need to control it.

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      • @ Who you gonna call says:

        You ain;t tired spouting racist dong?

        The world does not evolved around the ppressors nations alone.

        Bring some enlightening discourse to the table, please.

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    • Knee says:

      Take that knee and shove it up your a**

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    • Here goes... says:

      Never takes long for the racists to come out does it? Could you just imagine anyone in the UK or US writing that only white people should be on a constitutional commission? Seems we all, US, UK and BVI still have a long path to tread to the promised land…

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  2. strupes says:

    these cowards want a law to hide behind

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  3. No nonsense says:

    Be careful what we wish for??

  4. CEMENT says:

    I SUPPORT YOU ANDREW YOU HAVE PROVEN TO HAVE THE B***S TO STAND UP AND REPRESENTS TAKE THE KNEE OUT OUR TROAT AND LET US MOVE FORWARD.

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  5. To Whom it Concers says:

    Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realzed.

    A mind can longer be enslaved that knows itself, that values itself, that understands itself.

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  6. Norris Turnbull says:

    Invite the Hill man to join that commission.

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  7. V4 says:

    I think as a territory, government and people if you want independence get off the fence and start the process immediately. You maybe correct and mid long term successful in your ultimate goals whatever they maybe and I guess if you don’t try it you will never know. But you would have to have your head in the sand if you think that is a straight forward process to some sort of successful sustainable society with a half decent GDP. Once independent, a good proportion of finance and international law industry will depart, shipping registry income will reduce. Tourism at its lowest ebb and you have sent home all the non Belongers it’s definitely going to be a challenge technically and financially. And with self governance you might want to keep a check on who and where the future income gets spent as we know internal government transparency is an oxymoron

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  8. @V4 says:

    You are a thinker, obviously. Much appreciated. Do note, however, the ultimate goal is the restoration of human dignity, no matter the cost, not removing our humanity from the claws of UK just for the sake of doing so.

    The issues raised and others can and will be solved. We have the minds and the intellect here, and more and more are being formed and trained each day, to step up and chart the course forward if need be.

    See can you find Mr. Ferara’s public interview and discussion he gave many moons back on public forum. It may help realign your future perspectives on this issue with hope.

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  9. ?? says:

    Honourable Premier Fahie, please ask Hon. Mr. Carvin Malone and Mr. Gerard Farrar, QC, for a copy of the final draft that went to UK for the last constitutional review. There were provisions in there from the public meetings with the people of the Virgin Islands that did not make the 2007 Constitution which secured the critical rights that ensure the longevity of dominance of the indigenous BVIslanders in their own country.

    The Brits did what they had to do to preserve the rights, heritage and sovereignty of Britishness and its peoples by doing the BREXIT from the European Union (EU); therefore BVI has that right as well.

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  10. ?? says:

    Hon. Fhaie, I know that you cannot say all right now, but give us a strong hint as to what we BVIslanders are up against that cause Claude Skelton-Cline to say that we have to make a decision by 2027 on his talk show.

    What has UK or UN proposed that will force us to consider the route of independence?

    What is it that they are blackmailing us with?

    I am not into party politics, but I strongly sense that something is amiss and you are trying your best to let us know.

    I listen to everything that you say very intently and keenly – more so, reading in between the lines.

    It is unfortunate that you have to speak to us this way and that there are so many of us who are not awoke at all to the fact that you and your administration are under immense pressure which has nothing to do with the Pandemic.

    They do not know that this pressure against the Administration go far back to the time of Ralph T O’Neal and even on the Administration of Hon. D. Orlando Smith.

    Only a few are awoke to the fact that the 3 storms of 2017 were the strategy used to force BVI compliance with requests.

    Some of the compliance requests are against the traditional BVIslander such as reduce the civil service to 50% and allow UK nationals to vote or run for office without going through the established rules of being a BVIslander by naturalisation or by descent. Check the 2019 report of the commission that came to observe the elections of February 25, 2019. I found the report to be partial or bias where it was felt that BVI should allow non-BVIslanders to run for office. It is the BVIslanders who have the right to make that decision not election’s commission to make that recommendation. How dare they!

  11. E. Leonard says:

    Indeed, it has been approx 13 years since the last constitutional review and another is due. Suggest taking a strong and close look at Bermuda’s constitution; Bermuda has been self-governing since approx 1620. Think it may be the 3rd oldest parliamentary democracy.

