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Governor Rankin open to having Premier chair Cabinet, COI hears

Premier Andrew Fahie and Governor John Rankin.

Unlike what was seen with his immediate predecessor, Governor John Rankin has now said he is open to having Premier Andrew Fahie chair Cabinet in his absence.

During an appearance before the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) yesterday, Governor Rankin said it requires patience and wisdom to navigate the conflicting opinions that have been offered in the debate on whether a Premier should chair Cabinet when a governor is away. 

“In terms of my own position going forward, and in light of the wording of Section 49 of the constitution, in light of that exchange of letters, I do not preclude circumstances where the Premier would be asked by me to chair Cabinet, but I would expect them to be few and far between,” Governor Rankin said. 

According to the governor, whenever he is in the territory, he fully expects to chair Cabinet, especially given the available technology. 

Issue has been a sore point

The issue has been a sore point for some time, with Premier Andrew Fahie complaining previously that he was not allowed to chair Cabinet in the absence of the Governor, having been overlooked in the past for Deputy Governor David Archer Jr.

According to the Premier, former Governor Augustus Jaspert was disrespectful in having the Deputy Governor chair Cabinet while he (Jaspert) was absent. 

According to Section 37 of the Virgin Islands Constitution, “during any period when the office of Governor is vacant, or the Governor is absent from the Virgin Islands or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office, the Deputy Governor shall, during Her Majesty’s pleasure, act in the office of Governor and shall perform the functions of that office accordingly.”

But section 49 offers a different view on the matter altogether. 

According to that section, “the governor shall, so far as is practicable, attend and preside at meetings of the cabinet and 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.”

Conflicting advice from successive Attorneys General

He said Governor Jaspert sought advice on the issue in May 2020 from former Attorney General, Baba Aziz who advised at the time that he could authorize the Deputy Governor to perform all of his functions, including the chairing of the Cabinet. 

But Governor Rankin said Premier Fahie later sought advice from current Attorney General, Dawn Smith, who offered a different view. 

According to Governor Rankin, advice was also given by Foreign and Commonwealth Office legal counsellor, Susan Dickson, back in 2008. Her advice offered that the constitution does not preclude the Deputy Governor from presiding over Cabinet meetings, Rankin said.

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27 Comments

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  1. Youth says:

    This is not a true partnership between the UK and BVI. It is one-sided.

    Like 4
    Dislike 16
  2. HUH! says:

    The former AG was hopeless, and would give the Governor of the day whatever advice he wanted irrespective of the law. The new AG is so much more competent.

    Like 8
    Dislike 19
  3. Truth says:

    This is not about Fahie but rather about the future of the BVI. It is wrong how the Governor is interpreting the Constitution in this respect and DDM.

    Like 3
    Dislike 18
    • @truth says:

      There needs to be aome soul searching, it was Ralph, Andrew and Fraser who went to the UK and tell tgem Orlando ahould not have the ability to chair cabinet, and the Uk must put tge Governor back. Interesting how life is. That decision then out of pure selfishness is now haunting us.

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
  4. TurtleDove says:

    Is there a benefit to this other than ego? Man we have bigger fish to fry!

    Like 24
    Dislike 3
    • @TurtleDove says:

      You are so shallow minded. The Constitution is clear and it doesn’t need the Governor’s permission…it is was is. Governor stop trying to make wrong right.

      Like 1
      Dislike 17
  5. Wake up says:

    BVI wake up. This slavery attack is nothing new.

    Like 1
    Dislike 18
    • @Wake up says:

      What does the chairing of cabinet meetings have to do with slavery? Are you really that small minded? The Constitution has two conflicting sections and that simply needs to be put right. If I am someone’s Deputy, then I expect to act in their place when they are unable to act. Otherwise the role is redundant.

  6. observer says:

    you all tolians rejoicing over COL with them bullying your present government and others. you all aware of what going on , you all happy white people trying to take over your country and with that u all foolish self rejoicing . instead before you all fight for your country . i hope when it all eneded and action start you all dont s**t yourself . open you all eyes and clearly see what is being taking place rather than rejoicing on your fellow government . these people is up to one thing even ray charles see that . i pray for the bvi !

    Like 3
    Dislike 23
    • @ observer says:

      ……pray for yourself. It is who in the kitchen does feel the heat. At least at the end of the day you have else where to go. We have to stay here. Our government has to be accountable for the things they have been doing.

      In addition…does it really matter who chairs Cabinet. Sigh. When we get lost in these silly things, the bigger things go unnoticed.

      Like 11
      • @@observer. says:

        Equally so, when one is lost in the inability to hind or foresight, one becomes like the rudderless, sailless and or engineless ship. IT/one becomes the victim of the stronger force in the environment.

