In a bid to sway voters on the eve of today’s election, all four political parties contesting at the polls delivered their final political messages and had varying sizes of supporters gathered at their pre-election rallies.
If the turnout at those rallies are any indication of what the results will be at the end of Election Day, the battle for government would then appear to be between the Myron Walwyn-led National Democratic Party (NDP) and Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party (VIP).
The Ronnie Skelton-led Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) had what could be described as a notable-sized gathering at their event at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park in Road Town.
Julian Fraser’s six-candidate team had a considerably smaller turnout than the other three political parties.
NDP: BVI can’t afford to vote us out, we’ve been the most productive
Addressing the relatively large gathering at the Sunny Caribbee Parking Lot in Road Town, NDP Chairman Walwyn impressed on persons not to vote the party out.
“The recovery process is fragile, and it can easily face a setback in the slightest change in our political direction,” he said.
“The financial standing of our country is very strong, and much of this credit must be given to our outgoing Premier and Minister for Finance Dr D Orlando Smith. [But] the challenge before us now is to sustain this momentum in the coming years.”
He said persons voted for an NDP government over the past two terms because the party “represented a change” that supported the local electorate’s dreams and aspirations for “a better BVI”.
“Our policies are realistic and sound, they are informed by insightful analysis of where our country currently stands, buttressed by a clear understanding of where we are seeking to go and driven by a sound knowledge of how this can be attained. We were not perfect because only God is perfect; we made mistakes, but we learned from them.”
The NDP chairman added that his party has been the most productive government between 1995 to 2018.
Progressives United: NDP and VIP are both bad news
On the other hand, addressing a skeletal crowd at the Albian Well in Sea Cows Bay, Progressives United leader Fraser said the NDP does not deserve a third consecutive term as the territory’s government.
He said the NDP’s track record, particularly in the Third District where he served as the representative, reflects a poor performance.
“They squeeze the little man, they squeeze you every chance they get … and you tell me you are going to re-elect the NDP and put them back in office? If we can agree that we are going to get rid of the NDP tomorrow, I want you to agree with me that you are not going to replace them with the Virgin Islands Party (VIP).”
Fraser, who in the recent past served as Chairman of the VIP, said the two parties are one and the same.
“Out of the frying pan into the fire. You cannot replace them with the VIP,” he said.
VIP: Don’t vote any of the last five gov’t ministers
Immediately on the heels of their motorcade, a well-attended gathering of VIP supporters convened at the festival grounds in Road Town to hear the party’s leader make his final address before the election.
Fahie told his supporters that the NDP and the PVIM are one and the same, and on that premise, should not be elected.
“You really have to make sure that he (PVIM leader Skelton) gets a message tomorrow that once you were one of the five ministers in that government that was sitting and they asked you to give your vote to any one of them, all you have to do is sing the good old hymn, No Not One.”
PVIM: Vote for territorial advancement
In his address, Skelton said the PVIM deserves a chance. He said his team brought solutions to the many national issues while on te campaign trail.
“Now, ladies and gentlemen, it is your decision … please make the right decision. Not for your friends, not for your own personal advancement, but for the country’s advancement, and its people collectively.”
He said the territory is facing ‘troubling times’ and committed leaders are critical.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have given you a vision of where we think this country can be and we tell you we intend to bring accountability, transparency and empowerment and hope, back to our people here in the Virgin Islands,” Skelton said
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