Fourth District Representative in the House of Assembly (HoA), Hon Mark H. Vanterpool has accused the sitting Governor, H.E. Augustus J.U. Jaspert, along with past Governors, of what he called 'intimidation' of the democratically elected Premier of the Virgin Islands to lead the Territory, according to the mandate of the people.
"This whole concept where the Governor of this country got certain more powers than before, I don't know where it came from!" Hon Vanterpool told the House of Assembly on June 23, 2020.
"I grew up hearing the Governor was a figurehead... he was just there to be the Queen's representative."
Mr Vanterpool continued, "I'm not talking only about just this governor, I'm talking about several governors before... who seem to want to run the country, without having the mandate of the people."
I couldn't support HoA motion against Governor - Hon Vanterpool
Hon Vanterpool; however, said it was out of respect for Governor Jaspert that he could not support the motion brought to the House by fellow Opposition Member, Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) to reprimand the Governor over the late tabling of the BVI Airways Audit report to the House.
"I wasn't in support of that motion the other day because that's not respect. He is in a position and we must respect him, but it doesn't mean we can't let our people know that we have elected a leader of the country, duly elected to lead us," Vanterpool said.
He said in that democratic spirit, the Premier, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) must be supported to run the country and to lead it without fear and without the intimidation from anyone outside of the Territory.
Unelected Governor intimidating VI leaders?
Just recently, HoA Speaker, Hon Julian Willock revealed that the Governor wrote the Premier to get him to 'Strongly Urge' the HoA to meet and table the BVI Airways Audit Report he held for almost three months, "that I believe was an overreach as an interference in the legislative branch," the Speaker had put on record as saying.
Governor Jaspert has long been accused by political pundits and social commentators of interfering in the domestic affairs of the local government and not crediting their efforts in office.
This latest accusation of 'intimidation' of VI leaders though the Governor's seat now comes directly from a legislator in the House.