Addressing claims that the governor is part of a covert plan by Britain to retake control of the BVI through the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Works Minister Mark Vanterpool said local government will not allow that to happen.
“The message must be made clear even to him (Governor Augustus Jaspert) that this body here (the House of Assembly) is who is running this country — no RDA, no Governor. The elected people of the Virgin Islands should run this country; that is what is expected,” Vanterpool said.
His remarks follow junior government minister Archibald Christian who said he regrets voting in favour of the RDA. Christian said the group tasked with recovery is now beginning to act like an independent government and is undermining the authority of local legislators.
The UK’s facing an uphill battle
Vanterpool, in the meantime, said if the United Kingdom is, in fact, working under a ‘guise’ to govern the British Virgin Islands, they will face an uphill battle.
“You cannot in this day and age try to come up with all kinds of guise and ways to rule a people,” he said.
He said, in a democratic territory like the BVI, the constitution affords the elected members to run and govern the country unobstructed.
He continued: “Under no guise should he (the governor) or anyone else – whether it is security guise or whatever guise – look to try to take over the running or the ruling of this country from the elected members of this country. That is not in the right spirit of democracy and good governance anywhere in the world today.”
Happy for UK/governor’s help but
Notwithstanding his statements, Vanterpool said he believes the governor has been genuine towards the BVI and has been sincerely working to help the BVI rebuild.
The government minister placed on record his gratitude for the UK and for Governor Jaspert’s help in the aftermath of the hurricanes.
He went on to note that BVI needs the support of the UK to initiate its recovery plan.
“I am not going to hide – we need the help of the United Kingdom government in developing the country,” he stated.
He further mentioned the UK’s offer of a £300 million loan guarantees for hurricane recovery, adding that: “We can at least have a basis to develop the country.”
Vanterpool was making his contribution to the debate on the Recovery and Development Plan that government is trying to have passed in the House.
He is expected to continue his contribution on Wednesday, October 17.
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