BVI News

UPDATE: Leaders’ debate cancelled after Fahie’s ‘condition’ to participate


The debate between leaders of the local political parties has been cancelled.

Member of the organising committee Eustace ‘Boss’ Freeman said on Tuesday that the debate was cancelled because of ‘circumstances beyond the committee’s control’. He did not go into detail.

The cancellation follows a media release from the Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party that they will not participate in the debate if ALL political leaders don’t come forward. There are four known political parties contesting the 2019 General Elections.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED: Fahie not participating in debate if ALL party leaders don’t confirm

Virgin Islands Party (VIP) chairman Andrew Fahie might not be participating in the debate with leaders of the respective political parties on February 21, contrary to previous reports.

Organising member of the leaders’ debate committee, Eustace ‘Boss’ Freeman, told BVI News last Friday that Fahie was one of two leaders who had already confirmed their participation in the debate. But according to a media release from the VIP on Tuesday (February 12), Fahie is only willing to debate if all political leaders participate.

The VIP said this was made clear to the debate organising committee from the outset.

“As it stands now, we have been informed that not all the leaders will be there. A clear condition for the event is therefore not being met … We stand ready to join a debate – even at short notice – should the preparation and organization for it, meet the standards that we have had discussed,” the Fahie-led party said.

“We, however, thought that it was unfortunate, that our name was being attached to the event promoted when the fundamental conditionality was not met,” the VIP added.

We want genuine debate, not ‘circus’

In explaining their position further, the VIP said they are only interested in having “a genuine debate” and suggested that such a debate can only be achieved once all political leaders participate.

It further suggested that a debate that does not involve all leaders reduces the event “to a circus, [which] will do a disservice to the electorate”.

“We appreciate that the organizers have been working tirelessly to ensure that everyone would have come forward to explain and defend their policy ideas,” the VIP added.

There are four known political parties contesting these 2019 general elections — the VIP, Ronnie Skelton-led Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), the Myron Walwyn-led National Democratic Party (NDP), and the Julian Fraser-led Progressives United.

Based on the VIP’s argument and considering that as recently as last Friday, Fraser — according to debate organisers — had outrightly declined to participate in the debate, Fahie will not be participating after all. Organisers also said at the time that Walwyn of the NDP has accepted the invitation to debate while Skelton of the PVIM had not yet confirmed his participation.

Below is the full media release from the VIP 

The Virgin Islands Party has noted that a debate, suggesting the involvement of our leader Andrew Fahie is being promoted through various medium.

Discussions about the proposed debate have been going on for a period of time with agents of the party representing our Chairman. The VIP has been eager for a debate – and in fact, had even proposed additional debates involving each candidate at the district level. For the record, we had also provisionally agreed to a debate among the leaders, once the leaders of all the other major parties were willing to come to the table.

Our team has been preparing for the event on the assumption that all the leaders of all the parties were willing to do so. We appreciate that the organizers have been working tirelessly to ensure that everyone would have come forward to explain and defend their policy ideas. As it stands now, we have been informed that not all the leaders will be there – a clear condition for the event is therefore not being met. We want a genuine debate, and a thrashing out of ideas for national development.

But having such an event reduced to a circus will do a disservice to the electorate. We stand ready to join a debate – even at short notice – should the preparation and organization for it, meet the standards that we have had discussed. We, however, thought that it was unfortunate, that our name was being attached to the event promoted when the fundamental conditionality was not met.

Our chairman Andrew Fahie, has proven, through his performance in the House of Assembly over the last four years, his capacity to understand the facts, to expose the lies, and to almost single-handedly take on a cabal bent on disrespect and not levelling with the people. The VIP has the strongest message of this campaign.

Our vision for growing the economy, improving the quality of governance and empowering people is the most compelling. We are eager to get this out to every person in the territory. The VIP is also eager to expose the marginalization of people over the last eight years – particularly the last four. In the remaining days of the campaign, we will use every platform and engage people everywhere as we spread the message of change and renewal.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


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  1. Top Gun says:

    Crash and Burn VIP!

    Like 24
    Dislike 14
  2. Only one answer says:

    Vote Ronnie W. Skelton, the man without any scandals or investigations. The man with proven leadership. He was finance minister and handled the country’s purse with responsibility and accountability!

    Like 21
    Dislike 35
  3. Hmmmmm says:

    Cowards!!!! They only want debates where they feel they will have some sort of advantage. Andrew knows full well that Myron would run circles around him on stage that is why he is now backing out.

