Chairman of Progressives United (PU) Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) has been accused of being selfish during the 2023 elections in the Virgin Islands (VI) after negotiations with him to help form a coalition government with the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) allegedly failed and the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) was able to get back in office through a partnership with NDP Member Hon Lorna G. Smith, OBE.
Hon Fraser overplayed hand in 2023 Elections - Skelton-Cline
With the VIP winning 6 seats, the NDP 3 seats, PVIM 3 seats and PU with 1 seat there was a perfect opportunity for the opposition parties to take the government.
“Julian Fraser completely overplayed his hand, Completely [and] selfishly, but in his own mind, I suspect he thought he was doing the right thing, not sure for who, but overplayed this hand,” Skelton-Cline said on the April 24, 2023, edition of his talk show, Honestly Speaking on ZBVI 780 AM.
He reminded that both the PVIM and PU had endorsed each other with a commitment that at the end of the elections they would be together.
Commentator Claude O. Skelton-Cline has
accused Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA for the
opposition parties failing to form a coalition government.
What went wrong?
Theoretically, Mr Fraser- a former Chairman of the VIP- could have given the incumbent VIP a majority in the House by rejoining the party or could have joined with the NDP and PVIM as the 7th seat to form a coalition government.
According to Skelton-Cline, “Clearly, Julian, the member of the 3rd District, overplayed, overreached his hand and they were unable to form a government that could have been formed shortly after the election [result] was called,” he said.
He added that Hon Fraser reportedly took up a position of choosing and wanting to be a premier in the coalition or nothing at all, after sitting in the Opposition for several years.
The Opposition would fight- Premier Wheatley predicted
Ahead of the elections, second-term Premier Dr Natalio D. Whatley (R7) had warned that even with the endorsements from PVIM and PU, both Chairman were sharing plans with the public of becoming premier.
“The PVIM endorsed Honorable Julian Fraser. Julian Fraser endorsed PVIM. I had a debate with them [and] Ronnie was going left [and] Hon Julian Fraser was going right. Honourable Skelton said when I'm the Premier, this is what I'll do, Julian Fraser said when I'm the Premier, this is what I'll do."
He added, “Well, which one of you is going to be Premier buddy? You didn't work that out before the endorsement? So the first thing that's going to happen if you elect a coalition government, it's going to have a big fight,” Hon Wheatley had righty predicted.