BVI News

Premier wants governor’s powers to override certain decisions removed from constitution

Premier Andrew Fahie said one change that should be considered during the BVI’s constitutional review process is the power the governor can use to override certain decisions.

Section 92 of the Virgin Islands Constitution says persons are appointed to certain public offices on the advice of the Public Service Commission. However, the governor has the power to go against that advice, “if he or she determines that compliance with that advice would prejudice Her Majesty’s service”.

Addressing the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Premier said the section must be “re-analyzed and redefined in the new constitution”.

“I have seen where a Public Service Commission rightfully made decisions then they were asked to relook it by the governor, and they came back with the same decision and the governor override it saying, ‘this I have to do because it prejudices Her Majesty’s Service’. That is not the spirit in which it was written in the constitution,” the Premier argued.

Who’s in charge when governor absent from Cabinet

Fahie also pointed to another area he would like to see changed during the review process.

Section 49 of the document addresses cases when the governor is absent. The constitution says the Premier is the one who chairs Cabinet whenever the governor is absent.

The Premier, however, said the provision is often misinterpreted.

“We are faced with those who have the interpretation that it means that once the governor is absent and they give their responsibility to whoever is acting, that they will chair the Cabinet. I have called for a judicial review on this. It’s not that you want the power, it’s what’s written,” he argued.

Premier Fahie said it has become a hurdle to “overcome some of the willful ways of misinterpreting what is put in there [in the constitution] and have it as so”.

“[You are told] there is nothing you can do about it … [But] that is not right in the 21st century and it cannot stand. You cannot be in the river and on the bank at the same time,” he argued.


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  1. Love for my country says:

    We need someone to do the checks and balances on Ministers/Politicians, especially who tend to bypass established protocols for contracts and the like. We see many times where party supporters and others who do not qualify are given contracts bypassing by any means necessary established protocols. As it stands now, the Governor is the best person to be the watchdog for the public purse. He has no constituency.

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  2. vip heckler says:

    H**l no!!!

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  3. YOUTH says:

    I agree with the Premier

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  4. Gladys says:

    I own a business that employs over 20 belongers. The second they do this I will relocate my business to St Thomas. Period. The governor keeps an eye on what is going on for the people of the bvi. Don’t be fooled people, the Governor is a vital part and all the recent spin that is happening should have you all worried.

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  5. kelley says:

    premier we did not elect you to talk the nnsense you are talking please do the peoplwwe work because you might put your foot in your moouth se carefull what you are doing and what you are saying anout the relationship with britian that same governor is going to laugh at you and England will have topatch you and the bvi up Premier know what you are doing you are not sure you will be th next premier premie wwyou have msny people to give account for do not let power go to your headd and chest i know you want the besy for the BVI but you must be carefull

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  6. Interested says:

    The Premier seems to want all the powers of the Governor removed from the constitution.Just tell the U.K. we do not want a Governor and done.

  7. bvi says:

    hahahaaaaa wishful thinking, in your dreams Andrew, wish u luck.

  8. Hmmm says:


  9. cinimon says:

    Fahie much more worried about power and control than he is about folks who own business that depend on open borders.

  10. Ridiculous says:

    This is possibly one of the most ridiculous things I have heard the Premier say. We are still under the British rule and have to respect that the Governor is the Queen’s eyes and ears. Why are we constantly trying to get on tthe Govenor’s bad side. Mr. Governor, the views represented in this article do not represent that of the BVIslanders!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    The Premier is proberly right but that isn’t going to solve many of the issues.

    There is this disconnect between the Mainland and the OTs and they need to address it. It’s the misrepresentation in the National Parliament. Having a proper voice in the House Of Commons and the House of Lords or Senate is that missing link.

    Every British Citizen, no matter if on the Mainland or in an distant Overseas Territory or Crown Dependecy, needs to be properly represented within your national parliament on things concerning your home territory or wherever you currently live.

    This is what’s Colonial about the relationship between the UK Mainland amd the Crown Dependencies and the Overseas Territories.

    A Governor is sent to every off shore part of the nation and yet no proper elected
    representation(Members Of Parliament) is being sent from the Territories to London to sit in on a daily basis to voice the concerns of the territories.How can an MP from Manchester or Glasgow,Nottingham be able to vote on something that concerns the British Virgin Islands but there’s no MP from the Territory there in person to present their case,voice their concerns and vote on it? A Nottingham MP doesn’t even know anything about the Virgin Islands and the daily operation and industries that’s within the BVI.This is the main issue here.

    This is the one sided relationship with the UKG where they send a representative(Governor) to the islands but you don’t send any to your own national parliament.The Governor should be in every OT and CD as they are now.There’s no two way representation.This needs to be addressed and put into place because it’s causing issues for everyone.(Financial Services and the other areas)

    The French Islands had that in place since 1946. They are only 200 few miles away from the BVI.(Guadeloupe, Martinique) French Guyana, (French Side St Martin).

    There is nothing colonial about present day Britain except that missing Territorial MP voice that’s so needed in the UK Parliament to sit on those commitees and Prime Minister Questions Day. They’ve last had a Colonial Office until the 1960s. Why are our voices not being represented in our National Parliament and we are all equal and from the same nation?

    That is the disconnect BVI legal voters and esteem residents.
    You’ll even be better off interms of legal representation that our neighbours of the USVI and Puerto Rico is to the USA. They have legal representation( Senetors, Delegates) but have no say in the policies that are rolled out of D.C for them because they can’t vote on matters but to observe.

    The OTs can be way more effective within Britain and as such be more effective in the wider world than they are now.

    No need to be scared of taxes from the UKG.
    We live overhere and have the same tax system as back in the Virgin Islands.(PAYE)
    You’ll be taxed 20% in total which should be 6% extra to what’s being deducted now but we get all the tax return every year.
    That’s the disconnect there: no elected MPs for the UK purposes and as such, the people who can really help move policies to enhance the BVI, Caymans,Anguilla,St Helena,Bermuda,TCI,etc aren’t being brief about these very important parts of the country.

    These remaining OTs need to be treated and have importance the same way Scotland is.The PM, Boris Johnson is our PM for the OTs. We need to have a say election wise about who our PM should be.
    Why are we beinf micro within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?

    If people in the OTs want to see where to look for an excellent example on any new relationship with the UK Government then they need to look into the overall governing structure of the Azores and the Canary Islands. Those two are fully part of Spain but with lots of Autonomy that many other mainland regions of Spain don’t have.

    British Overseas Territories aren’t Foreign nor are they Commonwealth.
    They are offshore parts of the nation that need to be on equal footing as Wales or any other region of the nation.

  12. Truth says:

    Is du**y claude Cline coming back to the bvi after he spend all his life building up the USA talking all these s**t and the premiere taking his s****d advise

  13. What? says:

    So you can add a couple more CSCs to your payroll?

  14. hmm well says:

    fahie working to get the back seat again , want all get none. sidung

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