By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Hours after Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull told members of the media that he had asked NDP Chairman Myron Walwyn for a ministerial post if the party was re-elected into government, the first-term legislator has issued a clarification to that claim.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the Progress Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) – the party to which Turnbull is now aligned – said it was Walwyn who actually offered a ministerial post to the young legislator and not the other way around.
“Honourable Turnbull was simply asked if he was interested in taking a seat if one was available and he said ‘yes’,” the PVIM wrote while ranking him (Turnbull) among ‘best performing politicians’ the NDP had.
“To us, this sounds like the Chairman of the NDP was baiting running mates and making promises,” the PVIM added.
The PVIM also said it would be interesting to see how that gimmick plays out if the NDP gets re-elected into office.
Will Mitch get a ministerial post in PVIM gov’t?
While not directly stating their position, the PVIM said Turnbull is able to perform wherever he is needed and required.
“There should be no issue with a young man, who is able and willing to serve, being able to do so. In the PVIM, we would be happy to see ‘Mitch’ Turnbull serve the people at any level. He is quite capable!”
The PVIM further said: “There was a time in the BVI when a District Representative seeking a ministerial seat as a means of increasing the capacity to serve his/her people was a good thing. It was a sign of how well respected that member was to their government and more times than not it was a reward for good leadership.”
The PVIM pointed out that Turnbull had the respect of the people in and out of the Second Electoral District, which is the constituency he currently represents.
“Therefore, we question, who else in the NDP, if they were elected would be a better fit to receive one of the five ministries?”
What Turnbull initially told the press
During a PVIM press conference on Wednesday morning, Turnbull said he requested a ministerial portfolio during a two-hour long party meeting with Walwyn, who was elected as NDP Chairman back in June. He said a number of other issues and concerns were discussed and Walwyn’s overall response was: ‘we will talk’.
“I am the one that reached out to the chairman (Walwyn), the deputy chairman, and the other ministers of government — who happened to also be NDP members — to have a meeting and to have personal conversations to understand where the direction [of the party] was heading,” he said of the aforementioned meeting.
Turnbull then made it clear that he resigned from the party for a number of reasons such as a glaring double standard in the NDP as well as witnessing firsthand a worsening trend as it relates to a lack of transparency, accountability, and integrity within the party.
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