A number public servants heading departments under the governing National Democratic Party (NDP) administration has been named among six candidates who will be contesting the next general elections under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) banner.
These public servants include Director of Culture Luce Hodge-Smith, who was named as the VIP’s candidate for the Fourth Electoral District.
The VIP said Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles Kye Rhymer will be the party’s challenger for the Fifth District.
Former Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works John Samuel was named as the VIP’s contender for the Sixth District while VIP President Dr Natalio ‘Sowande’ Wheatley will contest in the Seventh.
Sister Islands Coordinator Vincent Wheatley is another incumbent public servant named as a VIP candidate for the upcoming elections. He will be contesting for the Ninth Electoral District seat.
As previously announced, VIP Chairman Andrew Fahie will be looking continue as the representative of the First District for another consecutive term.
“In their demonstration of true commitment to country, the successful VIP candidates are aware that immediately upon being officially confirmed on Nominations Day for the General Elections of 2018 or 2019, they would be obliged to tender their resignations from all public offices held,” said Fahie in a media release late Sunday night.
“Candidates view this not as a sacrifice but as a duty and a calling to serve their country at this critical juncture,” he added.
As for party candidates for the other seats to be contested, Fahie said: “The process of selecting the three remaining district candidates and the four territorial At-Large candidates will commence immediately. At its conclusion, Congress will once again convene and, thereafter, the full slate of 13 VIP candidates will stand ready, willing, and able to achieve victory in the General Elections and begin the process of restoring confidence in governance; restoring unity in government; and restoring government’s capability to fight for what’s best for these Virgin Islands.”
And while firing at the governing NDP, Fahie said they have displayed an inability to “cease and desist from their public display of animosity towards each other”.
He further claimed the NDP have proven themselves incapable of working in harmony for the benefit of the territory.