British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020

No notice of ‘possible referendum’ given to Supervisor of Elections

No notice of ‘possible referendum’ given to Supervisor of Elections

Despite an end-of-month decision deadline and having no real guarantee that negotiations with the UK will end favourably, Premier Andrew Fahie has not had any discussions with the Supervisor of Elections in anticipation of a possible public referendum on whether to accept the UK’s loan guarantee offer.

The Premier stated in the House of Assembly on September 2 that he would invite the Elections Office to conduct the voting process but said the referendum would only happen based on how well discussions go between Britain and the delegation of government officials who are hoping to visit the UK by mid-September.

“He was just signalling if it comes to that, he will bring it to the people rather than him taking a unilateral decision on his own,” Acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier Elvia Smith-Maduro told BVI News on Friday, September 6.

She was responding to questions on why the Premier had not given the Elections Office any notice of the possible referendum.

Gov’t expects amicable discussions

She, however, said that notice would not happen until the discussions in London took place.

“The expectations naturally would be that they (the BVI and the UK) would be all be able to come together and sit down and discuss the matters before them and come to an agreement. That’s really the expectation; that coming out of these meetings, they would have amicable discussions and be able to come to a mutual understanding and find common ground.”

The UK recently indicated that the BVI has until the end of September to decide on whether they will agree with the conditions proposed for the UK £300 million loan guarantee.

When BVI News contacted the Supervisor of Elections Juliette Penn on Monday, September 9, she confirmed that she has not had any discussions with the Premier.


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