The BVI’s two major political parties — the National Democratic Party (NDP) and the incumbent Virgin Islands Party (VIP) — have been characterised as cash-strapped ahead of the upcoming general elections which are due around mid-May of next year.
For this and other reasons, political commentator and clergyman Claude Skelton Cline forecasts that the general elections will be held months ahead of that time and over a short period.
“This election here, I expect it to be a sprint to the finish line. It’s not a marathon, it’s not protracted, it’s not going to be long. It’s going to be a sprint and it’s going to be a sprint because neither of the two major parties have any money,” Skelton Cline said on the Honestly Speaking show.
The outspoken clergyman, who predicts March 2023 as the likely month for general elections, argued that it takes money to run long elections and to win elections in general.
Skelton Cline also suggested that those major parties are incapable of raising the much-needed campaign funds because of a lack of confidence in their current leadership structure.
“Ain’t nobody with money that’s prepared to give them their money because they don’t believe in the leadership of these parties as they are currently constructed,” said Skelton Cline who has actively served as a member of both the NDP and the VIP
Skelton Cline argued that the current economic climate further exacerbates his belief about why the elections will be held around the month of March and why he expects it to be a sprint to the end.
In the meantime, Skelton Cline proposed that there is a golden opportunity for Shaina Smith to win the now-vacant First District seat, after an unsuccessful attempt at an At-Large post at the last elections.
This is despite reports of a Virgin Islands Party member already being put forward as a likely candidate to replace the recently resigned former Premier Andrew Fahie
, who was also the previous VIP chairman, held the First District seat consecutively for more than 20 years until his shocking arrest earlier this year on charges of drug smuggling and money laundering. This led to his resignation and retirement weeks ago.