Premier Andrew Fahie has called for the public to have greater confidence in the Virgin Islanders’ capacity to be effective leaders instead of continuously dwelling on past blunders.
“I just want people to stop focusing on our mistakes. Stop having others think we are not good enough. This isn’t a knock on anyone, it’s just something I notice that continues to penetrate through the territory that we have to be conscious of to bring it to an end,” Premier Fahie explained.
He said if people continue to doubt the ability of residents, the youth will also lose confidence in local institutions and will eventually shun appointments to the highest leadership positions in the territory.
“We need to start looking at what is right whether we like the person or not. Give them a chance. If I weren’t given a chance to be the representative of the First District, and if the people of the territory didn’t give me a chance to be the Premier, I wouldn’t be here today. I got into politics when I was 28, I made a lot of mistakes but learned a lot,” Premier Fahie reasoned.
Elected leaders have long complained that the public lacks trust in Virgin Islanders’ capacity to lead. They’ve posited that locals automatically favour UK-appointed officials who are seen as more capable.
However, some sections of the public hold the view that elected leaders aren’t trusted because their past actions have eroded public confidence.
To this end, the government has announced that it will pass legislation to improve public trust. The Integrity in Public Life Act is one such bill and Premier Andrew Fahie has signalled that his government will be looking to establish a Contractor General Office to, among other things, help ensure public contracts are fairly awarded.
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