BVI News

Penn to Speaker: D4 not vacant so honour pledge to be impartial

“There is no vacancy in the Fourth Electoral District. Honourable Vanterpool remains the duly elected … there is no need for a by-election” — Opposition Leader Marlon Penn

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Julian Willock’s, impartiality is being questioned based on his refusal to swear in NDP member Mark Vanterpool as the territory’s Fourth District Representative.

In a statement on public radio on Monday, Opposition Leader Marlon Penn described the Speaker’s position as “unfortunate” and urged him (Willock) to honour his recent pledge to be “fair, non-partisan, and objective” as the new Speaker.

Penn further argued that Willock not swearing in Vanterpool contravene’s the Virgin Islands Constitution and the wishes of Fourth District voters.

“The NDP’s position and that of Honourable Vanterpool is clear. It is also consistent with any legal interpretation of what transpired. But, most importantly, it’s consistent with the constitution of the Virgin Islands. There is no vacancy in the Fourth Electoral District. Honourable Vanterpool remains the duly elected and the current representative of the Fourth District and therefore there is no need for a by-election”

“I am therefore calling on the Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly to take the responsible action, the just and equitable action, and honour his own pledge, honour the will of the people of the Fourth District, respect the constitution of the Virgin Islands and swear in Honourable Vanterpool to House of Assembly without delay so that we can all get on with the work that the people of this territory has elected us to do.”

Willock, in the meantime, has said he sent two notices to Governor Augustus Jaspert advising him that the Fourth District seat in which Vanterpool was elected is now vacant.

Constitution: Resignations must be addressed to Speaker

The Speaker sent those advisories to the governor based on Vanterpool’s March 5 resignation from representational politics. Vanterpool resigned a week before Willock was appointed Speaker of the House.

At the time, Vanterpool addressed his letter to the Clerk of the House of Assembly. He was subsequently informed that the constitution requires him to address his letter to the Speaker if his resignation is to be considered valid.

Vanterpool then changed his mind and decided to rescind his resignation. However, the Speaker maintains that he has accepted Vanterpool’s letter even though it was incorrectly addressed. Willock, a stark VIP supporter, is now encouraging the governor to call a by-election.

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  1. Humpty Dumpty says:

    Boy Marlon I see you are just as m— like Mark who is not an h——– man.

    The grey site in the constitution does not provide for the Mark absent so by him not showing up pave the and a letter to say why pave the way for a vacancy.

    Like Madea say lorth let there be light goot mornting!

    Like 12
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  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the one moment in time when i am glad we do not have our own military and other life taking apparatuses.

    Because, the current mentality existing in the HOA appear the type to be quite dictatorial and punitive, similar to many historical despots, if opportunity was there.

    It is very unfortunate our words are as thin as onion skin, and as trust worthy as a thief. They are spoken to fool others so as to achieve, but not one syllable is ever genuine.

    For example, one pledges to be “fair, non-partisan, and objective” as the new Speaker, yet the opposite appear to be true..

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  3. Thank says:

    I was wondering when we were going to hear from you.

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  4. QUESTION says:

    Marlon please stop creating confusion. WHY DIDN’T MR VANTERPOOL ATTEND THE 1ST Assembly of the House? Looks like he didn’t want to be there. He had a final chance even after his public resignation IN WRITING AND ON VDEO but he decided not to attend. His intention is clear.

    He should run again if he really feels he want to represent his people. End of story.

    Like 52
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    • MyPeople says:

      Question, because you too have no respect for law why you are asking your question. A Member of the House of Assembly can be absent from a sitting with or without an apology. That is not the issue.
      Issue: Whether Mark’s letter was valid to effect his resignation. Read the Constitution, therein lies the first answer.
      This matter can become more nastier, if Mr. S*****r persists with his own opinion, standing on a banana skin. Andrew’s first mistake in Leadership, Hon. E******d W*****k.

  5. HRMPH says:

    Expect biased partisan decisions form the S——- until he is removed from office.

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  6. Disintetested says:

    Bipartisanship! Is it not funny when the shoe is on the other foot it burns our corn. The immediate past Sp—–r was highly partisan and no one in government stood up for neutrality and fairness. Julian must project professionlalism but what goes around comes around and what goes up comes down. Mark cause all this confusion. Take a seat.

