Contrary to reports, Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) has said she had satisfied all the requirements of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Constitution in her initial bid to remain on the VIP slate for the 2023 General Election.
The Virgin Islands Party (VIP); however, has hit back, maintaining that Hon Flax, who has since resigned from the VIP, did not meet the requirements in her paperwork submitted.
Hon Flax-Charles was among the names missing when three of the VIP’s At Large candidates were confirmed at the VIP Congress and Elections at the R&R Malone Complex in Pockwood Pond on February 5, 2023.
The Premier and returning Chairman Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had said Hon Flax-Charles not completing her paperwork properly was the reason she was not considered on the Party slate.
“It did not satisfy the conditions of the Virgin Islands Party Constitution, and so that will still have to be done,” he said.
The Premier had noted that while Hon Flax-Charles was not ratified at
the VIP Congress, she still had an opportunity to be an At Large
The Premier and returning Chairman of the
Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had said
Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles not completing her paperwork properly was
the reason she was not considered on the Party slate.
Hon Flax-Charles' version
In her statement announcing her resignation from the VIP on Sunday, February 12, 2023, Hon Flax-Charles said: “Summarizing The Virgin Islands
Party Constitution, Article Twenty: Nomination and Selection of Candidates for the Legislature, it is made abundantly clear that any incumbent VIP member of the Legislative Council desirous of re-election under the banner of the party is entitled to do so once they have informed the executive by the deadline prescribed.”
She said she fulfilled the basic requirements as outlined in Section 4, and made her intention known to the party’s secretary.
“I could not [have] met the deadline which Section 1 makes mention of as to date none has been communicated, at least not to me,” Hon Flax-Charles claimed.
The now ex-VIP member said anyone interested in further investigating this “exercise of wordplay and paperwork” is free to peruse the party’s constitution.
“There will be varied opinions as there always are, but what I can share is that my interpretation is supported by a senior party member’s written correspondence. Ultimately, this is a minor matter. When compared to the tremendous challenges we face as a Territory, it warrants no further dialogue.”
The Virgin Islands Party in a press
release on February 12, 2023, said contrary to what was stated in the
press statement by Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles; ‘the party maintains
that the paperwork submitted did not satisfy the requirements.’
Hon Flax-Charles made no attempt to rectify issues- VIP
Meanwhile, the Virgin Islands
Party in a press release on February 12, 2023, said contrary to what was stated in the press release by Hon Flax-Charles; “the party maintains that the paperwork submitted did not satisfy the requirements.”
The press release also stated that Hon Flax-Charles received written correspondence of what needed to be rectified, and to date had made no attempts to do so.
It said the Virgin Islands
Party expresses its gratitude for the service demonstrated by Hon Flax-Charles during her time in office and wishes her the best in her future endeavours.
Meanwhile, Hon Flax-Charles has said she will be contesting the 2023 General Election but stopped short of declaring whether she will contest as an Independent. It is also unclear whether she will vie for an At Large seat or a district seat.