    Like 35
    Dislike 17
  4. Eagle eye says:

    Looks as if NDP win.Myron ain’t scared.

    Like 26
    Dislike 11
  5. Political Observer (PO) says:

    As ranted about in previous blogs, what was the purpose of staging a party leaders debate on 2/21 before the election on 2/25? This debate needed to occur mont……hs about. What is up with candidates introducing themselves to the public at the 11th hour. That is an insult to the voters; the candidate is also doing him- or her-self a disservice. Party leaders could debate but other candidates couldn’t. What is up with that? Were these candidates being shielded/protected? Well, jus as chef cancelled the whole thing.

    Like 11
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    • @P.O. says:

      Need to pay BVI a visit man … you’re a little out of touch, but pelting criticisms from left to right….ANYWAY…I think in your last sentence you meant “just as cheap”, not “just as chef”. That is real tola lingo mehson.

  6. @top gun says:

    Crash and Burn yourself

    Like 7
    Dislike 34
  7. Derwin says:

    Exactly. Nobody has time to satisfy Myron’s ego. He too pompous with he self.

    Like 22
    Dislike 43
  8. THe Condition says:

    Fahie should have said that he was not participating unless all the party candidates do a debate…not just the chairmen of the parties….but ALL candidates…

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
  9. Lol says:

    This caption or headline is very misleading. It cancelled for a reason, do not blame it on Andrew due to other leaders not wanting to participate. Just say cancelled for unknown reasons beyond control.

    Like 17
    Dislike 36
  10. Crazy says:

    The entire thing is foolish because Fahie was always the one with the loud mouth calling for debates. Why agree to the leadership debate only to now withdraw? Why didn’t Skelton agree? Fraser? Dancia? It’s all a bunch of games. They all know that Myron Walwyn would school them that’s why they’re making excuses now.

    Like 30
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  11. @Lol says:

    The letter states the same thing, so how could the headline be incorrect. Take the time to read the letter sent on behalf of the VIP Chair.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  12. Yes says:

    The post was Fahie to debate Myron now what bunch of u know what.Cowbirds show ur metal .People of the BVI beware of these wannabes NDP VIP PVIM PU just stand ur ground

  13. nothing says:

    fahie aint coming because he has nothing to bring. I hope people realize that this is the same fahie who did all kinds of c—— crap.

    Like 14
    Dislike 6
    • Here we go says:

      The same Fahie that let everyone know what was going on in the House. BVI people would be lost. Ungrateful and shameless. Let he be Premier worse going happen. Lawyer with a degree in falsifying. I can’t take thos man ego.

      Like 1
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      • Best Place for Him says:

        You ever thought that the Opposition is the best place for Fahie… He loves to try to expose (which is fine) and pull down others… But the real question is as the intended Premier where is Fahie’s plan of action for the country? I have heard ideas and the pointing out of the ills of the past administration, the continuous academic accomplishments of his candidates and positions held in government (which really means nothing if they weren’t effective).

        But most of all what are his plans as the (potential leader of this country)on:

        – Recovery of the Territory
        – International Issues such as Brexit, Economic Substance etc.
        – Tourism

        And much others?

        Inquiring minds want to know.

  14. BVIslander to the Bone says:

    We want a born BVIslander for Premier. No exceptions..absolutely none and that is that.

    Like 8
    Dislike 53
    • Rethink That says:

      Which Party Leader was not born here?


  15. Circulation says:

    If what I read in my whatsapp from the debate committee, the headline is accurate.

  16. strupes says:


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  17. Just asking says:

    Why myron don’t have a debate with Ronnie keep off Fahie there are other political leaders he could debate

    Like 5
    Dislike 14
    • Yea I said it says:

      Because Fahie is Walwyn’s biggest competition. Fraser isn’t going to be the premier and Skelton isn’t going to be the premier. The premiership is between Fahie and Walwyn

      Like 24
      Dislike 1
  18. Hah says:

    This election is not an NDP vs VIP election. It makes no sense for just Fahie and Myron to be in the debate. If it does we might as well remove the PVIM and PU posters and remove their names from the ballot. This year we have 4 parties and I’m sure some of the other 2 party candidates will receive a significant amount of votes that will affect the outcome of the elections from both At large and district races.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  19. Old says:

    We voteing vip all the way ndp time is up 8 years to long

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
  20. Good says:

    I agree with VIP

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  21. Wrong move says:

    Debate and get rid of Cline or lose LOTS of votes. Time is drawing close.

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