By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff
Territorial At-Large representative Archibald Christian has said he is displeased in the manner in which Premier Dr D Orlando Smith went about having him fired from his post as Junior Minister of Tourism.
“I don’t respect the way it was done at all,” Christian told BVI News.
“It’s not something that anyone would feel good about but, to be honest with you, if the premier feels that’s how he wants to conduct business in this country where he can just fire his ministers without having a conversation with him, I think we have a sad state of affairs in our territory,” Christian added.
At the recommendation of Dr Smith, Governor Augustus Jaspert booted Christian from the ministerial post on Thursday following his (Christian’s) resignation from the National Democratic Party (NDP) — the political banner under which he was elected nearly four years ago.
While accepting that the Premier is well within his rights to recommend that he be stripped of his ministerial post, Christian said be believes the reason for his firing is not justifiable.
“I can only assume that the appointment was revoked because I resigned as a member as the NDP … [But] as far as I am concerned, I am serving in this honourable House [of Assembly] as an elected member and my resignation from the NDP should not have anything to do with the fact that I sit in the House of Assembly as the Junior Minister for Tourism,” Christian reasoned.
Premier Smith, however, does not subscribe to Christian’s sentiments.
Speaking with members of online media after Thursday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, Dr Smith said Christian made his intention clear when he defected the NDP — the current governing party.
“If you receive the go-ahead, so to speak, from the community to be government and [you] resign from that then it is logical that you do not wish to continue to be a minister,” Smith reasoned.
Only I decide what side to now sit in parliament — Christian
What is now to be seen is whether Christian will be seated on the side of the parliamentary opposition (where opposition legislators Andrew Fahie and Julian Fraser sit) or he will remain planked on the side of government when the House next sits.
When asked what the seating dynamic will be for that upcoming session, Premier Smith said he “would expect” Christian to migrate to the opposite side of the political aisle.
Christian, on the other hand, says that is a decision for him to make.
“That’s up to me, yes,” Christian said while noting that he has not made a decision yet.
He said he will have to “pray” about it before he decides whether to move.
In the meantime, Christian said, on account of him getting fired on Thursday, he is now officially associating himself the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) — a breakaway political party which is reported to be under the leadership of sitting NDP minister, Ronnie Skelton.
Interestingly, Christian told BVI News he “will be” a founding member of PVIM which, although not officially launched, was reported as being in existence weeks ago.
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