British Virgin Islands

Monday, Mar 01, 2021

2007 VI constitutional review was 'unfinished business' - Hon Julian Fraser

Says he regrets 2017 review didn't happen but fought to be elected for second go

Veteran politician and Senior Member of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA), Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) said the 2007 Constitutional Review in the Virgin Islands was unfinished business.

Seconding the motion for the debate on the VI Constitutional Review to move forward in the House, Hon Fraser at the Monday, July 27, 2020, sitting of the HoA said he fought to be re-elected in 2019 to have a second go at the document.

"I can remember my friends, Dr Kedrick D. Pickering... we knew we had unfinished business when we did the review in 2007, so we always kid each other as to who is going to be the one to take the other to the UK to make sure we finished our job."

"When I ran for public office in 2019, Mr Speaker, we each had our own individual purposes and reasons and desires for running."

Review is 3 years late - Hon Fraser

Hon Fraser continued, "But I want you to know, Mr Speaker, that one of my greatest desires was to be here to involve myself in this review which I know should have taken place in 2017."

The hurricanes of 2017 were a major hit to the Territory, Hon Fraser pointed out that for several reasons the 2017 constitutional review did not happen.

"I regretted that, Hon Speaker, because I know there is a lot of unfinished business in this document that needed to be addressed," he said.

According to Hon Fraser, if the VI doesn't address issues with the constitution now, 20 years from now future legislators will be discussing the same problems.

Limiting the Governor's powers

"If we don't solve problems when we have the opportunity to solve them, they'll be around and will become a burden to other problems that pop up," he said.

Several legislators spoke about the need to limit the powers of the Governor and his office and for the implementation of measures that can set the Territory on the path to greater autonomy from the UK.

He said when Order 2019 of the constitutiton is written, a key factor is to make sure there are no ambiguities and that could only come from true experience.


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