Three leading members of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) last evening made a public appeal for Julian Fraser to put aside what some described as the ‘childlike’ and ‘selfish’ behaviour he has been displaying for months since he lost the positions of VIP chairman and Leader of Opposition.
Andrew Fahie, who currently holds both of the aforementioned positions, made the call with much support from party president Dr Natalio Wheatley as well as party member Dr Karl Dawson.
The trio noted that Fraser also has absent himself from all VIP functions though he was always invited to them, and though they otherwise reached out to him.
They made it clear that the business of the party must go on with or without Fraser, who represents the Third Electoral District in the House of Assembly.
Fahie said: “This is about country; [not] about self. So I have to put away any kind of childlike behaviour as a leader to make sure that we forward the cause of the Virgin Islands Party. I’ve done that; I will continue to do it. So far, his (Fraser’s) schedule seems not to be one that allows him to be a part of all the different meetings and sessions – to clear the air.”
“I will continue to do what I have to do, and the party will continue to do what it has to do, and hopefully his schedule will allow him to fit us in somewhere. If not, then the Virgin Islands Party will obviously have to find out from him if he intends to still be with the Virgin Islands Party or not,” added Fahie.
He claimed that he has no feud with Fraser.
“Whatever there is to be fixed, I’m willing to sit down and have it fixed. But I’m not going to sit down and leave the Virgin Islands Party paralysed trying to fix one issue… We have extended our courtesies to Honourable Fraser in many different means – my conscience is totally clear,” Fahie further said.
Meanwhile, VIP member, Dr Dawson, corroborated the claim that Fahie has been raising the proverbial white flag at Fraser.
“I’ve been around the table and I know the efforts that we have made to reach out to Honourable Fraser to assure him that he still has a place in the party as long as he wants it.”
“But, at the same time, as the chairman rightly said, we cannot paralyse the party. At some point, we have to say look you’re either with us or against us, and we need to move forward,” Dr Dawson said during the inaugural ‘VIP Moving Forward’ television programme on Channel 51 last evening.
VIP president, Dr Wheatley, agreed that the party cannot be held to ransom.
“You have a lot of positives about Honourable Fraser as a representative for the people of the Third District, and I give the most respect for his…years of service to the people of the Virgin Islands. But, I think we owe it to the people to let them know where we stand – where Honourable Fraser stands. I think he owes it to the people at this particular moment,” Dr Wheatley said.
He also noted Fraser’s overall withdrawal from VIP functions since Fahie unseated him (Fraser) as party chairman last November. “I consider myself to still be a young person, and the young people really don’t have time for that [behaviour being displayed by Fraser]. I mean, it’s a new generation and we don’t have time for that type of politics.”
“We want leaders who are gonna put country first and who are going to put our needs ahead of their own interests. We have a lot of challenges that we have to face in our territory, and we need a leader to step up to the plate and address those challenges and put any selfish concerns on the side,” added Dr Wheatley.