“I know some people will oppose this Commission. To those people I ask, why do you oppose getting to the truth? If you are honest – which I know, the vast, vast majority of people in BVI are – you have no reason to oppose it. It is a chance to clear names and end the allegations of corruption which threaten to plague our community,” Governor Jaspert said in his statement which announced the historic COI.
On Monday January 18, Governor Jaspert rocked the territory with his decision to order a COI into alleged political misconduct by present and past BVI administrations.
While many support the move, some sections of the public say the COI is the UK government’s deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of elected leaders.
While the public continues to voice its opinion, Governor Jaspert has urged residents to feel “empowered to engage with the Commission”.
It will be your opportunity to shape the way things are done and help put things right for the next generation,” Governor Jaspert said.
The Governor also called on elected leaders to support the COI, adding that Governor-elect John Rankin supports the decision.
“I hope that the Premier, ministers and all elected members can and will fully support this opportunity. I am acting in full accordance with the Commission of Inquiry Act passed by honourable members of the House of Assembly in support of the public whom we all serve. It also has the full support of my successor,” the Governor’s statement read.
Governor Jaspert also said ordering a COI wasn’t an easy decision but is something that had to be done to carve a clear path to better governance in the BVI.
“We want BVI to remain one of the safest places in the Caribbean, underpinned by an effective public service, strong rule of law and internationally successful industries. Through this Commission, we can take stock of where we are and give the people the power to say where we go next. It is inspired by the people and will deliver for the people and is one of the greatest levers under local law designed to ensure public welfare,” Governor Jaspert’s historic statement said.
Since announcing the historic COI, the outgoing governor has drawn praises and criticisms from the public and political spheres in the BVI. Premier Andrew Fahie has since issued a second public statement on the COI despite saying he would reserve all comments on the matter until more details are released by Governor Jaspert.