This was one of the “positions” stated by the member of the coalition government led by Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) in a statement on June 7, 2022.
Hon Malone's position also suggests there may be a lack of unity within the 'Unity Government', as Premier Wheatley recently stated there would not be any early elections called.
“It is my measured and considered view that serious and immediate consideration MUST be given to the voice of the people who are calling for general elections to determine who, in their best judgment are best suited to lead in the implementation of reform and in the transition into a NEW BVI,” Hon Malone stated.
His calls come at a time when there appears to be a growing lack of confidence in the Government of National Unity to put first the interest of the people of the Virgin Islands, as against appeasement to the Governor and the United Kingdom to stave off suspension of the local constitution and imposition of direct rule as recommended in the CoI Report by a one-man Commission, Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom.
Apart from public demonstrations against the possibility of direct rule, regional entities and leaders have also rejected the notion of the UK returning the VI to colonialism.
Hon Malone was also clear in his statement that the findings and pronouncements of the Commissioner “DO NOT raise to the level” that warrants the full or partial suspension of the VI Constitution.
Further, Hon Malone also stated that it is his “measured and considered opinion” that in relation to the 49 recommendations listed as a result of the CoI, the views of the people of the Virgin Islands must be included in the final proposals to the United Kingdom Government.
The Unity Government reportedly has a draft proposal that reportedly ultimately hands over power to Governor John J Rankin, CMG who has since been criticised for suggesting that the demonstrations against direct rule do not represent the majority of the VI population.
The backbencher also stated that the people of the Virgin Islands “MUST NOT” be unduly pressured to correct in 55 or 72 days what took 55 or 72 years to reportedly fester.
“This rush is a most sinister approach that can be best described as both critical and in my view curious for there is more that meet the eyes.”
According to him, the UK Government must be made to state the substantive measures that they seek to impose.
The elected representative reminded that on the occasion of his appearance at the Commission of Inquiry hearing on Monday, June 21, 2021, he wrote in a statement to the Commissioner that included the words: “……. It is predicted that, though not originally envisaged, the final Commission of Inquiry Report (which in my mindset was pre-authored) would serve as a blueprint for the UK’s discharge of its obligation to prepare the Virgin Islands for future political advancement. As with all other Administrating Powers, this is what the United Kingdom committed to and is obligated to provide under Resolution 66(1) of Chapter XI, Article 73 of the United Nations Charter.”
Hon Malone stated; however, that he has voiced and advocated that unless and until the people of the Virgin Islands are comfortable of “Governance of our People by our People”, the goal and dream of Self Determination would not be realised as it would be fought against by our very people.
“I trust that through INCLUSION of our people in the finalisation of the policies to effect proper implementation of the various COI’s recommendations, we can finally realise the illusive but inevitable destination of self-determination,” Hon Malone stated.
There are unconfirmed reports; however, there is an aggressive agenda, through the use of social media, a certain local media house and the comments/blogs section of local news stories to demonise local political leaders and persuade the Virgin Islands people to accept direct rule from the UK.
A major foreign entity is reportedly behind the well-organised propaganda efforts.