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    • @Disinterested says:

      Say what you want, no way Speaker Moses would have behaved in the manner in which this current Speaker is behaving even if it was a VIP candidate in Hon. Vanterpool’s shoes. Not only is the Speaker walking a very slippery slope, his attitude and boastfulness is cause for extreme concern. He has had but one sitting and is demanding that the Governor do this and that, putting out releases and behaving as if he is the ruler of the nation. The voters of the 4th voted for Vanterpool a few weeks ago, he resigned (improperly, technically) and had a change of heart. VIP already has the Government and if the Speaker is really concerned about 4th District representation then he would seat the man and get on with business.

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    • whistleblower says:

      What nonsense are you bringing up? You came to us begging for a chance to be fair to all, we split our votes causing you to win and now you are talking c**p about the shoe is on the other foot it burns our corn? Then you too will be in 3years if you want to play that game.

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  7. Hottie says:

    The ‘fullosteam’ speaker diggin him own grave so quick! Who comin next – Overspend gotta consult for 350 big ones so he outta runnin.

    Like 25
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    • Haha says:

      I love the change of name from the Esteemed to the Fullosteam.
      Who is the Overspend and what contract. Me no see any announcement.

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  8. Trouble says:

    —— —— will be VIP’s downfall. Im mad about it already!There’s nothing about that m– that’s “fair, non-partisan and objective”. Vindictive, lie & bias he meant

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  9. Legal minds want to know says:

    This is a simple situation that don’t needs too much thought.

    His excellency this is simple. Lets give Mr. Vanterpool the benefit of the doubt of wanting to serve the people of the 4th District at this time and the gray area in the constitution.

    All you have to do is acknowledge Mark change of heart and the Speaker decision and let Mark run again for the 4th because it is only right whether he wrote to the Clerk or Speaker that he had vacated his seat and did not show up for the swearing in when he had the chance to do so.



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    • C**p says:

      NONSENSE! One month ago the people elected Vanterpool, he now wants to serve, let him serve. It makes no difference as the Government is already formed, let the man sit and move on with the Territory’s business. This situation is making us look like f*****g assholes.

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    • tommy brown says:

      how do you resign from a post that you were not even sworn into. gray areas all over. yes he won the election but he was never officially hired. Food for thought for all you who have degrees

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      • Strups says:

        Would you like me to send you the resignation video?

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        • ??? says:

          You are obviously missing the point. It was MV intention to resign but he couldn’t resign from what he didn’t have. For example…I’m serving in my current position for 20 years, as such I can make a video post or write a letter to the public or whomever to resign my position but would it be valid if I didn’t follow the proper procedures? That’s what everyone is missing, proper protocol was not adhered to thereby causing the leeway for MV to change his mind. What needs to happen is to remove the personalities from the equation and just follow the variables.

    • You think you're slick says:

      How has he vacated his seat if he hadn’t done it officially?

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    • Readreadread says:

      Poor you, Legal Minds want to know. If you really want to know, first look at the Constitution and start to analyze 67(3). What was it saying? Therein you may have insight to the answer you seek. Because a person is absent from the house means he has vacated, then all of them who did not give a reason and were absent without apology, would have vacated their seat also.

  10. Talk says:

    You all just not getting tge whole picture what does swearing in has to with what the constitution says.

    The fact of the matter is Hon.Vanterpool letter is not legally valid. It do not meet what is required by the constitution the letter must be addressed to the Speaker.

    If the Speaker accepts the letter then why did he write to Hon.Vanterpool requesting that he redo a letter addressed to him
    The Speaker no that the letter received is not valid.

    But he so deep in politics he want an election so bad so his party can have another seat.

    The Speaker cannot help his self he cannot and will not be impartial.

    Lastly the Govenor understand what the consitution says so he will not be bulliedby the speaker to call a bi election

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  11. the driver. says:

    Can I quit today and after tomorrow comeback to work?

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    • Migoman says:

      Ofcourse you cant. but that is not the case. I can surely, however, apply for a job on March 26th, be given such job within a few hours, to commence on April 1st, write a letter of resignation to the secretary on March 28th, only to find out that I needed to write it to the managing director, and choose to show up to work on April 1st.
      THAT IS what is happening here.

