Opposition Member, Hon Carvin Malone (VI) has reiterated his calls for the United Kingdom (UK) to withdraw without delay, the Order in Council being held in reserve to suspend the [British] Virgin Islands constitution.
This comes as regional bodies including the Organization of Eastern Caribbean State (OECS) has called for the removal of the order, including that it objects to the imposition of direct colonial rule over the people of the VI.
Hon Malone during a short speech during an the Educational and Constitution Forum on the review of the VI Constitution held at the Eileen L. Parsons Auditorium of the H. Lavitiy Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) on Thursday, December 8, 2022, said the order remaining in place, is criminal.
This comes as regional bodies including
the Organization of Eastern Caribbean State (OECS) has called for the
removal of the order, including that it objects to the imposition of
direct colonial rule over the people of the VI.
Order in Council 'criminal & disingenuous' - Hon Malone
“It is criminal, disingenuous. Not right that we have this order in Council, that is a live document, sitting on the dressing table of someone who has the single power to put it into effect. If they feel that any of the remaining 48 items are not adhered to.”
Suspension of the Virgin Islands
Constitution was the overarching recommendation of the lone Commission of Inquiry
) Commissioner Sir Gary R. Hickinbottom
as part of 50 CoI
While the UK has not suspended the constitution following activism against direct rule on the local, regional and international front, the former Minister for Overseas Territories and former UK Prime Minister Mary Elizabeth Truss instituted the Order in Council in the UK Parliament to be held in reserve.
The Order essentially gives the Governor the power to suspend the constitution at his discretion, should the Unity Government not carry out CoI
reforms according to an agreed framework between the UK and VI.
“It is criminal… that we are on the eve of a General Election and not knowing whether we have one, because of this very same order in Council,” he added.
Gov't agrees to removal of order
Hon Malone said that remains unjust that the VI can have an election, choose a new government and still have the order in Council hovering with the possibility of it being enforced the month after the elections.
While the Government of the Virgin Islands
agrees that reform is needed and has committed to its implementation, it has also objected to the Order in Council, with Premier Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) also calling for its removal.
Many have described the order as the UK holding a gun to the VI’s head to carry out reforms, which is not symbolic of a modern partnership as proposed by the UK to its OTs.