While delivering his annual constituency report on the weekend, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Andrew Fahie made a public pitch as to why he should become Leader of the Opposition, adding that one of his main aims is to add more life to the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
That Committee, which includes a minority of Government lawmakers, is usually chaired by the Leader of the Opposition.
“As Opposition leader, I will become Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and as such I will immediately broaden its agenda and more meaningfully hold the government responsible to the ideals of transparency, accountability and good governance,” Fahie said.
“One of the integral part of being a member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is to ensure that good governance is practiced and maintained. It is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I do not believe in opposing for just the sake of opposing. As a matter of fact, some of the initiatives of this government are well intended but giving us what we need so that you can take what you want cannot continue to be viewed as acceptable. We must be accountable!”
Fahie also promised to communicate more effectively – suggesting that there is a communication deficit regarding the current Leader of the Opposition Julian Fraser.
“Without effective communication by the Leadership of the Opposition with the executive body of the Virgin Islands Party, the situation as it is cannot and will not work. The people of the Virgin Islands will be the biggest losers…” Fahie said.
He continued: “Both the governor and the Foreign and Commonwealth office must seek the input of the Opposition leader on matters of importance to the Virgin Islands. It is only through effective communication that your wishes [and] your ideals would be conveyed. I pledge so to do!”
Fahie also noted the need to have the Opposition properly represented on committees and statutory boards.
“As Opposition leader, I pledge to consult with my legislative colleague and together we will recommend viable individuals for each of the posts of committees and statutory bodies that are required by the VI Constitution and laws,” he further told constituents.
Fahie, in the meantime, outlined his main plans amid a second round of controversy over who should be Leader of the Opposition.
Having dethroned Julian Fraser as Chairman of the VIP late last year, Fahie thinks he should also replace Fraser in the constitutional post as Leader of the Opposition.
Though being VIP chairman is not a prerequisite to becoming Opposition leader, Fahie suggested that it should have an amount of influence.
“When I gained the confidence of the party as Chairman, I also gained their confidence as ‘political leader’ of the Virgin Islands Party. I simply can no longer be in a fight for that which accompanies the post of Chairman of the party. If I am not prepared to take up the positions of Premier or Opposition leader; why then would I contest the post of Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party. Let us put this to rest and be perfectly clear. The voices of the results of the general elections of June 2015 was deafening. Those with eyes must see! Those with ears must hear!”
“The VIP congress agreed that, after 18 months of the 2015 general elections, there must be a shift of direction within the Virgin Islands Party if the Virgin Islands Party is to be successful in the next elections of 2019 or before. If the Virgin Islands Party is successful, the entire country would be successful; each of us would be successful. This is no time for massaging egos and parsing of words,” added Fahie.
Meanwhile, the executive of the VIP recently asked Governor John Duncan to have Fraser replaced by Fahie as Leader of the Opposition.
However, Fraser has claimed that the governor has no legal authority to remove him from the post.
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