BVI News

Hard to pass new laws between now and election, gov’t too broken

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie. (BVI News photo)

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

While announcing an earlier-than-planned timeframe for General Election, Governor Agustus Jaspert called for legislators to band together and get as many laws passed between now and the April 2019 election deadline. But, Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie believes that will be virtually impossible.

“The banding together is not a problem for me … [but] whatever laws that need to be passed on the eve of election is going to be difficult. I agree with the governor but it’s going to be difficult given what’s happening within the government,” Fahie said.

What started off months ago as a flicker of internal discord among a once-united National Democratic Party (NDP) ended in a public eruption of resignations, ministerial termination, at least one member NDP moving over to the parliamentary opposition, and the formation of a breakaway political party now known as the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement.

Sufficient gov’t members hardly ever present for parliament

The opposition leader said even if there was not a rift within the party, the Smith-led administration’s attendance record in the House of Assembly still makes the chances of getting certain laws passed between now the election considerably low.

“Everyone knows that the government had 11 members and everyone knows that to get a quorum (the minimum number of legislators that must be present to begin a sitting), you need any combination of seven members. Everyone knows that the Opposition only has two members and anyone who is even halfway good at maths knows that, without the two members, once government shows up, they can proceed. But the government, nine out of 10 times — I believe it’s safe to use that statistic — needs both opposition members to be present in order for the meeting to begin because we are the ones that are there,” Fahie argued.

“So, whatever legislation has not been passed so far cannot be blamed on the Opposition. It is a matter of a dysfunctional government continuing to run the territory … It is not fair to the people of the Virgin Islands what is happening to their government that they elected.”

A list of legislation that the government promised to implement this year and even previous years are still yet to be brought before the House.

Some of the yet-to-be-implemented legislation includes the Consumer Protection Bill, and the Freedom of Information law, which already exists in several democratic societies regionally and internationally.

READ: Still no sign Freedom of Information law | Also see: Addressing the inefficiency

“The opposition doesn’t bring legislation, the government brings them. So, if there is any legislation that has not been brought, then there is only one path you can direct your concerns, which is to the government.”

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

30 Comments

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  1. Positive Input or Self Interest? says:

    Negative thoughts breed negative results. How about, let’s see what we can get done/accomplished TOGETHER for people, country and future progress!!!!

    Like 4
    Dislike 20
    • @positive input or self interest? says:

      Your comments make no sense based on the structure of governance in the VI. The government side is responsible for bringing legislation. So if they are not willing to work with each other then there’s nothing that can be done. Any fool can understand what Fahie is saying

      Like 22
      Dislike 1
      • @@positive input or self interest says:

        There will always be at least one on every posting.

        Guess I could insult you back, but I could never make you seem any more the fool than you will do to yourself.

        We all eagerly await your next mental stumble….

        And what did a Sheep ever do to you, besides have more brains ???

  2. Saddened says:

    We love the political values that cause folks to pursue meaningless unproductive political avenues. We have gone a long way backwards!

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  3. Anonymous says:

    4 different parties in the house right now….VIP NDP PUP & PVIM….What a calamity!

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  4. waste ah time says:

    4 different parties in the house right now….VIP NDP PUP & PVIM….What a calamity!

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  5. Lunch says:

    I think you could get everyone to attend if you served a nice hot lunch. Maybe some fried chicken, ribs, cornbread and collards. Food motivates people.

    Like 7
    Dislike 6
  6. WOW says:

    The NDP has self destruct out of GREED!

    Like 14
    Dislike 4
    • Oh phipsh says:

      But he is not an intelligent giant. Not even a dwarf, He mirrors others and something about him embraces mediocrity and or rubble, District 1 and the dumbing down of our children is evidence.The VI has the distinction of having the most obese population and as Premier he would reflect poorly to this fact. Googling him ,which any country can, will produce negative info which can be used to put the VI at a disadvantage as it will add fuel to suspicions about our financial sector.
      Nope..he is not a good look for this country on an international level.

      Like 5
      Dislike 11
      • HMMM says:

        Are you for real? just look where the so called intellectual giants have us!

