President of the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Dr Natalio Wheatley said he suspects the time is fast approaching when Julian Fraser will officially sever ties with the VIP, adding that Fraser is not carrying out his duties in the House of Assembly because of his ‘little hurt feelings’.
Fraser has been at loggerheads with the party’s leadership since delegates voted him out of the position of chairman. He subsequently was replaced as Leader of the Opposition.
Fraser, who is among the only two Opposition lawmakers in the House, did not show up in the legislature to second a motion of no-confidence the Opposition leader moved yesterday against the finance minister. Fraser was in the House moments before the motion was moved.
His absence is no comfort for the VIP president, Dr Wheatley.
“This thing is way bigger than anybody’s hurt feelings. Let’s take a motion of no-confidence. This has to do with the performance of the government. So, you can’t let your personal feeling influence how you do your job for the people. And there are some other issues as well that I won’t bring up right now in terms of doing your job as a representative to the people. It’s bigger than your little hurt feelings.”
“The House of Assembly is a part of the job. So not showing up to the House of Assembly – that’s not doing your job. His personal feeling right now is affecting the job that he is doing for the people,” Dr Wheatley said last evening during his father’s radio programme dubbed Speak Out BVI.
‘Very fast approaching’
Dr Wheatley added that Fraser’s absence from the House when he was needed yesterday also indicates that he no longer has an appetite for the VIP.
“It is not something that you can just cover up and hope that people shouldn’t know. It should be very noticeable to the public by now that Honourable Fraser does not have the appetite to be a part of the Virgin Islands Party.”
“I mean, from a functional standpoint, that’s what been taking place, and it’s not something that he has made official as yet. I suspect the time for that is very fast approaching to make it official,” the VIP president further said.
He noted that such squabbles are not unique to the VIP. “That’s natural progression of parties especially in a situation where you have a number of different legislators who serve for a long time and felt as though they were deserving of being the leader. But the reality is that the members of the party have to decide who is the leader. And then persons – whether you are selected as leader or not, you have to fall in line if you are committed to the principles of the party and the goals of the party,” added Dr Wheatley.
Don’t be discouraged
The VIP president, in the meantime, said a number of persons may feel discouraged because Fraser did not support the motion against the finance minister. “When Honourable Fraser didn’t show up to the meeting when the motion of no-confidence was given, probably it discouraged a lot of people. But don’t be discouraged. It is a little transition and it will soon be over,” he urged.
“There will be a rebirth of the Virgin Islands Party… I can assure the public that the transition that we are going through is a transition for the better, and you will see a stronger Virgin Islands Party and a Virgin Islands Party that will be prepared for the next general election.”
Dr Wheatley also noted that, instead of VIP members squabbling, they should be discussing the many issues facing the territory. “Those are the types of issues we have to be concerned with – not little squabbles over leadership and foolishness like that. We have serious issues to solve in the community.”
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