Googling a definition of dictatorship government, Hon Vanterpool, during the debate of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Recommendations at the Fifth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola on July 19, 2022, shared that it states a dictatorship form of government is one which one person or small group possess absolute power without effective constitutional limitations.
“Right now he is running things, absolute power, that is a dictatorship, the Territory of the Virgin Islands is under a dictatorship,” Hon Vanterpool said of the power conferred to Governor John J. Rankin, CMG by the Order in Council, which threatens to suspend the local constitution and impose direct rule.
He said persons sometimes criticise his forceful statements but he urged the people to wake up and realise the fact that the VI is under a dictatorship, being run by the Governor as a dictator.
“That is the power he has been given.”
According to the long-serving legislator, his Cabinet Ministers have been reduced to puppets as they dare not challenge the governor on anything.
It has already been revealed that the governor allegedly bullied his way in Cabinet to force through his nominations to the Constitutional Review Commission despite opposition from the Unity Government.
“Look at my government in front of me, five members of the Cabinet, puppets,” Hon Vanterpool stated.
He continued: “They might not like me saying that but it is the truth. That’s what you are. I am going to speak the truth. They dare not go against the Governor because they know what he is going to do and you know what he can do so you better lap your tail and snuck up. You know the truth, you better do as he says, because that is what we are under….What else you want me to say?” Hon Vanterpool stressed.
After asking for a recess; however, to amend the motion being debated in the HoA, Hon Vanterpool not only returned to withdraw his proposed amendments but also withdrew his comment about Cabinet members of government being puppets.
“My comments about my good government of which I am a part of, as a puppet government, I withdraw those comments because I respect my leadership and all the things that they try to do,” Hon Vanterpool stated.