Health Minister and Chairman of the NDP, Marlon Penn said he is in favour of term limits for the post of Premier of the BVI and argued that the territory should follow other countries in adopting this practice.
“I support term limits for the position of Premiership … but not particularly for the different positions,” Penn said on the Talking Points show recently.
Penn argued that the basis for his position was centred on the small size of the territory’s population and noted that term limits on all legislators could potentially create a problem.
Penn used the example of the Cayman Islands whose constitution he said allows someone serving as Premier to only serve for two consecutive terms before having to leave office.
That person may then serve as an ordinary member of the House of Assembly or as a minister of government afterwards, where they can have an opportunity to share the experiences they have gained in serving as Premier.
“So, you don’t lose that institutional knowledge from someone who has served as a Premier, who has seen certain things, and who was part of the policy decisions for certain things,” he explained.
“Definitely, [I agree with] term limits for Premiership. You don’t have a Premier that’s sitting as a Premier for 12, 16, 20 years. I think those days are long gone, we shouldn’t be doing that,” Penn argued. “Just like other countries have term limits for their leaders, I think, at least for the leadership position, there needs to be term limits.”
Penn’s view concerts with an opinion expressed recently by constitutional review commissioner Ronnie Skelton, who argued in an interview that term limits were not necessary for all legislators.
During the same interview, Chairperson for the Constitutional Review Commission Lisa Penn Lettsome said the issue of term limits has been raised by persons who’ve attended the public meetings across the territory.