Calling the Opposition debates a 'facade' over claims that his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government is involved in nepotism and cronyism, in addition to victimising and dismissing board members since taking office, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew Fahie (R1) has fired back at the hypocrisy coming from especially Opposition Members of the past National Democratic Party (NDP) government.
Premier Fahie was at the time speaking at the Thursday, November 14, 2019, Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) in Road Town, Tortola when he moved to wrap up the motion for the appointment of Rosemarie Flax to chair the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) Board of Directors.
NDP 'mash-up' previous boards - Premier Fahie
He told the House that it was the first time in his history of politics, to hear that no selection for a Board is good unless the status quo who 'mash it up' approves. "Unless they tell you is good, is not good," Premier Fahie said.
"All of a sudden they become integrity police, to tell you what's good and what's not," Premier Fahie told the house in relation to the VI Opposition.
At a November 13, 2019 Opposition called press conference, Leader of the Opposition Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) had accused the Government of nepotism and cronyism and claimed that under the NDP his government was never involved in any such practice.
'We never Victimised' - Hon Penn
"We never victimise persons... Persons are afraid to go even on social media to express their opinions, they get letters from their boards and their CEO's when they express their point of view," Hon Penn alleged at the press conference.
At the Thursday, November 14, sitting, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) further said that it was unfair that Board Members are now being replaced under the new government after serving several years of service.
According to Hon Fahie, "All of a sudden they know about accountability, all of a sudden they telling you to leave the past, the past", the Premier said.
He said he believes that some members of the Opposition are employing scare tactics to prevent the government from carrying out its mandate and to coerce members of the public service to go against the government.
NDP & Accountability
"I remember when I was over there toiling with the member for the Third [Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3)] and the first things they did when they get in was to get rid of the lady from Labour and she couldn't even report to nobody because she was the Head of Labour," Hon Fahie said.
Premier Fahie also noted the dismissal of the wife of Hon Fraser, Mrs Kharid T. Fraser from the post of Accountant General when the NDP took office.
"I don't know how the Member for the Third could sit down over there and stomach it," Hon Fahie told the house while pointing that the NDP opposition has had no concept of integrity given a long list of unethical behaviour.
VIP Gov't wants Integrity - Premier
According to Hon Fahie, the Government is only seeking to find new Boards who will operate with integrity, "Yes there is going to be some mistakes here and there but we will try to correct them," Hon Fahie told the house.
"I’m not going to sit here and let anybody throw a set of mud on the wall and hope that it sticks on this government with things that are not factual."
He said the Opposition has a right to get up and defend who come to them, "but not with so many allegations and accusations and insinuations.... going after people’s reputation, no, that is wrong,” the Premier told the House.