By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Chairman of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) Ronnie Skelton believes a key contributor to the party largely not being elected is his previous affiliation with the bedevilled NDP former government.
Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull of the Second Electoral District was the only PVIM candidate to win a seat in the recently-concluded 2019 General Election.
“Mitch and I came out of NDP [and] I am sure that affected us. How much [did it affect us]? Maybe the results could tell you,” Skelton said.
When asked if he would have done anything differently in the leadup to elections, Skelton said: “I probably would have left the NDP sooner. Let us not be naive. The general public classified us ‘NDP1’ and ‘NDP2’ and my Communications Director took a while before he disconnected us [from the NDP]. So I am sure it had some effect.”
Skelton, at the time, was addressing members of the media at the PVIM headquarters in Fish Bay on Tuesday.
PVIM need more time to prepare
Skelton also said emerging six months before the election did not work to the party’s advantage either.
“I think a message resonated, but it did not resonate enough to make us as successful as we would like to be. I think if we had more candidates in the district we could probably have gotten more votes because we would have had a candidate on the ground doing what was needed to be done in order to assist the At-Large candidates in moving forward,” he said.
Going forward, the PVIM leader said he plans to continue to build the party and get more candidates ready to contest the next general election which is constitutionally due in 2023.
We will work with Mitch
In the meantime, Skelton said his party will work closely with their sole elected representative, Turnbull, to push the PVIM agenda.
“I know he has a strong voice and has some colleagues that are already willing to work with him in the House of Assembly and to make sure that our views and what we believe in are articulated properly in the House,” Skelton said.
Turnbull along with the other candidates thanked the public for their support at the polls and extended congratulations to the Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party team on their victory.
Fahie was sworn in as Premier of the Virgin Islands Tuesday afternoon, fewer than 24 hours after the General Election.
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