Amid uncertainty surrounding general elections in the territory, Minister for Health & Social Development Marlon Penn has indicated that he intends to run for office the next time residents go to the polls.
Speaking on a Umoja radio talk show earlier this week, Penn said he will be contesting the next election as a National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate. Penn, who is also the leader of the NDP, said plans to organise a group of candidates to run alongside him on his party’s ticket.
“We (the NDP) have persons who’ve committed, we are moving forward in terms of that process and we will be prepared ultimately when the Premier calls the election,” Penn assured.
Earlier this year when the United Kingdom (UK) threatened to suspend the BVI’s constitution, elected leaders from the NDP and Virgin Islands Party (VIP) quickly formed the Government of National Unity — a coalition government that committed to implementing the UK’s recommendations for good governance in order to prevent the takeover of the local government.
Since then, the community hasn’t been clear on whether elected leaders will be contesting the next election on the Unity Government ticket. However, Penn gave indications that this is not likely to happen.
“All parties involved in the partnership government are still active as far as I’m aware. The reality is that the people in this country deserve to have elections and they will have choices to make when the time comes for that process to take place,” Penn indicated.
He also said he isn’t aware of any obstacles that would prevent the BVI from holding elections when they are constitutionally due.
BVI is due to hold a general election by May 2023. However, none of the political parties have put forward a full list of candidates that will be contesting a potential election on their ticket.
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