      • To phipsh says:

        I do not live in the BVI but I saw your ignorant post and I had to respond. I went to university with Andrew Fahie & he was one of the brightest and hard working person I have ever met. However he did this without fan fare. As I follow him politically he has done the same thing. He has withstand polotical assassination out of evil. He will be an awesome leader so back off of the man and go get a life.

        Like 11
        Dislike 3
        • Ahhhh says:

          The truth is powerful. Utilise your university acquired intelligence and not demonstrate anger,allowing yourself to lash out.
          That is dumb or ignorant,as you would understand.
          This too is not a good look.

          Like 4
          Dislike 6
  7. TO me says:

    Like Fahie or not one must admit that he is one of the best Leader of Opposition in the history of the BVI. He really kept us informed.

    Like 15
    Dislike 5
  8. Clearly says:

    The NDP has failed we the people of the BVI.

    Like 14
    Dislike 4
  9. NDP Supporter says:

    Hon. Fahie is 100% correct.

    Like 17
    Dislike 4
  10. People wake up says:

    Let us hold this NDP Government accountable for their actions.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  11. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Dr. Hon Premier Daniel Orlando Smith-led NDP is in disarray, fragmented, disunited and dysfunctional state. The current state and unusual and unprecedented situation is not serving the best interest of VI residents well. Consequently, the HOA needs to be dissolved now and an election date set now, not later. The by 16 April 2019 date is neither in the best interest of residents nor the territory. Election now!

    In the interim, the dysfunctional government needs to just perform routine government operations and address any genuine emergencies. Therefore, all major legislations, though needed, should be put on hold for next duly elected government. Yes, consumer protection, bill of rights……..etc are important policy/legislation but the NDP had over 7.5 years to craft and bring such legislation to the HOA yet at this juncture nada, nothing.

    Moreover, any push to bring them ( legislation) to the HOA at 11:59:01 p.m. is just a rush job, creating the false notion that things are getting done. Enough already, just give the poor suffering people some relief——-let them vote to clear the dark gathering and swiftly swirling clouds over the VI. Let’s do what is in the people’s (many) best interest, not what is in the best interest of politicians and a chosen few. Call election now, if you truly put the interest of the people , the many first.

    Let’s roll with a new government (the current one is moribund)) to start in earnest with the replanning recovery effort, resetting the compass to chart a new course forward…….etc.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  12. Lord Ahmad says:

    The people of the Virgin Islands are very much pleased to see and hear that the opposition has remained steady and focused on the issues and what it will take to solve this broken country.

    They have shown growth and determination in lifting the country’s hope for a prosperous future. In the leader of the opposition we find reassurance and certainty that change for a better way can be achieved.

    The incumbent party is very much broken and in disarray. After a failed two terms at improving this country the time has come to replace and repeal this group for what is truly best for this nation. In this effort everyone must join and vote for a better more united party to form our next government.

    A lot is at stake come 2019, make your voices heard loud and clear for the VIP headed by the esteemed Hn Andrew Fahie and his team. I endorse VIP for their stability and openness. VIP all the way!

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  13. Virgin islands says:

    Let go Mr fahie I does tell people if a man or woman runner for office and you never feel what Hungary is how can you be for the poor and this man right here Mr Andrew fahie he truly know how does hungry feel you of to feel the struggle of the poor to be for the poor ,NDP had failed us for the last 7.5yrs NDP only for them rich white friends them don’t care about the poor at all ,everyday fahie in press me for the love he have for the bvi and the peoples of the bvi

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  14. Longshanks says:

    I suspect that the guv. probably suggested people “band” together.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  15. Sad Lee says:

    ALL that you say still does not give him a good look away in the the world at large based on the reasons that were cited in the blog..
    Your description of the blogger’s post as ignorant gives credibility to the age old adage that ” birds of a feather…”
    I believe your response was intended to discredit but frankly, it has the opposite effect.

  16. VIP for the win says:

    The NDP and others are campaigning for the VIP. VIP new slogan “You deserve better.” Case close.

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