Speaker of the House of Assembly Julian Willock is calling for a by-election, despite Mark Vanterpool’s decision to no longer retire from representational politics.
Vanterpool submitted a resignation letter on March 5; days before Willock was elected as Speaker. But, the flip-flopping politician was informed between March 13 and 14 that his letter must be addressed to the Speaker and NOT the C
Vanterpool subsequently changed his mind and requested to be sworn in as Fourth District Representative but Speaker Willock said Vanterpool cannot cancel the resignation
Willock, in a media statement on Thursday afternoon, said: “On 13th March 2019, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Julian Willock wrote to Mr Mark H Vanterpool accepting his decision not to be sworn into the Fourth House of Assembly and to resign from representing the Fourth Electoral District.”
“Mr Willock, who was sworn into office as Speaker of the Fourth House of Assembly on 12th March 2019, received a letter from the Clerk of the House of Assembly written by Mr Mark H Vanterpool detailing his decision to resign from the House of Assembly after being re-elected at the February 25, 2019 polls.”
The Speaker then went on to cite Section 67 (3) (a) of the Virgin Islands constitution which states that “an elected member of the House of Assembly shall also vacate his or her seat in the House if he or she resigns it by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Speaker”.
Against that backdrop, Willock then asserted: “Mr Vanterpool’s resignation letter referred to the Speaker was dated 5th March 2019. The acceptance of his resignation by the Speaker now paves the way for a by-election for the Fourth Electoral District of the Virgin Islands”.
Willock is an avid and active member of Virgin Islands Party (the governing party) while Vanterpool is an equally avid member of the opposing National Democratic Party.