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I don’t intend to call by-election, Vanterpool’s resignation was ‘invalid’

“The resignation of the member-elect (Vanterpool) was invalid … Therefore, at this point, I do not intend to issue a writ for a by-election” — Governor

Governor Jaspert has declared that there will be no by-election for the Fourth Electoral District.

In a media statement Wednesday afternoon, Governor Augustus Jaspert sided with the representative-elect for the Fourth District, Mark Vanterpool, on the basis of law.

He said: “I have received legal advice that has been copied to the Honourable Speaker (Julian Willock), advising that the resignation of the member-elect (Vanterpool) was invalid on the basis that the member-elect has no constitutional right to resign prior to being sworn in. Therefore, at this point, I do not intend to issue a writ for a by-election.”

Despite his position on the matter, the governor said he will not decide whether Vanterpool will be sworn in.

“The swearing in of the member-elect is a matter for the House to determine, having regard to the will of the electors in the constituency.”

The confusion began when Vanterpool submitted a letter addressed to the Clerk of the House outlining that he wished to resign. But the constitution says such a letter must be addressed to the Speaker. However, there was none at the time Vanterpool submitted the letter.

By the time the House appointed Willock as Speaker, Vanterpool changed his mind. Willock, however, contends that he has already accepted Vanterpool’s resignation, notwithstanding it being wrongly addressed.

Below is the governor’s full statement on the matter

I am aware of the Honourable Speaker’s latest statement relating to representation in the Fourth District.  

This rightly recognises that I value democracy tremendously and the role it plays in good governance and improving the lives of the people of the Virgin Islands.  

I have received correspondence from the Honourable Speaker that sets out his views on whether the seat is vacant.   I am also aware that the question of whether the Fourth District seat is vacant is being contested by the Member-Elect of that district.

As with all matters, I will remain neutral and impartial and will be guided by the Constitution and the appropriate legal framework.  

I have received legal advice that has been copied to the Honourable Speaker, advising that the resignation of the Member-Elect was invalid on the basis that the Member-Elect has no constitutional right to resign prior to being sworn in. Therefore, at this point, I do not intend to issue a writ for a by-election. 

The swearing in of the Member-Elect is a matter for the House to determine, having regard to the will of the electors in the Constituency.

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

67 Comments

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  1. Hmmm says:

    Tell that bias @$$ s—— go sit down, trying to circumvent the will of the ppl…not a month in office already in the news with a scandal!

    Like 22
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    • Note to Public says:

      Mark RESIGNED.

      This is HIS mess.

      Now he has all of you looking like FOOLS trying to justify his behavior.

      If he cares about the district and the territory he would bring an end to this. He has the option to run again in a by election. This man only cares about himself.

      Like 5
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  2. Lol says:

    I love it. Let the Speaker take that…This was his first test to be just and he dropped the ball. Andrew brace yourself for more foolishness in the house.

    Like 95
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    • Yes..but says:

      …it’s not over! The Governor said he will not decide whether Vanterpool is sworn in so now it’s for the Speaker to swear him in, will he?

      Like 19
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      • Game Over says:

        46. Standing Order 84 of the principal Standing Orders is amended by repealing paragraph (2) and substituting with the following

        “(2) A Member of the House shall vacate his seat, if the Member in any one Session is absent from the House for more than three consecutive sittings without the written leave of the Speaker.”

        Like 8
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        • Smoke says:

          In order to be a member you have to be sworn in .

        • Reason says:

          Game Over you said what the law says here”without the written leave of the Speaker.”

          But you still fail to over stand is that (1) the elected representative did not swear in yet and (2)the letter to the clerk is invalid. Mr. Vanterpool right now is still the fourth elect representative despite his press releases. Check mate!!!!!!

          Like 7
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      • Simply ... says:

        For the people if district 4 he got to make it over. Why hurt the district 4 people over foolishness. Simply do the just thing.

        Like 6
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    • @lol says:

      Some of you are truly out of your evil minds. How did the Speaker drop the ball? Mark is making a fool out of the VI’s electoral system acting like someone excepting and refusing employment at a fast-food restaurant. Even Mc Donalds would not put up with his crap. Let the House decide, as the Governor advised.

      Like 23
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    • @LOL says:

      The Governor has no legal grounds to make this move or statement or get involved with matters concerning the House of Assembly. He needs to stay in his lane.

