Tola Radio 100.5 co-host Damian Percival has declared that the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) are now tired of the back and forth between the Government of National Unity and the UK-appointed governor John J. Rankin, CMG, while accusing the Governor of being disingenuous in his relations with the VI government.
Mr Percival was at the time speaking as a virtual panelist on the March 7, 2023, edition of ‘Da Morning Braff’ Show with host Floyd Burnett aka ‘Heritage’ on Tola Radio on the topic of whether the Government had the option to call early elections in the Virgin Islands in 2022.
“The fact of the matter is the Governor is saying that in the initial meetings, nobody brought up going to elections, and we are going to have to respect that,” he added.
Percival said while the Governor has indicated that it was an option, that option was never brought forward in meetings and negotiations with the UK on the suspension of the local constitution and implementation of the reforms as laid out in the CoI report.
“In that vein, he is also being a touch disingenuous because is me and you negotiating, you are saying $1M and I saying $2M but nobody saying $1.5M was even an option?” he questioned metaphorically.
The Governor in a February 14, 2023,
statement said it would have been possible for a dissolution of the
House of Assembly and a new election called; however, members of the
House of Assembly chose to form a Government of National Unity and
committed to the implementation of the COI recommendations.
Governor muddying waters in VI - Mr Percival
Percival added that the Governor is muddying the waters in the VI for bringing up that election was an option when the UK was proposing suspension of the constitution and the local government was proposing to keep the government in place.
The Governor in a February 14, 2023, statement said it would have been possible for a dissolution of the House of Assembly and a new election called; however, members of the House of Assembly chose to form a Government of National Unity and committed to the implementation of the CoI
Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) called the statements by the Governor ‘unequivocally false,” while appearing as a guest on Tola Radio ‘da Morning Braff’ show of February 20, 2023.
“I'm not going allow the governor or anybody else to bamboozle the people of the Virgin Islands
,” he said.
Dr Wheatley added that before he became Premier of the VI, he could not have called a new election as an Acting Premier and that the framework agreement between the VI and UK had specified that there should be no early elections in the VI.