National Democratic Party (NDP) Chairman Myron Walwyn has said his party has become victim to political vandalism.
The politician said a number of his party’s campaign posters and billboards are being torn from the structures they are mounted on.
While the vandals are not known, Walwyn said he has grown suspicious of the masterminds behind the sabotage.
“What is interesting is that you would have two billboards next to each other — one for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) and one for the NDP. And the one for the NDP is torn down but the one for the Virgin Islands Party is intact. I am not going to rush to judgements but if that was someone who was a random vandalising person, they would have torn down both posters or billboards. It raises questions,” Walwyn said.
While denouncing the practice, Walwyn noted that his party has already spoken to its surrogate supporters about engaging in such behaviour.
“They know the standards that we expect here in the National Democratic Party … We respect the other political parties because this is a democracy and we must respect democracy,” he said.
Smear campaigns increase
He also raised concern about the practice of smear-campaigning, which he said is becoming worse.
“Almost every day now these terrible and defamatory WhatsApp messages are going around casting aspersions on people’s character, and trying to demonise people,” Walwyn said.
“We are in a 21st century Virgin Islands and the people who are seeking to lead the 21st century Virgin Islands must start to operate themselves at a higher level. So, I’m calling on all those persons who are the head of political parties to let us have a campaign at a high level. Let us have an issue-oriented campaign because the people of the Virgin Islands deserve that. And as difficult as it might be for some of us to keep things above board and above level, we have to do it and think about country,” the NDP Chairman added.
The world is watching, says premier
Other legislators including VIP Chairman Andrew Fahie and government leader Dr D Orlando Smith have also publicly spoken out against smear campaigns.
Premier Smith stood during the last sitting of the House of Assembly for 2018 and called from persons to put a stop to such baseless activities. He noted that the wider world watches the BVI intently.