BVI News

My biggest regret is NDP’s split — Dr Smith

From left: Ronnie Skelton (left) who broke away from the NDP to form the PVIM, and former NDP Chairman/Premier, Dr D Orlando Smith.

Former Premier, Dr D Orlando Smith said his greatest disappointment in politics as leader of the territory is the fracture of his former National Democratic Party (NDP).

“My biggest regret probably would be that unfortunately — the National Democratic Party of which I was a member and head at that point, sort of splitting asunder,” Dr Smith told the Talking Points show.

Just months before the 2019 general elections, the party split into two factions, with the breakaway Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) led at the time by then-Health Minister and longtime NDP stalwart, Ronnie Skelton. 

Skelton was joined by lawmakers Archibald Christian and current Labour Minister Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull, who both moved to the Opposition benches in the House of Assembly (HOA) back then. Skelton was later sacked from the governing side.

Turnbull was the only PVIM member that managed to be successful following the 2019 elections. 

A former three-term Premier, Dr Smith suggested that the acrimonious split that happened within his former party was inevitable. However, he still expressed disappointment when it finally happened. 

“Now, it’s a regret, understandable too, because all over the world, parties do develop branches, break off and form new parties,” Dr Smith shared. 

He added: “So, it’s kind of a natural process, but it’s something I really was disappointed that it happened, but not entirely surprised that it could happen.” 

At the time of the rupture, Dr Smith called the resulting new appointments of his party a ‘reshuffle’, and said it did not affect the NDP‘s ability to govern the territory. 

He remarked back then, that even as politicians come and go, it was the vision of the party that endured. 


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  1. Poor attitude says:

    I blame the NDP members for the less this country is in. The VIP would not have won the election had it not been for the split in the NDP. The NDP showed a lack of discipline and respect for its own constitution. It also showed its unwillingness to evolve and allow for the next generation of leaders to come to the fore. If a party has internal elections there will be winners and there will be losers. For the losers to leave the party because they did not win says a lot about their character. Then to proceed to tear down the same party that you tried to lead because you lost is even worse. I have no respect for people let alone leaders who display this level of selfish and entitlement behaviour.

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  2. Problem child says:

    That little trouble maker Mitch Turnbull was the ring leader for the break up of the NDP…

    Like 5
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  3. no succession planning says:

    If you had passed the baton off to Ronnie aint wont ah had no split

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    Dislike 5
  4. OK says:

    Mitch got to go!!

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  5. @No succession planning says:

    Doesn’t the party have a constitution? Doesn’t the constitution say how the leadership is chosen by elections?

  6. selfish says:

    he refused to groom some one to follow in his foot steps

  7. @poor attitude says:

    Yours is the only comment that’s worth making.

  8. @Poor Attitude says:

    Do not sugarcoat it, the NDP guys are some heartless, selfish, power hungry f**kers who do not care about this Territory. I would rather give Sowande and his team a chance before I ever support NDP again in my life and that is real. Even as we speak instead of joining forces for the betterment of the Territory they still remain split and why? All it revolves around is POWER! Everybody wants to lead, nobody wants to follow and WORK for the people. Sometimes I wonder if we were not better off pressing the reset button and letting the UK rule for 2 years. I don’t agree with UK rule but I just wonder sometimes. Egos, pompous ways and arrogance will continue to be the undoing of the BVI.

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  9. @No succession says:

    This is not New Life or CGB Baptist Church, what hand over you talking about? The Parties all have a structure and a Constitution that govern who leads and serves as the executive. The process was done and they didn’t like the result so they bolted. That is faggot behavior and I could never respect them. They don’t care about the country at all. VIP just had their congress meeting over the weekend, smooth, no problems. When will PVIM and NDP follow suit so the people would know what to expect for elections? You know why they can’t do it? Power struggles continue, everyone want to be in charge, every one wants power, they are bad talking each other. Sad to say the VIP are looking like the lesser evil to vote for at this point.

  10. Interested says:

    With all due respect Dr Smith.
    You contributed to that split when you disrespected Ronnie, a founding member of the party and chose Johnny come lately Myron over Him,Your wife also needs to own her part in it.

    Because of her capabilities,I will support her at the polls if she runs,but she does not at the moment have much public support due to her superior attitude.

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  11. @interested says:

    Wasn’t there an election based on the constitution and Myron won? Could Dr. Smith just handover the leadership without the party members voting for who they think is best as required by their constitution? So why have a constitution if you are not going to follow it?

  12. Citizen says:

    I lost respect for Ronnie from the time he left the party and formed his own because he lost the party elections. The party couldn’t have been that bad if you wanted to lead it. If he had won the elections he would have still been there. If you can respect your own rules in your own constitution then I have a problem with that. If there is a process then everybody should be man or woman enough to live with the outcome of it. I can’t respect that move at all.

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  13. Plain facts says:

    The party had a convention for elections, right? Punk move to leave and form another party because you didn’t win. Childish, punkish, bad mind move.

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  14. Public Disclosure says:

    The B V I deserves VIP Andrew and the others.
    May God have mercy.
    The NDP is a cut above.

  15. Truth be told says:

    Dr. Smith has to take responsibility for the mess that NDP has found itself in. As leader, he should have led and not followed. He did not do that. He allowed people to poison his mind just like they did with the plane debacle. He is a good person but when he lets others lead him, he gets into trouble. He should have stood his ground and give the reigns over to one of the senior ministers in the party – Ronnie or Kedrick. But no, he listened to those greedy persons within the party circles who said that Ronnie would be too tight with the money and would not be good. GREEDY PEOPLE LOOKING OUT FOR THEIR OWN SELFISH GAIN. A LOT OF INSIDE POWER MANEUVING WENT ON, HENCE THE DOOM OF NDP. RONNIE CANNOT BE BLAMED FOR NDP’S DOWNFALL. MARLON, MYRON, MARK, THE CRABBES AND MANY OTHERS CREATED THE MESS. LET THEM CLEAN IT UP. THEY NEED TO SPEAK THE TRUTH BUT IN THIS COUNTRY, THE TRUTH IS SOMETHING THAT IS PUT ON THE BACK BURNER. Many of those in NDP, Ministers included, did not want to follow Government rules and behaved like outlaws. That is why there is problem with the High School Wall. The project was approved but the Minister obviously neglected to follow Government protocols. Is Ronnie to be blamed for that?

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  16. Too foolish says:

    That is why all yo put in VIP … where is he sitting with chains around his ankle for all edge corruption… So you putting back that party
    This is crazy .. This is like Jim’s Jones followers drinking pisionious cool aide
    Throw out the entire team

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  17. BVI LOVE NOTES says:

    There needs to be a reset with fresh candidates for voters to choose from, including Independents.
    No party should dominate government. It has proven not to be the best thing at this point i time from what has transpired from the past two general elections. The COI uncovered some serious weaknesses in party-ruled governments in the BVI. Hopefully we will end up with a Coalition government after the next elections.

  18. @truth be told says:

    You would recognize the truth even if it slapped you in the face. You have no idea what you are saying. Let me change that, you are lying and you don’t care. This is what has the country in trouble. Bad citizens like you who misrepresent the facts.

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  19. sturpss says:

    Your biggest regret should be BVI Airways

  20. Forbidden Truth says:

    This man sit in the HOA when he retired and said he has no regrets. Fooling who now? Please

  21. :) says:

    ok then!!!!!! well said

  22. WELL SA says:

    Natures Little Secret

  23. :) says:

    The party had nothing to do with that, clean slate disciplined and attentive people. They did much seeing that they had to clean up all the mess they met!!!!!! We heard it for ourselves

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