      • @Migoman says:

        Try it man! Once that letter is addressed to the legal entity where you work -its done. This is a whole other matter before us and (i) the constitution is not clear cut (ii) Mark was chosen by the people to represent them. I think the Speaker should demonstrate that he is embracing the view of the Gov and AGeneral in this matter, he may of course boycott support of Mark’s business venture.

    • Mr. Manager, I want my Job back says:

      @The Driver, I approve your comment. In addition, here’s how i’d do it: “Mr. Manager, I am retiring today March 26.

      March 30th.
      Good morning Mt. Manager. I tried to find someone to replace me. Sir/Madam,
      I actually approached two different persons to replace me. However I haven’t been fortunate to find an acceptable replacement. Henceforth I am here to get my hob back; and I’ll be ready to commence work at, tomorrow, March 31st. Thanks for your consideration

      Me, Pappyshow

    • @Driver says:

      Drive don’t stop ah tall, “Yep many people quit and return to work. What’s your point?

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  12. Virgin Gordian Me Be says:

    I cannot believe that we are going to allow our feelings to supercede the Constitution on this matter. People let’s get it in our head, the Constitution talks about ‘member,’ Mark was not a ‘member’ at the time he sent in his resignation he was a member ‘elect’ so therefore that is the first invalidity to this fiasco. Second invalidity was, there was no House of Assembly. The HOA was dissolved weeks ago and a new one began 12 March, 2019. Third invalidity, he addressed his letter to the Clerk. Fourth invalidity there was no Speaker until 12 May, 2019.

    The only VALID outcome in this is the fact that Mark won the people of 4TH district’s confidence and he won the election. That being said Speaker need to stop acting like a ****-**** and swear Mr. Vanterpool IN!!!!

    Enough is enough!!!!

    Thank you Honorable Penn for rising to the challenge and speak out on this issue.

    I also want to thank the Governor in advance for not acceding to the Speaker’s wishes via his tantrums.

    Hold your ground His Excellency. Do not bend nor bow.

    Like 25
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  13. Issues says:

    Where in the constitution say if an elected member do not show up for the first swearing in he is not an elected member.

    So if an elected member was sick as of that day and could not make it for the first sitting that mean he is not legally an elected official?

    You all do not get it. There is a concerning is law and it will prevail at the end.

    The Speaker cannot override what the Constitution says. So tackling the Governor he need to stop and swear the man in according to the law.

    Like 18
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  14. ? says:

    I have listened to and heard all sides of the story. Now what about THE PEOPLE of the Fourth?

    Was there really mass protest from the voters in D4 for the elected representative to take back the seat he vacated by way of a letter to the Clerk of the House (AND the video circulated to the wider BVI community) without apprising the loyal citizens of D4 of this individual’s intentions to separate himself from them?

    This is more than the constitution. What about the social aspect of this seemingly hasty and definitely unwise decision that brought about all this co-mess? Do the people of the 4th still want the elected member to represent them? Is the representative group (of D4 voters) that convinced him to change his mind made up of a core group of friends and say, f,m..y members who vote in the fourth? The small turn out in the district on 25th February, 2019, coupled with the small margin by which he won should say something to one and all.

    I am all for a trip back to the polls for a bi-election, so that the minds, cares and concerns of THE PEOPLE may be heard. After hearing the elected one publicly announce so blatantly that he does not want to represent them, will they be getting proper representation? We must remember that RT has been sadly lacking in proper representation for quite a while now.

    Leaves one to wonder.

    Like 5
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    • @facts says:

      Stand your ground JW? who are we? Not me, don’t incert we, you canot speak for the majority. If you got JW back then that is your choice but don’t be saying we,say you.

  15. Facts says:

    Stand your ground jw we with you

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  16. Thanks Talker says:

    Fat Albert will never be impartial. People may not agree with what I am saying but, Fat Albert is s—— but he seems to be the one running things.Damn, Fat Albert is going to be the downfall of the VIP. Andrew, sometimes people come into our lives to destroy us. I wish you the very best Andrew but you have at least “2” snakes in the house waiting patiently to strike.

