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Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Premier submits proposal to UK on COI recommendations

Premier submits proposal to UK on COI recommendations

Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has announced that his National Unity Government has submitted a proposal to the United Kingdom (UK) on how to implement the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recommendations without compromising the territory’s democratic rights.
Speaking during a live public broadcast last night, Dr Wheatley said the submission of this proposal comes as his government held its first Cabinet meeting since their swearing ceremony a week ago.

“The Government of National Unity has been engaged in a series of meetings to map the way forward for the Virgin Islands. On Monday, May 9, 2022, we held our first Caucus which was very productive. Today (yesterday), May 11, 2022, we had our first Cabinet meeting,” Dr Wheatley said.

“In terms of the Commission of Inquiry report recommendations, I am pleased to report on behalf of the Government of National Unity that I have submitted a proposal to UK Minister for the Overseas Territories the Right Honourable Amanda Milling that sets out our approach to reform and presents a framework for implementation under continued democratic governance. It represents our commitment to good governance and strengthening our institutions and systems of Government,” Dr Wheatley said.

“We want to engender a new culture in the handling of the people’s business. I hope Minister Milling and the UK government will give due consideration to the proposal and not go down the path of direct rule. We stand ready to work as partners with the UK and in close cooperation with Governor Rankin,” the Premier said.

He added that during these times, people must put all party affiliations and personal ambitions and agendas aside, and work together for the greater, long-term good of the Virgin Islands and its people.

“As we work together, cutting across party lines, we will be holding each other accountable based on the commitments we made in order to forge the Government of National Unity,” Dr Wheatley said.

“We will soon be coming to the public to explain our firm plans to improve governance in the Virgin Islands along with our plans to ensure the proper management of our society. An announcement on dates will be made shortly,” he added.

An overarching recommendation of the COI is to suspend the territory’s constitution and have the UK impose direct rule over the BVI for at least two years.

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