Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Fahie hasn’t asked to join HOA remotely! Public debate continues

Fahie hasn’t asked to join HOA remotely! Public debate continues

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said former Premier Andrew Fahie has not reached out to him about the prospect of being involved in any House of Assembly (HOA) meetings virtually.
Since his arrest in late April on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, Fahie has been held in a Florida prison until his release on bond weeks ago to be allowed to remain in home confinement with his wife and daughters in Florida.

However, debate has been rife locally on whether Fahie should be allowed to attend HOA sittings virtually since he continues to be the duly elected Representative for the First District.

But according to Premier Wheatley, Fahie himself has not checked in with the new Premier to discuss whether this would indeed be possible.

“He hasn’t reached out to me and I haven’t spoken to him,“ Premier Wheatley told reporters at a recent press conference when asked if Fahie had requested to attend HOA sittings.

Previously, Premier Wheatley said he did not feel the standing orders of the House were amended to allow a single House member to attend a virtual HOA sitting if they were unable to be present in person.

This was in contrast to an opinion expressed by former HOA Speaker Julian Willock, who said he felt that Fahie should be allowed to attend House sittings virtually based on what the amended standing orders say.

Fahie stands in danger of having to vacate his seat in the HOA if he is absent in any one session from the House for more than three consecutive sittings without the written leave of the Speaker.

In the meantime, Dr Wheatley has consistently said that the former Premier should be focused on his trial and not on any matters related to the House of Assembly.

Fahie faces the prospect of life in prison if convicted on the charges. His trial is expected to begin on July 18, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

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