    A few suggestions for constitutional review:
    a. Limit responsibilities of Governor to 1)national defence, external affairs and security;
    b. Set date certain for general election (UK has fix-term election; 1st Thursday in May every 5 years);
    c. Review At Large seats; shift from territory-wide into perhaps 3 or 4 districts or areas: 9, 8 and 7th Districts; 6, 4, and 5th Districts; 1, 2, and 4 Districts;
    d. Create District Councils;
    e. Limit statutory bodies to entities that are fully self supporting;
    f. Rename House of Assembly to VI Parliament and members renamed to Member of Parliament (MP)
    g. Move from Unicameral to Bicameral house;
    h. Create a large degree of separation between Legislative and Executive branches;
    h. Involve HOA or Parliament in appropriating expenditures after budget was authorized. For example, expenditures over $100K go back HOA for debate and approval. Special provisions for emergencies;
    i. HOA or Parliament meet at least bi-weekly with time set aside for residents to bring up issues ( limit 3-5 minutes). Questions from Opposition should be asked in real time, not provided ahead of time.
    j. Increase number of ministers; explore appointing selected ministers as non-elected;
    k. Public sector under local government control;and
    l. Set referendum for self-determination, ie, independence ( Bermuda had a referendum on independence in 1995)

    • NPolitico says:

      Food for thought.

    • @E. Leonard says:

      @E. Leonard, nice try but none of this will come to fruition, reality, see the light of day. Our folks talk tough but go to London get intimidated, awed and wilt. The independence football is kicked around frequently so put it to the test——-referendum——and let the people is going to be affected and have to live with the consequences vote. For should be at least 60% of votes cast. Nonetheless, a constitutional review is definitely needed. VI, one of the UN non-self-governing locales needs more self governing autonomy. The colonial stranglehold needs to be relieved.

  12. Dave Henry says:

    Guys stop being fools.

  13. Dave Henry says:

    Guys stop being fools.what do we mean by independent?.if we really understand the true meaning of independence no Caribbean island is truly independent. First to begin,most third world countries were once colonies. And are now independent. They are rich in recources.yet still poor why?.because these countries has recources but not enough money,technology,or any expextise.so they therefore still have to depend on these same first world nations that they broke away from.they has all the money,expertise,and advance technology. Therefore they still have to bring in these people to mone there minerals. And then most time take back most of the profit to their countries. Remember we don’t have a chice but accept the deal.next independent countries might have other industries such as manufacturing industries,agricultural products,and fishing industry. But remember,you need a market to export your goods.and you might still have to turn to these same oecd or first world countries to buy your items. Now they will place a tarric on your stuff,and you wouldn’t have any choice take it or leave it.and they buy products at a cheap rate and end up earning greater profit.what about foreign investment?.most investors are from these first world nations.where most tourists come from?.these same countries. What about foreign aid and loans?.the I.m.f.and world bank are control by these first world countries. And getting aid you have go through many stipulations and different protocols. And last but least.what about national security?.the police and army.you would need your own millitary.and who train and supply them with equipments these same first world countries. No of these islands can depend on their own self economically no militarily. Even politically the Caribbean leaders are still puppet to thesr first world countries. And their is something else I forget,what currency will we be spending?.and look travel privileges without visa.guys please let’s first examine these things before wr end up making the stupidest move in history and regret it later. Guys independent countries has the most corrupted governments. The worst human rights abuse is in these independent countries. And if these want independence.then when get hard why are they running away to these same first world countries. Guys pkease my fellow vigin islanders think again and get the right information.

  14. Dave Henry says:

    Look at dominica skerrit they say stole 1.2 billions in cbi funds and still end winng back why because they could not find anyone better to replace him.and thesr Islands are selling passports to bring it foreign investment. Independent doesn’t mean that you truly control you affairs. Economically these governments are still been controlled and manipulated by the bigger countries look what china is doing so guys please let’s not be fool by our government.

  15. Dave Henry says:

    China right now has these Caribbean countries hanging by their ears.these Islands has no choice but to comply with china. Next china can come in rob everything and left everyone dry.remember china is recources hungry. Right now the key to survival is solidarity.

  16. Dave Henry says:

    The government is trying to have greater control so that they can easily get away with corruption.anf the uk.wouldnt can stop them.

