Leader of the Opposition, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), who also serves as interim Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP), has expressed disappointment over the resignation of Opposition Member, Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6) from the NDP.
'I am truly disappointed, that her decision was made without consultation with me or the Party, and moreover, that she has opted to join the Virgin Islands Party – both of which are at odds with the Alvera that I have come to know, as a professional colleague and close friend, over the past several years," Hon Penn said in a statement released this morning, January 21, 2020, via the NDP Facebook page.
Resignation made via WhatsApp
Hon Penn continued, "At 2:36 p.m. on 20th January 2020, I received a letter from Honourable Maduro-Caines, forwarded via WhatsApp messenger, in my capacity as Interim Chairman of the National Democratic Party, advising me of her decision to resign. I was equally notified of her decision in my capacity as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition."
Hon Maduro-Caines' announcement to leave the NDP was made yesterday, January 20, 2020, at a 3 pm during a Press conference with Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) at the Village Cay Hotel and Marina Conference Room.
This means the resignation was made public without consultation and less than 30mins after notifying the NDP, a move that has caught the party and its leaders off guard.
According to the Opposition Leader, 'Hon Maduro-Caines’ resignation is regrettable as she has always been a strong representation of the NDP’s core philosophy and values, where people and family are at the heart of who we are."
'Our outlook & prayers... no longer align' - Hon Penn
He said he noted that her decision was made after 'prayers and full consideration for the best interest,' of the territory, however, disputed whether those prayers may have the best interest of the people at heart.
"I now recognise that our present views of what is in the best interest of the people, vastly differ, as our outlook and prayers for a bright future of these Virgin Islands no longer align," he said.
Hon Maduro-Caines, as part of her resignation statement, said she was not made any promises of offers to join the VIP and called for the abolishment of strict adherence along political party lines in the Virgin Islands.
'I wish her well' - Hon Penn
"Ladies and Gentlemen-Family-today marks a further turning point, in the evolution of the National Democratic Party. While this move by Honourable Maduro-Caines was unexpected, I remain confident, that our hope, conviction and resolve, will guide us beyond this, and on to a stronger National Democratic Party and Better Virgin Islands," Hon Penn said as part of his statements.
In wishing her well, he also took the opportunity on behalf of the NDP to thank the third-term legislator for her years of service to the political party and the Territory.
With Hon Maduro-Caines now crossing the floor to sit with the Government, the NDP now possess just two members in the VI House of Assembly (HoA), this includes Opposition Leder Hon Penn and Fourth District Representative, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4).