Premier Andrew Fahie has announced Luce Hodge-Smith as the candidate the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) will be fielding if a by-election is to happen for the Fourth Electoral District.
There have been clashing views about whether the Fourth District seat is vacant since the elected representative Mark Vanterpool publicly resigned then changed his mind a week later.
While the legality of the matter is being assessed, Premier and VIP chairman Andrew Fahie has given strong indications that he supports a by-election.
While using the analogy of air travel to back the by-election and to back Hodge-Smith for the seat, Fahie said: “The plane ticket is already booked. But she is on standby because we expect her seat to become vacant on the plane. And she is number-one on the standby list.”
“They already have all her travel documents, she is already in the system. We just need the seat to become vacant so that she can get on the plane, fasten her seatbelt, and join team Virgin Islands Party,” the Premier added while speaking at a VIP celebratory event at the weekend.
Hodge-Smith: God will resolve this injustice, I will not flip-flop
Hodge-Smith said she remains ready for a by-election to be called in the meantime.
While impliedly stating that Vanterpool’s flip-flopping was an injustice to Fourth District constituents, Hodge-Smith said she is very hopeful a by-election will occur.
“While we await the outcome of this unfortunate situation, I ask the people of the Fourth District and the greater Virgin Islands to be steadfast in your belief that God will reslove all injustices.”
“If we have this by-election coming up, I just want you to rest assured that I remain steadfast in my desire to represent and serve you, the people of the fourth … I pledge to never quit and to say I’m coming back. I will always be there.”
The territory’s governor is constitutionally the only person with the authority to call a by-election. But, Governor Augustus Jaspert said he will only issue a writ for a by-election if he is formally notified that the seat is vacant.
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