Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie has wished his successor Ronnie Skelton well as the incoming holder of the post.
Fahie is expected to be booted from the post shortly, considering that the Skelton-led Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) now has the majority of the five members that make up the parliamentary opposition in the House of Assembly.
Fahie said Skelton informed him of the PVIM’s intent to write to Governor Augustus Jaspert to revoke his position as Leader of the Opposition and have Skelton appointed to the post.
“It is safe to say that their actions are legal, being that they are within the confines of the law,” Fahie said in a press conference in Road Town on Friday.
Fahie said, when that time comes, he will ‘graciously step aside’.
The position does not drive me
He then made it clear that the post of opposition leader does not ‘drive’ him.
“The people of the Virgin Islands getting true representation is what drives me. Fulfilling purpose and helping others fulfil their purpose is what drives me. Pleasing God is what drives me,” Fahie said, adding that he is also driven by his mission to ensure accountability, transparency and good governance.
“Rest assured, I am still a member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, the First District Representative, the Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party … and I will still be asking questions in the House of Assembly. As a matter of fact, expect more questions from me,” he said.
Will this new PVIM opposition leader be objective?
While ready and willing to step aside, Fahie suggested that he is wary of the incoming opposition leader’s ‘impartiality’ to the governing NDP. Fahie said his wariness lies in the fact that Skelton and the two other PVIM opposition members (Melvin Turnbull and Archibald Christian) were all, just recently, members of the said NDP government.
“While procedurally correct, the question must be asked how credible would a by-product of the very sitting NDP Government — which has caused the pain and suffering of this territory — be in defending the people and opposing the government as Leader of the Opposition?” Fahie asked.
He continued: “The questions remain, where will this leadership be headed? Is it to defend the people’s interest or attempt to hide their very own misgivings?”
He said due to a ‘lack’ of transparency, accountability and good governance, the NDP has now divided themselves into two political parties – the NDP and PVIM. This, he said, has created an even greater difficulty for residents to receive representation they deserve.
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