Opposition legislator Mark Vanterpool is calling for term limits to be introduced for legislators elected to the House of Assembly.
The fourth-term legislator said he wants these changes reflected under the territory’s next Constitution Order; discussions for which have already started.
Vanterpool made that statement in the House of Assembly where he debated in favour of a constitutional review for the BVI.
The Opposition legislator said he believes limitations on service would restore confidence in the electorate.
“I would mention in here now, we need actual term-limits so that people can believe and trust us a little more and not see us here forever, especially the premiership or the leadership of the country,” Vanterpool said.
“At least it gives a chance for after two terms or another term for a Premier to lead the country and he takes a break. And if he’s young enough and wants to come back again, he comes back again later,” he further reasoned.
Should be decided by the people
Vanterpool, who is the Representative for the Fourth District, added that the decision to implement a term limit in the BVI should be decided by the people of the territory.
“I want to make sure that the people are willing to support us under certain principles accepting that the Virgin Islands should be governed based on adherence to well established democratic principles and institutions,” he stated.
Strong Institutions needed
In addition to his pitch for term limits, Vanterpool also proposed strengthening local institutions in order to further restore the electorate’s confidence in the legislature.
He said examples of these are the Public Service Commission, Teaching Service Commission, the Judicial & Legal Services Commission, and the Police Service Commission.
“The House of Assembly institution, we need to keep strengthening and the Judiciary as an independent branch of government and so on. Those are some of the things we need to see strengthening the new constitution as we go forward,” he said.
“Those are the things that we have established under this present constitution and now we are now moving towards the Ministers’ Code of Conduct and other things like those which gives the people the confidence that we have to abide by certain laws and rules to govern ourselves,” he further said.
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