      Like 8
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    • sam the man says:

      I can smell that humble pie that needs to be eaten by the speaker! – but will he? v discerning and wise response by Governor Jaspert, his balanced and impartial council will be needed in the years ahead!For the record I do think Vanterpool has been extremely foolish though….

      Like 16
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  3. qc says:

    Willock mehson we with you do not move one inch

    Like 19
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  4. BVI @ Sam says:

    Sam, You the Speaker and Picko Tek Dat! Now Let get to work for the people. And you can ask Mark all the questions you want in the house about the Pier. We want to hear from him and deal with his case.

    Like 36
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  5. Please says:

    Makes sense Governor, for an elected member to be able to resign he has to wait until a speaker is appointed and he the minister has to be sworn in.

    Thats why a speaker must be impartial, mature and familiar with the Law.

    Like 47
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  6. foot soilder says:

    Who makes the final decision? THe Governor. Speaker, go get some knowledge about the laws under which you operate. Stop making yourself looking f**lish.

    Like 36
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    • Case Closed says:

      Important point.
      He had not been sworn in so he wasn’t a member.
      The constitutional clause relates to sworn in members.
      Is there an election law that relates to this?

      Like 8
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  7. Feather says:

    Your feather gets snatched from your cap when you refuse to let common sense, academics and a good dose of humility to prevail.

    Boom! Let’s get Mark sworn in forthwith!

    Like 31
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  8. Okay says:

    So, he was not appointed (sworn in) so he could not have resigned. Make sense.

    Like 33
  9. hehehehehehehehe says:

    RFLMAO!!!!!!!
    In your behind!!!

    Take a seat!!

    Like 24
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  10. Lollll says:

    Black man say white man love division but black man love confusion.

    Like 53
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  11. Chess says:

    Mark – 1, Willock – 0

    Like 36
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    • Haha says:

      4th district are the only losers though. They getting someone that didn’t want them and only taking one for the team.

      Like 36
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  12. Wise Up says:

    Premier your behaviour at the celebratory party at the Band Stand was despicable. You did not behave like during the campaign. People don’t all serve the same God like you said so who are you serving. Stop playing with God.

    Take some time to pray because the pompous behaviour is not going to cut it.

    You said a lot of things on the campaign trail and we are watching our government’s performance. We will not hesitate to call any elected member out.

    Re-examine yourself. We can’t serve two masters. As for JW, your making a donkey of yourself. That post can quickly be taken from you.

    Like 17
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  13. Resident says:

    Now he going look like an i***t. Having to eat his words! Can we get a new Speaker please!

    Like 54
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    • Vote says:

      All who wants a new Speaker, click Like

      Like 176
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    • I agree says:

      But they will keep him cause it’s obvious he’s not a fan of NDP. And trust be — is not a g— person,believe me when I tell you that. One day h– under c over ways will be exposed from out the closet, but I’m sure it will not make a difference to h– supporters

  14. So so says:

    So basically, the resignation was invalid as it did not comply with the letter of the constitution under section 67 (3)(a).

    It should now be decided whether he qualifies to be sworn in whether he is in breach of section 67 3(b), which will depend on what the “standing order of the House” say. It reads as follows:

    67 (3)An elected member of the House of Assembly shall also vacate his or her seat in the House if (b) he or she is absent from the sittings of the House for such period and in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the Standing Orders of the House.

    So, what do the standing orders say about not showing up to be sworn in, etc?

    The governor shouldn’t have gotten a half arse advice. The AG must have advised him in full.

    Like 17
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    • Standing Orders says:

      46. Standing Order 84 of the principal Standing Orders is amended by repealing paragraph (2) and substituting with the following

      “(2) A Member of the House shall vacate his seat, if the Member in any one Session is absent from the House for more than three consecutive sittings without the written leave of the Speaker.”

      Like 6
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      • Thanks says:

        Thank you for clearing that up mehson…. hm bout “half arse”’ smdh

        Like 6
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        • Read with understanding says:

          Why everyone so hasty to quarrel and not READ with understanding. It was ‘half arse’ advice that’s why people were still asking questions. It appeared to be a governor vs speaker saga. Now that we have the whole picture, considering the standing orders, we have full clarity and that should answer all remaining questions.

          Instead of everybody looking dumb, a NECESSARY question was asked and answered. Now everybody have better understanding. Let us unite and move on. I sure we have big battles to fight. We must be united. Thank you @so so and thank you @standing orders.

