We all know that the 2019 General Elections must happen by April 16. But, when is election day?
According to Myron Walwyn, not even he knows the answer to that question, though he sits as Chairman of the governing National Democratic Party (NDP).
“I can’t say,” Walwyn said when asked whether a date has been decided. “Even though I’m the leader of the party, I am not the leader of the government.”
“Certainly, the prerogative belongs to the premier, [Dr D Orlando Smith]. I would hope that he would consult with me on the date when he is ready and I believe that he will do that. But, that has not been finalised,” Walwyn told BVI News on Tuesday.
The House of Assembly must be dissolved before the territory can have a general election. And according to Section 86 of the Virgin Islands Constitution, a general election must be held within two months, but not earlier than 21 days after the House is dissolved.
Bearing that in mind, and acting under the assumption that the Premier will decide to have elections at the very last available date (April 16), the House of Assembly cannot continue beyond March 26 or thereabout. That March 26 date marks exactly 21 days before the April 16 election deadline.
The premier, however, might consider withholding the election date for long, in order for the NDP to maintain some semblance of strategic advantage over the other four reported parties that will contest the elections.
If that is the case, and if the premier is seeking to keep his options open without being too restricted by the limitations of the Constitution, he might have the House dissolved no later than February 16 — exactly two months before the April 16 deadline.
The next sitting of the House is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15.
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