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Sunday, Dec 04, 2022

Was Malone left out of UK/BVI negotiations?

Was Malone left out of UK/BVI negotiations?

A recent statement from Carvin Malone — the former Health Minister demoted to parliamentary backbencher — has left the public to question whether he may have been excluded from negotiations between the BVI and United Kingdom (UK).

His statement, which was released this week, described the “rush“ to implement the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recommended reforms a “sinister approach“.

Malone’s two-page monologue, which he described as his “personal and independent position”, may be indicative of fissures that are starting to show in the newly formed unity government led by Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley.

Consultations should have been before final proposal

Malone’s statement — released just before Governor John Rankin announced that Britain has conditionally decided against UK direct rule over the BVI — called for the public to be consulted before the government gives the UK its final proposal about implementing the COI’s recommendations.

He said: “It is my measured and considered opinion that in relation to the 49 recommendations listed as a result of the COI, the views of the people of the Virgin Islands must be included in the final proposals to the United Kingdom government.”

His stance appears to be a departure from an announcement made by Premier Wheatley mere hours after Malone’s statement, that the UK had already accepted the BVI‘s final proposal on the COI recommended reforms.

The Premier also noted in his announcement at the time that there will be consultations with the people about the reforms that were already accepted by the UK.

In his missive, Malone also stated that he felt that the UK must be made to outline the “substantive measures that they seek to impose“ on the BVI in relation to the COI recommendations.

Elections must be considered immediately

In the meantime, according to Malone, serious consideration must immediately be given to the voice of the people he said “are calling for general elections”.

The now-demoted legislator said this consideration was essential to determine who, in their best judgment, is best suited to lead in the implementation of the COI reforms and the transition into ‘a new BVI’.

The former Heath Minister ended his statement by saying that he felt that including the public in the decisions on how to properly roll out the recommendations would allow the BVI to finally realise the, “illusive but inevitable destination of self-determination.”

Malone was reportedly asked to make way for former Opposition Leader Marlon Penn to be appointed as the new Health Minister in the tripartite, National Unity Government.


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