British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

Commission of Inquiry undermines our human rights, says CSC

Commission of Inquiry undermines our human rights, says CSC

Political commentator and government consultant Claude Skelton Cline has described the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) as undemocratic, adding that it “is not a good thing in any shape, form or fashion”.
“It is a complete undermining of our human rights, it’s procedurally undemocratic in terms of our values and our own system of government,” Skelton-Cline posited while hosting his Honestly Speaking radio show on February 16.

The popular pastor also called the COI dictatorial, imperialistic and criticized the investigation for being too broad in its scope and for “labelling the whole country corrupt.”

“I completely disagree with anyone who suggests that this COI is a good thing. On top of that, I even hear some elected officials saying they welcome this Commission of Inquiry … but that cannot be true to who we are as a people. I find it an aberration to a self-determined people,” Skelton Cline argued.

Skelton Cline is a staunch critic of the United Kingdom government and a vocal proponent of greater self-determination for the BVI. Despite his support for opposing political parties over the years, he has called for residents and politicians to unite amid the COI, which he says is a weapon to divide the people.

Skelton-Cline is also at the centre of a number of scandals that rocked the BVI in recent years.

He was the Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority — the entity that was responsible for managing the construction of the Cruise Pier Project when a major scandal broke. The scandal surrounded the project’s final cost which came in at $82.9 million — exceeding the estimated budget by $30 million.

He was also involved in the Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership Project designed and introduced by then-Education Minister, Andrew Fahie.

However, a leaked report from the Office of the Auditor General said the programme yielded virtually no results, despite the government paying more than half-million in fees to Skelton Cline’s consultancy firm, Claude Ottley Consulting Limited.

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