Fraser predicts multiple motions of no confidence against gov’t
Senior Virgin Islands legislator Julian Fraser has offered a prediction that multiple motions of no confidence will be made against members of the recently appointed Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government in the House of Assembly (HOA).
Fraser, who has been a legislator for 24 years, made that predication during a press conference with members of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition on Thursday.
He was at the time responding to questions from the press about how this large and diverse Opposition team comprising six members will change the dynamics of politics in the BVI. According to Fraser, the last time the Opposition had this many members in the HOA was in 1999.
Fraser, who is Representative of the Third Electoral District, said debates on bills brought before the House of Assembly will be robust this term.
“I can tell you. Whatever the issue is that we are debating, it’s going to be very difficult for the government to move it forward with the kind of Opposition you will see,” Fraser told members of the media on Thursday.
“What I can predict right now is that you’re going to see, not one, but more than one, probably two motions of no confidence coming before the Fifth House of Assembly. I can predict that. It’s going to happen. The debate is going to be vigorous, [and] embarrassing. It’s going to be everything,” he added.
“I would not like to be in the government right now — unless, of course, I was the Premier,” Fraser further stated.
In the Westminster parliamentary model which the BVI has largely adopted, a motion of no confidence is a motion moved in the House of Assembly expressing a lack of confidence in the government or a specific minister. Having the confidence of the House of Assembly has been seen as central to a government’s authority to govern.
Traditionally, in the UK, governments that have lost a confidence vote have either resigned in favour of an alternative administration, or the Prime Minister has requested a dissolution from the monarchy, triggering a general election.
In the meantime, Opposition leader Ronnie Skelton has pledged that His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition will ensure all government systems are transparent and that the government is “held to account for everything”.
Contributing to the conversation, Eighth District Representative Marlon Penn noted that the sitting members of Opposition have about 60 years of combined parliamentary experience in contrast to the governing VIP which only comprises first and second-term legislators.