The BVI may not be inclined to select either current Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley or former Opposition Leader Marlon Penn as its next leader at the upcoming general elections.
This was the view expressed by outspoken clergyman and political commentator Claude Skelton Cline on a recent airing of his Honestly Speaking radio show.
Skelton Cline has for months argued that the political party system has failed the BVI and is in need of redemption, and according to the host, it is going to take some time beyond the next general elections for this to be rectified.
According to the clergyman, the BVI will have to choose individuals based upon a set of criteria that can be agreed on collectively at the next polls. “I do believe that the next 13 elected officials need to be hand-picked by the people of this country,” Skelton Cline said.
He further argued that neither the Virgin Islands
Party, nor the National Democratic Party will lead the country to victory at the next general elections.
Skelton Cline prefaced some of his comments by stating that he likes Penn and would vote for Penn if he was a resident of the Eighth District, but not for leader or Premier of the country at this particular time.
“I believe that the country has already made up their mind relative to Honourable Penn’s leadership, and I do not believe that this country is going to accept the National Democratic Party as the next government with Honourable Penn as the leader.”
Skelton Cline said he felt Penn is a good representative and has the resources and tools necessary for the job, but has certain areas that need improvement. “Might he become the Premier at some future time in the country? Certainly,“ Skelton Cline said.
He continued: “Right now, for where we are, even amongst the rank and file for the National Democratic Party – which have not declared anything officially as yet – I think the country has already made up their mind about leadership coming out of the National Democratic Party.”
In the meantime, Skelton Cline said he likes Dr Wheatley, whom he considers a ‘bright fellow’ and an academic. “I stood on the stage in 2019 and helped him to get elected, as a collective. But I do not believe that the country is going to accept and vote a Virgin Islands party ticket to victory in the next elections. I do not believe that.”
The talk show host argued that he was merely speaking what he described as some uncomfortable truths and what some persons were already thinking.