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PVIM sprung a surprise — Benito Wheatley

PVIM sprung a surprise — Benito Wheatley

The Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) may have sprung a major surprise in securing three seats in the House of Assembly (HOA) following yesterday’s general elections.
That was the conclusion of several observers who watched as last evening’s elections proceedings unfurled. This includes Benito Wheatley, who most recently served as Special Envoy of the Premier with the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) administration.

In the final analysis, the VIP secured six seats — just one shy of the required seven-seat majority needed to form the next government — while the National Democratic Party (NDP) secured three seats and the one-man Progressive’s United (PU) retained its single seat in the HOA.

Wheatley commented that, although the territory may not have completely pulled away from the two-party system with the latest elections results, the PVIM has clearly emerged as a legitimate third party. “They actually have their own base, as we can see… and that makes a big difference,” Wheatley stated.

While noting that the VIP’s results meant that it remained the largest group in the HOA, Wheatley contended that the PVIM’s showing at the polls was quite unanticipated and was a likely the result of the party’s messaging during the elections campaign.

“The big surprise was the strength of PVIM,” Wheatley stated. “That is, not the shocker, but I think it’s what perhaps, what we didn’t expect. They performed very well and clearly their message to the voting public resonated.”

According to Wheatley, it was largely the PVIM’s narrative of rebuilding the country and fixing basic things which appeared to ‘carry the day’ for many of the voters who propelled the fledgling party, now in its second elections, to its unprecedented level of success at the polls.

Meanwhile, as negotiations continue over which of the parties are likely to emerge as successful in forming the next coalition government, Wheatley suggested that it may be a much simpler and clear-cut feat if the VIP is able to join with one other party to achieve this.

Otherwise, Wheatley argued, the other three parties will have to come come together to form a government and this then gives rise to the big question of who will emerge as Premier from within that configuration if they go that route.
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