          • Puhleez says:

            The public is not privy to exactly what was communicated by the AG’s office to the Governor’s office. Just because the governor in his public statement didn’t mention standing orders, it does not mean he wasn’t advised of such. Stop undermining the competence of the professionals involved in this……bout “half arse” STOOPS

      • So so says:

        Thank you @standing orders. Well if I counting correctly, I don’t think he missed up to 3 as yet. So if that is the case then unless another exception applies, looks like he got to get back his seat and be sworn in.

        This point now completes the half arse advice and now everyone should have enough clarity to agree and move on. We got bigger things to be fighting together as one people.

        By the way, it is NOT now the ‘will of the electors’ as the will of the electors was already made clear on election day. It is about the spirit of the Constitutional Law. All the half-arsedness and half stepping got to stop.

        Like 4
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  15. hmm says:

    will mark make another excuse for not showing up at the sworing in. he was sick i guess. lol.

    Like 13
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  16. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely no quarrel with the Governor. He has been so advised. Take into account that the Hon Speaker has also been advised. Whose advice do you take. The speaker is In charge of his house. If they can not come to a determination then let the Lords of the mother country make a ruling. Unfortunately it might be years before he is allowed to sit in the house. Mr Speaker hold your ground.

    Like 10
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  17. VILander says:

    The Gov lacked backbone and didn’t want to spend to go thru the election process again but he will have to sooner than later anyway b/c Vanterpool doesn’t want to serve and we can’t force him to.

    Like 9
    Dislike 22
  18. Anonymous says:

    Fahie, Beware of members of the cabinet that are not part of your party. They have mingled with the opposition for much longer than the new government.

    Like 20
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    • Ha says:

      Watch the game. It only takes 2 to step over and we have a new Government. Get your popcorn or pampers, depending on which side you are on.

      Like 7
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      • Hah says:

        Are you serious? Who would leave a promising team to join a dead opposition? The only ones with fight is Fraser and Mitch. Mitch would have cross over to team green long time if Fahie didn’t let the cat out the bag during campaign season. Marlon watch his party take his money to fix the sewage from his district. Mark quit before he even swear in. Alvera had to be begging her own party for stuff that she need and you think that would be a good opposition?

        Like 19
        Dislike 10
      • Anonymous says:

        @Ha, Newsflash, the cabinet is only the Ministers, Governor and Attorney General. I think you’re thinking about the elected members of the HOA.

        Like 13
  19. :) says:

    The people voted for Mark let them have him. There is a big difference with being Minister for C&W with access to the treasury and receiving only $125,000 a year. When someone loses their motivating they become lackadaisical. Will he have the fire to be a good member of the opposition? Will he attend the PAC meetings or will he just sleep walk through the next 4 years hoping to finish this unwanted obligation.

    Like 18
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  20. Reply says:

    LOL. I expected that. No surprise here. Anyone who cared to understand the constitutional take on this issue, would have seen this decision coming from a mile.

    Forget all the other tangential issues people were arguing to justify a bi-election. The answer lied in the constitution, and the governor understanding this issue relative to the constitution made the right call.

    It’s now up to the members of the House to hopefully end this fiasco, and allow Mr. Vanterpool to be sworn in, and not let this matter be drawn out any further along partisan lines.

    Too often, when these kinds of issues raises their heads, some people predictably pull to their respective partisan sides. It does not help any or serve the country well, and only serves to further divide an already divided country.

    As it is now, imo, there is simply too much division in the BVI, and if that division is not checked by those who leads us in various capacities, political or otherwise, it will be this country’s ultimate undoing.

    Bottom line: The governor is not going to call a bi-election as he deems Mr. Vanterpool’s resignation to be invalid. The House members would do the country a favor by allowing Mr. Vanterpool to be sworn in and assume his elected role, and bring this matter to a swift end.

    The country has bigger fish to fry. Let’s get on with it.

    Like 19
  21. Me says:

    I can hear.the other Julian going belly up in scb with this.This boy W—— really want’s Mark’s hide.Analyse all the correspondents no word of advice to willock from A.G who is the govt’s legal man.Willock needs to honor what he swear on swearing in day.All I see.is he will make Andrew look foolish.Again when I listen to this guy on the campaign trail we all knew who he is supported so this job should not have been.My advice to Amdrew is if this is pay back it will bite u in ur know where
    He’ll make us all look b—d not a month now look what.