  17. Well well says:

    Let the law decide. Whichever way this goes there will be issues. I say let the law decide what the correct position is so we all will know better in the future. Everybody want to interpret the constitution now but I say let a Judge decide.

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  18. The says:

    Premier and VIP will rue the day this man was selected as Speaker!

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  19. #@@ says:

    One day U appy for a job at a law firm.
    Second day, U are told that u got the job, please report to work on March 12.

    On March 5 U got out of bed, drop off a letter address to the Secretary of the law firm stating that u changed your mind. I don’t want to work for this business establishment again. Wow, mistake, I should have address the letter to the Manager.

    The day To report to work. March 12 u don’t show up. U got out of bed on March 13 and showed up at the same business saying give me back the letter, and show me my desk so I can get down to work.

    Somebody crazy here.
    M–k is.

    I do believe that the constitution needs some amendments. In the pass, we have seen so much wrong been done in the HOA, that we cannot see the big picture of the right thing being done now in this case.

    Thw whole world is watching to see the outcome. We need to move on to the bi-election. Mark can run again if D4 still wants him.

    I am stll with the speaker ?

    Like 8
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  20. Blah says:

    You cannot legally force someone to swear in against their will. The constitution can not force someone to accept or keep a post that they do not want. There is no such thing as an illegal resignation. Anyone can quit or “resign” at anytime that they choose.

    Mark didn’t just resigned, he quit. He didn’t do it in the proper way so instead of using the word resign we should call it what it was and say that he quit his job. If I dont give my job 2 weeks notice of my intent to leave the job as outlined in the labor code I am still allowed to leave.
    There could be legal implications but I would be free to leave. The labor code does not bound me to stay at the job. Same case here the constitution does not bound Mark or anybody to stay at the job.

    For example, Free speech is protected under the constitution of the USA but people can be and are punished all the time for free speech. You say something that is deemed offensive you can be terminated, you can be fined. There would be a lot more law suits if the constitution was the tell all be all that some people think it is. Some people have sued under the basis that free speech is protected under the constitution and have failed.

    In this case Mark quit as anybody is entitled to do at anytime and it was acknowledged.

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  21. SMH says:

    I am so ashamed of W——–! I know he was going to act up but I didn’t’ know it would be so soon. A leopard really can’t change his stripes!

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  22. Eagle eye says:

    Willock do not have a valid letter from Elmarko but yet passing on two notices to the governor.and expects the governor to side with him.y’all get what y’all voted for.

  23. Concern says:

    Hon Premier and to all HON Politicians and Mr. Speaker. It’s time to get on with the governing of this country. We can’t afford to focus on Mark Vanterpool the country have work to accomplish. The Governor of the BVI already said that he not aware of vacancy. Therefore Mr. Speaker let’s get on the HOA as soon as possible and stopped hold up progress.

    Like 13
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  24. Inside! says:

    Subsequent re addresse request from steampunk is misters hipocracy already, by not abiding by own request previously as to the constitutional procedure.

  25. Crap says:

    A ‘member’ under the constitution is someone who has been elected and sworn in the HOA. Mark was not a member so as such there were no provisions for him to resign as he did, making that resignation null and void. Mark will be sworn in very soon, bet your last on that.

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    • Case Closed says:

      Mark resigned after being elected. The provisions of membership did not apply to him as he had not been sworn in. So logically, to quit all he had to legally do was to make a public announcement and the number 2 should have been sworn in. It happens all the time. Usually someone does or is arrested.

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  26. I knew says:

    I knew stuff like this would take forever to be resolved with a speaker like this.

    He first needs to know what he is and then maybe learn to read the constitution. Then take his head out of his personal confusion. This is not V— mister. Read the constitution joker.

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  27. TurtleDove says:

    The AG needs to get on this ASAP.

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  28. Sooooo says:

    Agree with you!! I am with the Speaker too!

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  29. QUESTION says:




  30. SMH says:

    VIP Supporter…but have many doubts about Wilcox being the Speaker! I await to see how this issue goes. By the Rights or by Personal neans.

  31. hmmm says:

    honor u said honor the ppl of the 4th. was mr vanterpool thinking about them when he was preparing that resignation. hmm who was honouring the 4th then.

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