BVI News

Departed NDP legislators does not impact our ability to govern — Premier

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

Political chatter has permeated the British Virgin Islands following the recent upset within the National Democratic Party (NDP) government, and there are now recurring questions of whether the party is still capable of doing the job they were elected to do nearly four years ago.

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has responded to those questions with a resounding ‘yes’.

“The departure of colleagues to the Opposition bench does not impact our ability to govern. We retain a majority in the House of Assembly,” Dr Smith said while referring to defector NDP legislators Ronnie Skelton, Archibald Christian, and Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull, all of whom reportedly colluded to form their own political movement.

Their departure — which has come in the form of dismissals from their ministerial posts (except for Turnbull who elected to sit over the side of the Opposition) — is not in the least uncommon in the business of politics, the premier said in a statement Monday evening.

“Politicians come and go. Ministers come and go. Governments come and go. Indeed, my own time as leader of this party soon draws to an end. But the vision – that is what endures. If it is sound and true – then it outlasts us all,” said the 74-year-old politician who has since promoted three of his junior legislators to the ministerial posts that became vacant.

Premier Smith has branded those new appointments as a “reshuffle” of his administration.

“The important business of governing this territory has not and will not be adversely affected … We will be fine. The people of this territory have gone through far worse and have endured,” he said.

The NDP ‘vision’

In the meantime, the ‘vision’ Dr Smith had mentioned earlier was in reference to the NDP’s mission, which he claimed was to “invest smartly and strategically in order to secure a proud, prosperous future for the BVI”.

Be that as it may, the three NDP defectors (Skelton, Turnbull, and Christian) have all, in some way, suggested that the NDP has sullied the party’s integrity in trying to actualise that vision.

That, the defectors claim, is their reason for breaking away from the party and aligning with the newly-formed Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), which is reported to be led by Skelton.

In the same breath, however, Skelton and Turnbull have also faced criticism that they only formed the PVIM because they both lost in their bid to lead the NDP. Turnbull has refuted that claim.

Governor Augustus Jaspert announced days ago that the next General Election must happen by April 2019. At least four political organisations are expected to present candidates to contest the 13 electoral seats — the Myron Walwyn-led NDP, the Skelton-led PVIM, the Andrew Fahie-led VIP, and the newly-formed Julian Fraser-led Progressive United.

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  1. States says:

    Doc, your party is doing a good job. Good thing the runners is no longer on the VIP ticket. They were just bringing down the team with the negative behavior. On another note, a lot of us in the States have noticed when we blog in support of NDP on the other Web site they do not print our comments, they only print the comments that is negative towards the NDP.

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    • Say what says:

      “The vision continues”? Say wha?
      Your leadership has a big question mark next to it.
      We all remember the ten years your hospital sat empty because it wasnt designed properly. We shall not forget your $7.2m gift of our money to dat airline which you neglected to conduct simple due dilly.
      Is the BVI a better place today after 16 years of your rule? Our roads are broken, our schools are in shambles, our electricity and water supply is unreliable, our internet and phone connections are equally unreliable.
      It’s too late for the vison thing. It’s time for you to apologize.

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      • No he does not says:

        I just want to see if the canadites that you all are so thirsty to get elected/run the Country is going to make everything hunky dory.

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    • States says:

      I was talking about the NDP Ticket. VIP was typed in error.

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    • voiceofthevoiceless says:

      Can you please expound on what doing a good job entails?Don’t just keep it a secret. Bvi News will not hide it from us.

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    • janice says:

      How much were you paid to write that garbage?

  2. Law Makers says:

    Doc….wait till you need to vote on something in HOA….

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  3. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Dr. Hon Premier D. Orlando (AL) in his waning days are putting the best spin/best foot forward on the current dysfunction within the NDP and its ability to government effectively. The precipitous quick descend of the NDP from the mountain top and its 2015 mandate ( 11-2 advantage) is eye popping. True, the NDP still has a majority in the HOA (7-5) but it is only one more defection from a stalemate (6-6). It is not the best of time; it is the worst of time.

    Further, the Premier is treating the ministerial reorg as a reshuffle. Well, it is not; he had no choice but to make the moves he did. With the defections and firings and to field a team, he had to go to the depleted bench; there is nought/zero (0) members remaining on the bench now. The situation is dire and the best interest for the country is for the Premier to dissolve the HOA and set an election date now, not 16 April 2019.

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  4. Bye bye says:

    See you later premier! Indeed your time is up and a new beginning has come. Myrun am afraid you are looking little prepared for the task, NDP is out the door.

    Join me as we welcome the awesome VIP, our true patriots and comrades who will put country first by uniting and rebuilding our nation.

    Together we stand tall strong with VIP on our side.

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  5. Sam the man says:

    Am I missing something? Since when did the No Direction Party show any kind of ability to govern? They have been and are an embarrassment not even weak naive members such as Mitch chose to remain with the fast sinking rudderless ship! As for vision they haven’t a f…king clue and only care about themselves hence the deal for Norman Islands destruction as opposed to repairing infrastructure,roads and schools etc….They must go soon….

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  6. Interested says:

    This man is delusional.His Government is hanging by a thread,No one trusts him or them anymore.Only the goodness of Kedrick to hold strain so they do not fall. No one wants Myron as leader of this country.They are finished point boank

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    • @interested says:

      First and foremost,when you make your comment about NO ONE wants Myron as leader of the Country, I guess you are talking about yourself, you sure as H*LL is not talking for MAWW. I am team MYRON 100%. Trust me, the team that you are making an A** out of yourself for, are finished and they can’t see that, POINT BLANK. Start thinking for yourself and stop going along with every peep and squeak you hear or think you know. You have a great day.

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    • Where's the Vision? says:

      @ Interested, I am in agreement with your comment of Doc being delusional; I’m adding in disbelief and doesn’t have any idea what happened/is happening to his party, his government and his legacy. Everyone remembers him a few years ago talking about BVIs Robust Economy.
      What Vision is Doc talking about? Has the NDP ever revealed their Vision of what the BVI should look like/or be; say in 15, 20, 30, years? No. The manifestos are printed and talked about during the campaign; but after being elected, those high color, high impact booklets get hidden away somewhere; perhaps in the archives. There isn’t any development plan or vision for the British Virgin Islands; and we know how the saying goes about vision;”Where there’s no vision the people perish”. Doc shouldn’t be making any major decision at this point; especially deals such as the Norman Island development. There shouldn’t be any major land/island transfers without the people’s involvement and input.
      When Richard Bronson bought Mosquito Island, there were two public meetings so that the VG community could share their opinions/concerns on the development. For example, one thing they were strongly against and strongly voiced their concern was they didn’t want anymore “Private Island”; like Necker Island is. They wanted the development to provide scholarships; tourism related scholarships and real jobs; unlike mainly the typical waiters, maids, bartenders jobs etc; access to the ancillary services (services like sportfishing, airport pickup services etc).
      After all, with all the giving and concessions we have been making over the years, hurricane Irma and Maria revealed that we haven’t received much in return.

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  7. We shall see says:

    Just saying, if this VIP party wins, the Country will still be in shambles. None or most of them could care less about the people or what’s in the best interest of the Country. To all of you brain washed people,…… The story will continue.

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