        Hope one can dwelve deep enough to understand and introspect.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
      • Deh Watcha says:

        The chair is a non factor in the cabinet.

        What is the real gain in removing the governor?

        Better accountability, better oversight, better governance????

    • Monaco Model says:

      The Caribbean folks were given our country. What was gained from that? Crime,poverty,poor education.Poor Governance The Caribbean Islands are Black inside.out andxwhat good is that?
      Reverse this current demographic and things can only get better.
      I’ll take an economy with rich folks any day and if they are Caucasisn,no problem as long as their money is green.

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
    • strupez says:

      Just like the present and past Government(BIAS)onesided!

      So please STOP!

    • Pray for yourself says:

      You need to get into the world and read a book. Man you sound soooo lost

  7. Stop it....Wont work.. says:

    Thats giving the Robber the key to the door where the money cabinet is and the combination to get into the cabinet..That cant be allow to happen…Cant put cheese down carelessly in the presence of Rats..Too selfishness and greed exist..

  8. THE BLAME GAME says:

    and racism card are a tool for these pretenders / but whatever you all did and say is what the ( COI ) IS BRINGING to us and the rest of the world .( HOW DO YOU PEOPLE SLEEP AT NIGHT ? 🤔

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  9. Technology says:

    This debate seems pointless. With today’s technology all you need is a computer screen and adequate internet to hold a Cabinet meeting. Physical presence is no longer a requirement thanks to technology.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  10. itstime says:

    @observer, yes we BVI landers are rejoicing over COL they have shed so much light for us with both governments and yes most of us will like the UK to step in and get this place on the right road. You shouldn’t be talking crap you don’t know, this is what you said: you all happy white people trying to take over your country, jackA&& the BVI is owned by the UK. We don’t need prays from you because you are very stupid as to what is going on in the BVI.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  11. Trust and Verify says:

    Who in their learned modern day mind would ever trust British or any other white for that matter?

    Learn history and the sentence would become relevant to anyone who knows.

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
    • Relevant says:

      You sound so utterly lost in today’s world. I think you love being lost. Buy some crypto and move on to real independence. My goodness you are very stuck in your pity. Won’t lead to anything better. Try to read something about the globe before you’re stuck in the matrix forever. I truly feel sorry that you have no idea what is coming. BUCKLE UP!

    • Anonymous says:

      Slave mentality is good and like paradise compared to the communism you may encounter for the rest of your life. If you live. Read what is happening in the world. Get a grip on a bit of today’s reality. What small vision. How does anyone survive in looking through a pin hole day in and day out.

  12. eye wide open says:

    The BVI has been put in this situation by our own BVI Government leaders. It’s time we stop pointing fingers at the Uk and give the blame where it is due. Government Greed for power and careless spending! point-blank

  13. @observer says:

    Thanks for the intellect and bravery of Mr. Noel Llyod and other Tolians, we are not living under brutal arparthied conditions today. That is fact!!

    However, if there is an increase in British dominance in the territory, which appear likely, we must not expect a normal existence as we live it today. That is also a fact.

    Once your financial institutions have been taken over/usurped, which seems to be the foremost motivation of the UK and its agents, you become less than a human and incapable of avoiding any oppression forced upon you.

    Yet, the mentality of the majority of local Tolians are still mired in the slave house syndrome and its accompanying psychology and unfortunates.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  14. Seriously says:

    We sit here bickering and playing politics while losing sight of reality. The now Premier want to the Governor with all manner of things when he was Leader of the Opposition, asking for COI and other criminal investigations. How then does he expect them to have any respect or leniency towards him? We are our own worst enemy! Some of the politicians are so RETARDED they don’t realize that ‘Government’ is a continuum and what you wish on the sitting Government may well squeeze your nuts when it’s your turn. This lesson goes to the ones out here making noise currently and carrying news to the Governor as we speak. If Jaspert was allowed to release the names and information that he got while sitting as Governor we would all be shame. If the current Governor Rankin does the same, we would all puke. Our own people are causing a f**k, don’t let them fool you with the black vs white nonsense.

  15. Whatif says:

    Suppose the world reads these pages. Most will not visit. People will suffer. Only the dying finance field whose dollars accrue to the educated will continue to sustain a few. I ask all you slinging sht and mud upon each other to ask yourselves; what more could come to light and convince you, that those you voted in, past and present, and trusted with $400 m a year with, are both sloppy, disrespectful, thieving, and liars ? A land of rumors and all we disbelieving scnts can’t see the same sun in the sky shining light on the filth we continue to be stained in? Rise up and demand change or drown in the slop.

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