The next General Election is to be held by April 16, 2019, Governor Augustus Jaspert announced.
An early General Election is being held because the governor, acting on the advice of Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, has decided to forego any by-election for the Fifth Electoral District.
In a media release on Thursday, Governor Jaspert said the Premier believes the territory should forego a by-election to avoid having two elections that would have happened one shortly after the other.
“In deciding to accept this advice, I considered carefully what would be in the best interests of the Virgin Islands and the electorate and agreed with the Premier that it would not be in the best interests of the people of the Virgin Islands to hold both a by-election followed shortly after by a full general election next year,” Governor Jaspert said.
A reasonable timeframe
The governor further explained that since there will not be a by-election, the general election will be held within a reasonable timeframe from the date the Fifth District seat became vacant.
“I have received legal advice that the holding of a general election within a period of six months from the date of the death of the member of the Fifth District may be a [good] compromise date between foregoing a by-election and holding a general election,” the governor said.
“I consider the holding of a general election by 16th April 2019 as a reasonable time frame. I will be advised accordingly in due course on the dates the Premier wishes to dissolve the House and hold an election prior to that date in April,” he added.
In anticipation of the early election, Governor Jaspert has urged legislators to unify and “ensure that key legislation on governance, security and recovery are passed before the House dissolves”.