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  22. Saying says:

    Ok Mr Speaker. You got the attention you wanted now for God sake swear in Mark and lets move on no man…. Plus the Governor has make his decision based on the constitution . MOVE ON….. Lets move on.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  23. MY TAKE says:

    “No More Status Quo!”- The status quo has failed us. Today we have an “Unconventional Government” with “BUSINESS UNUSUAL.”

    I have listened and observed- I am in agreement with the in-depth perspectives of Mr. Doug Wheatley and Mr. Claude Skelton-Cline.

    Allow the “Proper Democratic Process” to work correctly, the way it was intended to work, without the usual few selected influencers of the past.

    Change for future prosperity is incomplete unless it passes through the crucibles of struggle and experience.

    Better days to come for eventual future generations toward self-determination.

    And for those who think, bloggers with interruptive perspectives to the status-quo should not contribute. We love you to, because we know the worst kind of human beings are those who do not know themselves and their innate capabilities to determine their destiny. LOVE OVA EVIL EVERYDAY.

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  24. Facts says:

    Willock will have the last laugh

    Like 6
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  25. Shock Wave says:

    All through the Campaign Trail Hon. Mark was telling his opponents “Go Siddung” Now look how Hon. Mark Siddung on he own now He Bawling to Siddup Again. HON. MARK VANTERPOOL BOY GO SIDDUNG

    Like 7
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  26. Lol luce says:

    As mark would say Luce. Go seat down and wait for you next turn lol

    Like 4
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  27. Well sah says:

    There goes the British again dividing us inorder to conquer us. The Governor is legally incorrect and he knows this. Also the Governor cannot direct nor influence the House of Assembly nor the judiciary.

    Like 2
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  28. SMH says:

    Mark thinks he can do as he pleases. He darn well know that his tactics will cause distraction within the Government and the priorities of the People. It’s a shame for a grown man to be so childish. He is acting like his master’s puppet. Why don’t he just go to the Speaker and state his cause. He is just creating a fuss for the NDP’s amusement.

    Like 3
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  29. Law rules says:

    All these comments against mark are out of hate and dislike.
    Read and understand the law and you won’t make yourself look so stupid.

    Ignorance makes you look stupid when you pretend to know.

    This is just one of Willocks embarrassing moments. Many more to come before he is moved

    Like 16
    Dislike 8
  30. Thank you Governor. says:

    Mark,you go in there and take your seat in HOA. These damn people think they can run things and make there own rules because mama and papa was born here. Those days are over. They do not own this Island. Blacks don’t like to see another black get ahead. They are always tearing each other down.yeah I’m black and I will never allow another black to tear me down.

    Like 9
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  31. Anonymous says:

    Not necessarily. There are people that voted for Mark especially the older ones that are truly disappointed with what he did.

    Like 4
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  32. Well says:

    Hon. Vanterpool does not derserve to be in the HOA after the the political games he has been playing but work must go on. However I believe that Mr. Willock will do the honourable thing and swear him in. In some cases we just have to let people see things for themselves. It is only a matter of time before he exposes himself again

    Like 4
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  33. Well says:

    Hon. Vanterpool does not derserve to be in the HOA after the the political games he has been playing but work must go on. However I believe that Mr. Willock will do the honourable thing and swear him in. In some cases we just have to let people see things for themselves. It is only a matter of time before he exposes himself again

    Like 6
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  34. Behind you Gov says:

    Yes Gov. I think Willock’s letter is all out of order…and he needs to know his place. I also want to know what is going to be done about the poor Beacon reporter that VINO plastered over their papers and when you commented and told them that they might be defaming this poor woman (allegedly) – they never posted the comment. I mean VINO have the gall to call BVI Beacon a tabloid. The gall!!

  35. BVI says:

    Mr. Grasshopper have this thing as a joke. He should just fly away

  36. My only comment says:

    Andrew Fahie, you and a lot Might say I am wrong but mark my words, that s****** is going to be your Government down fall. Light a fire under his A** to swear the man in and get to work running the Country forward. This is a very serious business not some school yard bully personal S**t. Again, that s*****r or the one that is hiding behind God is going to be the downfall of your Government.

  37. bdb says:

    He is out, Let him stay out….He does not know what he wants. That’s a shame on Mark Vanterpool part after the voters give you their X you turned around and make such a foolish decision….You should have never been there in the 1st place…..

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