With the February 25, 2019, General Elections in the Virgin Islands long gone, Cabinet has made moves to officially reward elections staff for extra hours put in to make the day a success.
According to the post-meeting statement of the Cabinet Meeting held on October 2, 2019, the BVI Cabinet "Approved an honorarium totalling nineteen thousand, one hundred and fifty dollars ($19,150) for the staff of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections in appreciation of the extra hours worked to ensure the successful process of the 2019 General Elections."
In the smooth elections, the territory went to the polls to choose among 4 parties, 2 Independents and 41 Candidates.
An honorarium is usually considered a voluntary payment that is given for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required.
VINO reported in February 25, 2019, that for the most part, the elections were free and fair; notwithstanding, at many of the polling stations particularly, Road Town and Sea Cows Bay, there were complains from candidates and their agents, resulting in police being called in for reported violations of the rules.
However, in the official results released by Elections Supervisor Juliette Penn, the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) led by Hon Andrew A. Fahie managed to secure 8 seats out of 13 to form a new government.
The new VI Opposition comprised of Progressive Virgin Islands Movement's (PVIM), Hon Melvin M. Turnbull aka "Mitch", National Democratic Party's (NDP) Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) and Hon Mark H. Vanterpool, along with Chairman of Progressives United (PU) Hon Julian Fraser RA.
2019 Elections season was "The Worst" - Hon Penn
Suffering a major defeat was the NDP and the then embattled Chairman, Myron V. Walwyn (AL) who walked away as the biggest loser of the 2019 race and thus booted out of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA).
Now Opposition Leader, Hon Penn at the NDP’s first press conference on Friday, March 1, 2019, said the 2019 elections season was 'the worst.'
“The level of divisiveness that took place is something that I think all of us need to pray about and ensure that it never happens again in this territory,” he said.