BVI News

Former governor openly undermined sitting gov’t, COI told

Premier Andrew Fahie

Sitting government ministers have accused former governor, Augustus Jaspert of openly undermining their lawful authority outlined in the constitution. This, the government said, resulted in “controversy and distrust”.

Offering an example, the government said it took the view that disaster management should predominantly be the responsibility of government ministries since they were the ones involved in the planning of the territory’s disaster response.

The government said it sought appropriate legal advice which concluded there was no constitutional objection to such a change. The government, therefore, introduced the Disaster Management Act 2020 to place the overall responsibility for disaster management with a minister.

The former governor reportedly disagreed, arguing that although ministers must be and were involved, the governor should remain in overall charge. He reportedly invoked Section 60 of the constitution, arguing that the legislation affected internal security. Jaspert threatened to withhold assent.

In a position statement submitted to the Commission of Inquiry (COI), the government said it is essential to good governance that everyone, including the governor, adheres to the respective roles and responsibilities assigned in the 2007 Constitution.

However, the government submitted to the COI that it believes “there have been many instances of a failure by the previous governor to respect the standing and scope of authority of the elected institutions conferred by the Constitution, even to the extent of openly undermining them.”

Disrespect in Cabinet

The government pointed out that Section 49 of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 says the governor shall preside over Cabinet proceedings. The Constitution also says: “In the absence of the governor, there shall preside at any meeting of the Cabinet the Premier, or in his or her absence, the Deputy Premier.”

However, the government claims that “since the election of the government in February 2019, on each occasion on which the former governor was absent … he refused to allow the Premier to preside over a Cabinet meeting and purported to delegate that responsibility to the Deputy governor instead”.

This continuing refusal to recognise the specific rule set out in the Constitution has been a source of concern to the elected government, the ministers further told the COI.

Unsuccessful complaints

The rift between the former governor and the Andrew Fahie-led administration escalated for months before a complaint was eventually lodged to the UK Minister responsible for Overseas Territories, Baroness Elizabeth Sugg.

According to the position statement, the Premier again wrote to Baroness Sugg in September 2020 requesting her intervention to resolve the dispute, but without success.

“If the UK government, and the former governor whom it has appointed, are unwilling, when it concerns the Overseas Territories, to adhere to the rule of law, it is reasonable to ask, what example does that set?” the government’s statement said.

Heated disputes

The statement added that other contentious issues arose after the government’s instalment in February 2019. It said these issues can be characterised as a ‘turf war’ between the governor and the elected government.

The government said it wished to assume greater autonomous responsibility for the affairs of the BVI where the constitution permitted it, even if that meant a change in the status quo. However, the governor invariably resisted.

It added that sometimes those disputes, “regrettably”, sometimes became heated.

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18 Comments

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  1. Lmao says:

    Foy you are digging a hole so deep you’ll never get out. Remember this my boy, if you keep your mouth shut you just might avoid p****n…

    Like 20
    Dislike 2
  2. Pandora says:

    Agree with the Governor. Sorry. Don’t trust you cats to manage anything, never mind disaster management. This current elected government, or the last one has too often demonstrated that you look first to your own benefits before that of the people you were elected to represent.

    Like 66
    Dislike 3
  3. Anonymous says:

    How dare the subjects object to the will of the master?

    Like 6
    Dislike 36
  4. heckler says:

    Don’t mind he!

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  5. Hmmmm says:

    Government Ministers accused him or should it say “Government Ministers walking lock and step with the Premier as they have no mind of their own, co-signs on whatever slate the Premier puts to them!”

    Like 46
    Dislike 1
  6. LMAO says:

    Is the Premier that slow? If the Governor is away then the Deputy Governor is ACTING GOVERNOR so therefore he shall sit in Cabinet. If both Governor and Deputy Governor are away, then the Premier or Deputy Premier will chair Cabinet. It seems as though the Premier thinks everyone ate their school fees.

    Like 48
    Dislike 1
  7. Masterwho? says:

    As Premier usually says, you keep in your lane and I in my lane.
    The subjects and the Master both are subject to the law. Whatever the law says, both must abide by it.
    Sounding like the slave/Master mentality kicking in again, but be reminded, the subjects will rebel and refuse to bow to the unjust Master.

    Like 1
    Dislike 31
    • Sense says:

      If the BVI managed its financial affairs properly over the past 20 years the UK could not and would not be here doing what’s being done. Don’t act as if this came about because Jaspert felt it needed to, look back and do the necessary research. Billions spent every 4 years and we still live in a f**king slum.

      Like 49
  8. WEW says:

    Again, blame it all on someone else

    Like 42
    Dislike 1
    • Wrong! says:

      This is the white english man showing the Black man who has the power behind him and whois in charge. Thus the COI. Simple.

      Like 1
      Dislike 21
  9. Citizen says:

    Andrew forget that he and Ralph went to the UK to fight for the Gov to remain in cabinet, because they felt at the time NDP wanted too much power.

    In fact they proudly boasted how they got what they wanted from the UK, which was to hamstrung an NDP govt.

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
  10. Hodgie says:

    When is general election due? Can’t wait to get you and the VIP out of here.

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
  11. ….. says:

    When are the people going to be allowed to have vote on matters such as this? In civilized countries there are polls where the people are consulted on potential big changes. This government are convinced they know what the people want. The constant fighting with current and former Governors is not what the people want. I would love to see a vote on how the people feel about the Governor. Then maybe that will get this government to finally get some work down.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  12. Fkuwcit says:

    Test

  13. Rubber duck says:

    Vip going right back mark my words

    Dislike 26
  14. BuzzBvi says:

    Only person undermining VI is Fahie, with some able support from the speaker and c.o. s-c (the shouter) and of course all the silent people that are behind him. It is clear there is a lot of silent people that we can’t see, can’t count, can’t know about. But fahie invents more of them everyday.

  15. 1st district says:

    Well, mr. hot air I heard you flapping at the end of your speach yesterday about them on the radio saying that “we in here ain’t do jack”. Them correct, as for the tripple Icode in relations to the port blame your failing VIP 6 district man. The time he allegedly trying to set up his own shipping company and violating conflict of interest policies. And beyond that the tola mentality “that’s not how we do buisness around here” but forget that the shipping regestry is for the international boating community. But then again, “I from here” BS!!When we think that we know it all , which adds up to nothing then is when we stay behind. And it’s the same mentality at the power station. Look at our power outages. The result of our own incompetence workers who do not want to be guided by expert outsiders! The bottom line hot air, you have NOT KEPT you promise to the voting public!

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