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  17. E. Leonard says:

    The term independence is being fling around as perhaps the way forward for the VI. But what is independence? One definition of independence is: The condition of a country, territory……etc whereby its people can exercise self-governing, choose its own destiny. UN charter lists the VI as one of its non-self-governing territories that has a right to purse self-determination, including independence, to progress from away colonization. Self-determination is the right of a territory to pursue political status without forced impediments, and the right to pursue its own business economic, social, cultural…..etc actions in its growth and development. Self-determination does not necessarily mean independence; there are various options.

    As no country is totally socialist or totally capitalist, so too no country is totally independent. The globe is interdependent. Even the US, the world’s number #1 economy, depends on free voluntary foreign trade. Independence occurs in two states, ie, economic and political. Political independence is relatively easy to attain; whereas, economic independence is more challenge to attain. To me, economic independence to a large degree should come before political independence. The BVI at this juncture is not yet in a state of economic independence.

    Moreover, the VI, like most of the region, is resource-poor, disaster-prone and highly vulnerable to external economic and environmental shocks with tourism, along with other services, being the economic main stay. It lacks the natural resources to develop either a primary (forestry, fishing, precious metals, oil, natural gas, agriculture) or a secondary (manufacturing) economy. It has a fragile tertiary or service-based economy that is anchored by tourism and financial services. The VI needs to strengthen and deepen tourism and financial services, as well as develop new economies, ie, blue economy, knowledge-based economy, medical tourism, back office operations ……etc to diversify its economy, working towards economic independence. Political independence should be taken to the people in a referendum to chart the way forward.

    Further, some countries, ie, many countries in Africa, are resource-rich yet the people are poor and has a lower standard of living and quality of life than resource-poor countries. These resource-rich countries are inflicted with a “resource curse.” They are resource-rich yet lacked the economic mechanisms, skill sets, technology…….etc to turn their resources into a productive output to benefit the masses. As the slave traders, slave owners and others benefitted from Slavery at the expense of Slaves, so do other countries benefit from the resources of these countries at the expense of their citizens.

    • Dave Henry says:

      My brother if I knew who you were.I would shake your hanbs many times. You sound like and intellect. A genius. My brother tell them again.

    • Class Mate says:

      Class Mate, you killing we independence buzz mehson. Lol. Good read and real talk.

    • @E. Leonard says:

      @E. Leonard, good blog for a commentary. Why not elevate it to a commentary. Perhaps, with your permission BVI News can elevate to a commrntray. It highlights independence, a frequently bandied topic.

    • Eagle and Buffalo says:

      @E. Leonard, good blog for a commentary. Why not elevate it to a commentary? Perhaps, with your permission, BVI News Admin can elevate to a commentary. The blogs highlights independence, a frequently bandied out topic, with a different outlook.

      [Let’s lead like an eagle, not careen off the cliff like a buffalo]

  18. Dave Henry says:

    My mother was from dominica. So I fully understand the Caribbean islands.

  19. Patrotic bvi. says:

    Only illiterate people that are talking about independence. People can be so naive about reality go ask guyana and all the other islands what they’re going through both politically and economically.

  20. Patrotic bvi. says:

    Even if you’re independent. these first world countries can still use their economic and millitary might to control you.like what in most third world countries.look at africa,most Asian countries,and latin America which includes the Caribbean islands. Imf,would bank,cia.etc are all control big these first world countries. So the word independence is just a misconception.

  21. Patrotic bvi. says:

    We need to learn grom irma.

  22. Patrotic bvi. says:

    Cuba despite having the best doctors,nurses,scientists etc.cuba is still suffering from sanctions from the us.thanks to independence. Haiti first independent nation in the western world. Result is not a success story at all.earthquake,haiti still on it knees begin. Don’t be fool by bahamas prosperity. Drug money,tourism,offshore finance etc.but still have to follow run from these same first world countries.

  23. Patrotic bvi. says:

    Haiti rebel and now paying a high price.

  24. Patrotic bvi. says:

    Now guys.wake up look at what happen to guyana. President granger ealier on made a deal with oil company,which were supposed to drill oil in guyana. The deal 60 percent profit for guyana,and 40 percent for the company.sounds good. But this did not settle well with the multinational companies at all.which ase mainly American companies. So what happens now?.the has cause granger to loose in election recound.because most international observers were from the us and other first world countries. Even if their were caricom observers to.they couldn’t do nothing. Why because this first world countries is who dertermin the election outcome. So right now,they put someone as leader whom they can control.

  25. ReX FeRaL says:

    Constitutional review or Constitutional Control? Hmm.

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