Beautiful Virgin Islands

Thursday, Mar 23, 2023

UK could ‘come up’ with reason to deny BVI an election - CSC

UK could ‘come up’ with reason to deny BVI an election - CSC

The United Kingdom could likely concoct a reason to prevent the BVI from moving forward with its constitutionally due election next year, Pastor Claude Skelton Cline has suggested.
“Here’s what I am observing: what if in the not too distant future, and/or coming to this election, the United Kingdom — through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the current government — comes to a conclusion that there will be no election for whatever reason. I’m sure they could very well come up with a reason and then come next year or not too long from now, it is discovered that the election that is constitutionally due next year will not be had,” Skelton Cline said on the Honestly Speaking show.

Skelton Cline was at the time examining the implementation of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recommended reforms and the attached condition that a successor to the current National Unity Government would be bound by the same framework agreement and its implementation schedule.

But even as he acknowledged that the framework agreement would be biding for an incoming administration, Skelton Cline suggested that the COI reforms would have to be completed by the constitutionally due elections in May of next year.

He also stated that he could not envision how some of the recommendations could be implemented without at least a partial suspension of the BVI’s constitution, as was initially proposed by COI Commissioner Sir Gary Hickinbottom.

The clergyman described the scenario as a ‘germane matter’ that must be contemplated by the people of the territory and argued that plans should be made for such an eventuality.

“What might be the reaction of the people of this country, if come 2023, we cannot exercise our democratic right for a constitutionally due election?” Skelton Cline asked.

Skelton Cline then warned that a long view needs to be taken with regard to the possibility of a UK-sanctioned suspension of the BVI’s constitution, and an elections delay and said persons need to be adequately prepared for this to happen and have discussions on the issue.

“We are not outnumbered, we are out-organised … In the words of one of my my friends, ‘this is not a one-step dance’, This is not a sprint. This is not a Usain Bolt moment. This is a marathon. This is a 26-mile marathon … you gotta get ready for this,” he stated.

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