British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022

HoA protest ends quietly as motion pushed back

HoA protest ends quietly as motion pushed back

Sworn critic of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government and one of the organisers of the protest at the House of Assembly (HoA), Rosemary Cindy Rosan-Jones, along with a handful of her loyal followers, waited in vain for over seven hours outside the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duffs Bottom, Tortola where the House of Assembly (HoA) held its sitting on November 1, 2021.

They were waiting on the motion by Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) that would seek to exempt Speaker of the HoA Hon Julian Willock from paying the legal fees associated with the injunction against the three lawyers practising law in the Virgin Islands before they were called to the VI Bar, a violation of the Legal Profession Act 2015.

Hon Willock; however, was forced to withdraw his application after it was found that Attorney General Dawn J. Smith did not grant consent for him to move forward with an injunction that had already been filed in the court.

Justice Adrian Jack, who took over the case from another judge, had then ruled that the Speaker needed to pay the court fees incurred out of his own pocket.

Motion pushed back

However, Premier Fahie moved a motion that would put the motion in question further down on the Order Paper.

“We are moving it from number 9 to number 12 and number 12 to be number 9, just a slight shift on the Order Paper because this motion that would have been number 9 is not about an individual but about an official office.”

He said this is because “the intended motion still will be ventilated today but due to some extra information that we would like in our hands, Mr Speaker.”

The Premier also said the taxpayers may also be paying for the legal fees for Governor John J. Rankin CMG during the time he is grilled by the Commission of Inquiry.

Protest instigator clueless on next move

Despite sitting for over seven hours, Rosan-Jones and her allies were forced to leave sometime after 7:00 pm because the House was in committee for a long time, examining clause by clause the Public Procurement Act 2021 after it was read for the second time.

What was planned if the motion had been called was not clear, as Rosan-Jones was asked what her next move was, but she admitted that she did not know.

Earlier in the day, yesterday, November 1, 2021, she vowed to cause the elected representatives in the HoA to be sent home.

Speaking to ZBVI 780 AM radio at the protest at the House of Assembly, Rosan-Jones said she was pleased with the support of the protest by members of the public.

She also said she will ultimately work towards getting the current HoA dissolved.

According to her, she is looking at the constitution to see how she can get this done, stating that the people in the VI are frustrated with the situation in the territory.

The HoA will reconvene on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.

Instigator of the House of Assembly protest on November 1, 2021, Rosemary Cindy Rosan-Jones at the Save the Seed Energy Centre yesterday.


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