By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff
Chairman-elect of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Myron Walwyn has said the renewed quest to discredit is eligibility to sit in the House of Assembly is ‘unfortunate’.
“This matter comes up around election season almost every time since I’ve been running for office. I think it is rooted in something deeper than just the Constitution and something that we have to try our best to see if we can get past,” Walwyn said in an interview with BVI News this week.
The minister – who was born in the BVI by immigrant parents – listed a number of experts and professionals who would have raised the proverbial red flag if he was actually ineligible to legislate in the BVI.
Attorney General Baba Aziz, Supervisor of Elections Juliette Penn, as well as past and present territorial governors were persons Walwyn named as being adequately qualified to recognize whether he is eligible.
“I am a lawyer by profession and I believe I should know whether I can run for election or not. I just found the whole discussion to be interesting at the very least,” Walwyn inserted.
‘No evidence that Fahie is not behind this’
Reports had identified Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie and a number of other Virgin Islands Party (VIP) supporters as being part of the resurrected ‘eligibility witch hunt’.
But, when the reports of Walwyn’s eligibility resurfaced weeks ago, Fahie swiftly issued a statement effectively saying the VIP had nothing to do with the discussions. He further went on to describe the issue as an ‘NDP fight’.
However, Walwyn said he does not believe the Opposition Leader’s assertion.
“What I find interesting is that you only heard from him (Fahie) once the emails [about my eligibility] became public. So, it leaves me to believe that he was, in fact, a party to it because there is no evidence to the contrary to show that he condemned what was being said or he encouraged those persons who were also part of it to not go that direction because it’s not helpful to the country,” Walwyn said.
“This tactic is consistent with what the Virgin Islands Party was doing in the past … so it doesn’t surprise me now. I do see how Honourable Fahie could distance himself from that, being that this is something his party has been a part of for a long time.”
Walwyn said persons who are involved in the so-called witch-hunt do not ‘understand the importance of uniting the territory’. He said only a united BVI will be able to progress.
“If you are seeking to lead in the highest office in the land or seeking to lead in the highest electoral body … you have to be a leader for all the people of the Virgin Islands. And they should be a ‘uniter’ and not a divider.”
NDP members also involved?
Walwyn said he is not aware of any internal campaign within the NDP to discredit his eligibility. He said he can neither pinpoint any particular NDP member who may be part of the eligibility witch hunt nor can he make guarantees that no party member is involved because he does not know.
Regardless, Walwyn said he is not bothered by naysayers as it relates to his eligibility.
“It’s not hurtful to me personally because I know who I am and I know the contribution I’ve made to the country. But I know it is hurtful to many persons who are like myself.”
In that vein, the minister said he wants discussions of this nature to stop.
Walwyn was born at Peebles Hospital on the island of Tortola on February 22, 1972.