"We've moved on," were the words of Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) when questioned by reporters how the Opposition was grappling with the unexpected loss of Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), who parted ways with the Opposition and the National Democratic Party (NDP) to join arms with Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government.
"I've put a statement... that spoke to our concerns and how the process happened. Alvera Maduro-Caines has a right to make a decision and we've moved on, we are here now to talk about the plans for the Opposition moving forward, the plans for this Territory moving forward," Hon Penn said at a Tuesday, January 21, 2020, Opposition press conference at the Office of the House of Assembly (HoA).
Focus on other aspects of the economy - Hon Penn
Honourable Penn said attention should instead now be paid to other aspects of the local economy such as the financial services sector.
Hon Penn, when questioned, said he could not comment on the future of the existing Opposition Members, namely Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3), Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) and Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull aka 'Mitch'. He said members can speak for themselves on what their plans are regarding remaining in the Opposition.
"The reality is, Hon Maduro-Caines made a decision to move on with the Virgin Islands Party... we are here to talk about the plans of the Opposition moving forward, how we are going to keep the government, hold its feet to the fire, ensure that this Territory, the people of this Territory are given the best leadership to be able to create an environment that could help develop the economy," he said.
"We have a job to do and we are going to execute our job," Hon Penn affirmed.
'Anything is possible' - Hon Fraser
Hon Fraser, in responding to the possibilities of other Opposition Members crossing the floor, said anything was possible, given the history of the House of Assembly (HoA).
"We were surprised because we weren't afforded the courtesy of a discussion before it happened, and I think that's the great unfortunate part about the whole thing," Hon Fraser said.
According to the member for the Third District, "We are going to make the best of the situation that we have, we have a programme which the Leader of the Opposition laid out, and we intend to pursue it with vigour."
Hon Turnbull indicated that, while he respects the decision of Hon Maduro-Caines, he too would have liked a discussion with the member before her departure from the Opposition.