The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) has responded to claims by Mrs Mitsy J. Ellis-Simpson that she might have been cheated while contesting for a Territorial At Large seat with the Party, during its 2023 nomination process, which was conducted at the R & R Malone Complex in Pockwood Pond on March 15, 2023.
During the process, Mrs Ellis-Simpson, who has now opted to enter the upcoming elections as an Independent Territorial At-Large Candidate, was unsuccessful at getting on the VIP slate after she was defeated by the Party’s then Vice-President Zoe J. Walcott, 42 votes to 15.
A campaign poster for Mitsy J.
Ellis-Simpson on a utility pole in Sea Cows Bay. Mrs Ellis-Simpson has
decided to run as an Independent At Large candidate, after failing to
win a place on the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) slate.
'Process was not fair & normal to myself'- Ellis-Simpson
However, during an interview on the show Talking Points, which was live-streamed on Facebook
on March 27, 2023, Mrs Ellis-Simpson insinuated that the VIP’s nomination process was unfair as she detailed her experience which she said propelled her to run independently.
“I actually went through a process with another Party, the Virgin Islands
Party, in going through their nomination process. And having completed that process and assessing everything that transpired, I thought it was necessary for me to come to the people and give them an opportunity to choose from a pool of candidates, not just Party candidates, but also independent candidates at this time,” Ellis-Simpson told the hosts of the show.
She added: "This is a situation where, in my opinion, when I went through the process, in my opinion, I felt like the process was not fair and normal to myself.”
Ellis-Simpson also insinuated that former VIP Member Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles, who has since joined Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), may have been unfairly treated during the nomination process.
Ellis-Simpson had also sought unsuccessfully to contest with the VIP in 2019.
During an interview on the show Talking
Points, which was live-streamed on Facebook on March 27, 2023, Mrs Mitsy
J. Ellis-Simpson, 2nd from right, insinuated that the VIP’s nomination
process was unfair as she detailed her experience which she said
propelled her to run independently.
VIP has 'always maintained a high standard of integrity & fairness'- Press Release
In a press release, dated March 30, 2023, the VIP responded to Ellis-Simpson, noting the Party affirms that its recent congressional meeting, which included the election of its final At Large candidate, was conducted with the utmost professionalism and in adherence to the Party’s constitution.
“The VIP takes its obligations seriously and has always maintained a high standard of integrity and fairness in its processes. Recently, Mrs Mitsy Ellis-Simpson, a prospective candidate, raised concerns regarding the level of fairness in the VIP's election process during an interview on the Talking Points radio show. The VIP would like to clarify that after the conclusion of the congressional meeting, Mrs Ellis-Simpson did not express any dissatisfaction with the process. In fact, she congratulated her opponent and did not indicate any concerns to the executive body of the party,” the press release stated.
It continued by stating that the Party is committed to promoting good governance, unity, and strength in preparation for the upcoming 2023 general elections and maintains its dedication to conducting all its affairs transparently and in accordance with its constitution.
"We wish Mrs Ellis-Simpson the best of luck in her independent candidacy," VIP President Sharia B. de Castro noted, while adding that the Party remains committed to working towards a brighter future for the Virgin Islands
and moving forward together.