Speaking alongside Governor John J. Rankin, CMG at a press conference today, the Premier said the people of the Virgin Islands have a legitimate expectation that those they elect to represent and govern the territory, will do so with honesty and integrity.
“They also have a legitimate expectation that their elected representatives will make any needed reforms to improve governance and uphold the legacy of our fore-parents who have sacrificed so much over the past 70 years to achieve the constitutional progress we have attained.”
He said his Government of National Unity remains fully committed to meeting expectations as the VI ushers in a new era of democratic governance.
“We welcome the UK Minister's agreement with our final proposal for the implementation of the CoI report recommendations and other reforms,” Dr Wheatley noted while adding that his team will work closely with Governor Rankin in the spirit of partnership with the United Kingdom to deliver for the people of the Virgin Islands.
“Our success will be the result of doing the hard work of reforming our institutions and systems of government and engendering a new culture in the handling of the people's business. We are confident and believe it is in the best interests of the people of the territory that all concerned do their part to make reform a success,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Premier said outside of the CoI report recommendations made by Commissioner Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom, the government will go further in its quest to do better for the VI and make changes accordingly.
“I want to be clear, change will be hard. It will be painful in some instances, people we know and care about will be affected; however, in the end, it will be for the betterment of these Virgin Islands.”
He added, “The Government of National Unity's final proposal will serve as the government's plan for undertaking the important work of delivering the CoI report recommendations and other reforms in a timely fashion.”
The Premier noted that the way forward is also an opportunity as a society to transform the VI into a model democracy with better institutions, better systems, better processes, better public services, better infrastructure, and an economy that delivers for all.
There are concerns in the public that the proposal was presented to the UK, without the public having full knowledge of it and being able to make an input.
The coalition government now intends to come to the public to discuss the proposal already accepted by the UK.