Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

Certain changes need to be made way before next elections

Certain changes need to be made way before next elections

Governor John Rankin said he will urge elected representatives to swiftly implement the recommendations to be made by the team of international election observers who surveyed the April 24 general elections.
A few weeks before this year’s election, lawmakers rushed to make last-minute changes to the Elections Act, a move which was met with criticism from many who believed those changes should have been made earlier.

At that time, Opposition legislator Julian Fraser said he did not support the government’s move to make last-minute changes as it could affect the public’s perception.

Speaking on the Talking Points radio show, Governor Rankin said he will be doing his part to ensure that necessary improvements are made long before residents go to the polls in the next general elections.

“The international observers organized through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association made a number of recommendations after the 2019 election and I would have wished those changes to have passed in full at an earlier stage,” Governor Rankin said.

“One of the things I will be doing with the new government and the new House of Assembly — we’ll get the observers’ report, see what recommendations are, and I shall be recommending that there is early consideration of those recommendations. And should the government decide to act on them, [I will also recommend] that we do so well in advance of the next elections rather than leave it for the last moment,” Governor Rankin explained.

The Governor also gave his views on residents who travelled to the BVI to exercise their franchise, stating that a better way can be found to facilitate residents who are outside of the territory at the time of elections.

“My personal view — although it’s a matter for the government to decide — is having a secure system of absentee ballot voting would be a sensible thing. I think that would be better than the “flying in, flying out system.” I appreciate that there will be different views on this subject. The important thing is that we don’t just leave it but address the issue and decide on the best way forward,” Governor Rankin posited.

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