The Premier was at the time speaking during a June 2, 2022, statement where he reminded that the Unity Government is made up of members from the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) and the National Democratic Party (NDP).
“To be clear, this does not mean our respective political organizations have been amalgamated into one, they remain individual political bodies, however, at the Governmental level, the members of the Unity Government comprise one unit.”
The Premier continued, “While this is the case, we want to reassure the public that political parties in the Virgin Islands will continue to be an integral part of the representative democracy here in the Virgin Islands, they will not be disappearing from the political landscape,” he said.
The Formation of the National Unity Government was announced on May 4, 2022, comprising of Junior Minister for Tourism, Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6) - VIP; Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports, Hon Sharie B. de Castro (AL) - VIP; Minister for Transportation, Utilities and Works, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5) - VIP; Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7)-VIP; Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8)-NDP; Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2)-PVIM and Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL)- VIP.
Under the proposed Government, Territorial-At-Large Member Honourable Neville A. Smith will continue to serve as Deputy Speaker, and Hons Vincent O. Wheatley(R9), Carvin Malone (AL) and Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) remain representatives in the House.
The Premier said the formation of the Unity Government shows the country has been placed above party and above self, “we are working together in the national interest as opposed to engaging in party division that serves no one’s interest,” he added.
He added that the current Unity Government also puts VI in the best position to reform and renew its democracy in the face of the arrest of Ex-Premier Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and the release of the CoI report with its sweeping recommendations, which includes partial suspension of the constitution and UK-direct rule.
Dr the Hon Wheatley noted that the coalition Government is also a demonstration of maturity and determination to make the fundamental changes needed for a new era of democratic governance that will place the territory on a new development trajectory.