Premier Hon. Andrew Fahie believes that the opposition headed by Opposition Leader Hon. Marlon Penn of the National Democratic Party (NDP), is weak and lacks leadership and direction.
Hon. Fahie, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) in a statement on February 5 said that Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines, Sixth District Representative character is being viciously attacked because she left the NDP and joined the VIP.
“The NDP’s history is one in which the voices of women were ignored. They ignored the stern warnings of the late Hon. Delores Christopher on important governance issues. Now, Hon. Penn is doing no different by trying to belittle another woman for doing what is best for the BVI; her having no tolerance left for his lack of leadership,” he said.
Following Maduro-Caines’ move, the opposition has shrunk to four members representing three political parties. Hon. Penn and Hon. Mark Vanterpool-NDP; Hon. Melvin Turnbull- Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM); and Hon. Julian Fraser- Progressives United (PU).
Hon. Fahie said that Hon. Maduro-Caines believes she can make a greater contribution to national development by working with a strong Government and supporting a strong plan, than propping up a weak Opposition that has no leadership nor direction.
He said, the unfortunate attacks include the spreading of vicious rumours to try to damage the character of the Hon. Maduro-Caines.
“While we in the VIP empathise with Hon. Penn for the sadness and embarrassment that he is no doubt feeling at this time, we cannot allow certain inaccurate and unfounded statements by him to be slipped into the public record without them being properly addressed,” the VIP leader stressed.
He claimed that it is clear that Hon. Penn’s statements are intended to covertly attack the character of Hon. Maduro-Caines for the principled and conscience stance she has taken.
“We know Hon. Maduro-Caines to be humble, soft spoken, and hardworking. That is one of the reasons why the people of District 6 love her. It is very disappointing that the Leader of the Opposition is now speaking negative about Hon. Maduro-Caines.”
Premier Fahie said that, this kind of unacceptable behaviour from Hon. Penn is typical of the abusive treatment that many women in society face at the hands of persons who would rather they be kept in a submissive state.
“Clearly, Hon. Penn’s numbers in the HOA have diminished. He feels slighted by Hon. Maduro-Caines loss of confidence in him, and he feels personally rejected by her decision to join the Government. Thus, his reaction to his ego being bruised is to lash out against her. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable because women in our society deserve to be treated with respect,” he claimed.
He reiterated that the sixth district representative was not induced into joining the Government’s team by anyone.
“There was no bartering with the franchise of the electorate of the 6th District. This was a decision that the Hon. Member came to after making her own observations about the social, political and economic environment, conducting her own deliberations, engaging in prayer and contemplation, and reflecting on what is best for the people who have chosen her to make decisions that impact heavily on their lives,” the VIP chairman emphasized.