Hon. Mark Vanterpool
reaffirms confidence in VIP leadership
As the ruling Virgin Islands Party (VIP) intensifies its campaigning ahead of the
June 16th, 2003 general elections, Representative for the 4th District Honourable
Mark Vanterpool has reaffirmed his commitment to the people of this territory and
his support in the leadership of the party.
Speaking during a May 8th press conference, Hon. Vanterpool said it is an honour to
serve one’s country in this way. He thanked the people of the 4th District for
giving him the opportunity and asked them to give him another chance to serve in
“I’m indeed very pleased to be a part of the Virgin Islands Party under the
leadership of our Chief Minister Ralph T. O’Neal,” Hon. Vanterpool declared. “I look
forward to serve under him and the Virgin Islands Party in the next legislature.”
He said he promised to make a difference in the capital Road Town and the evidence
is there that this was done. He said the VIP has committed to continue to develop
the capital as a first class city maintaining a quaint, small town, environmentally
and pedestrian friendly setting.
The Rep. for D-4 said the physical development of Road Town must continue in the
interest of social, environmental and economic development of the territory. He said
if elected, his rehabilitation programme for drugs and alcoholic cases will continue
and so too will the educational, motivational and development programmes in the
“I am very confident in the country’s growth and the country’s stability,” Hon.
Vanterpool declared. According to him, this country has progressed tremendously
under this Virgin Islands Party and while there is a lot more to do in many areas,
he said the VIP will set priorities and continue to improve the standard of living
Also addressing reporters at the May 8th press conference was At Large candidate Mr.
Roy Pickering. He said he is convinced that the efforts of the VIP over the years
have been of benefit to all citizens.
Mr. Pickering said as a Territorial candidate, his emphasis will be towards the
youth with specific focus on establishing a police academy, a nursing recruitment
programme and a technical and vocational school.
He also plans to be a voice for workers with a view to raising the minimum wage,
create enhanced programmes for senior citizens and the physically challenged,
provide technical resources and support for agriculture, sports and recreational
facilities and increased personnel in sports management and instruction, support for
consumer legislation and support for taxi operators.
At Large candidate Elvis Harrigan spoke to his ambition as a young, aspiring
politician – “to be in a group of people that you can relate to, are comfortable
with, that respect your views and ideas, that has a leader with a wealth of
experience and other seniors anxious to groom and to be among persons with high
energy and bright ideas.”
He said that group is team Virgin Islands Party and he is proud to be a member.
Mr. Harrigan said it has disappointed him to see the lengths to which their
opponents have gone to derail the VIP. He reminded everything that the BVI is no
longer a puny island, but a well established international territory depending
heavily on international business.
“When all the rhetoric, the propaganda, the painting of a gloom and doom picture of
our territory…when all this is over on the 16th of June, then what?” he questioned.
He said the VIP will further develop the BVI’s education system, issue scholarships,
bring on line the technical school programme, further develop the economy, health
care system, our young people and facilities and programmes for senior citizens.
During the question and answer segment, Hon. Vanterpool announced that in addition
to the other road developments taking place in his district, a traffic study has
been done and engineers are working on improving the main road from the Wickham’s
Cay round-a-bout to the round-a-bout at Prospect.
He also announced that plans are on the drawing board for a civic/community centre
for Road Town, continuing to improve the streets and villages, improve the
recreational facilities, complete the reclamation project and the boardwalk below
In terms of his decision to contest the upcoming elections on a VIP ticket, Hon.
Vanterpool emphasized that this is a democracy. He said he believes it will be
proven in years to come that his interest in working with the Hon. Chief Minister as
a good leader and his team was the right decision.
Of the VIP, he said: “They’re not out there reaching for the moon…but they are
making every effort to ensure that this country maintains a stable healthy growing
economy and I am pleased to be with them.”
The MP-D4 accused the opposition of being too accusatory rather than trying to build
up the territory. He said he prefers to be on the side of building up rather than
He also disputed rumours that he will be contesting the elections as an At Large
candidate and that he also wants to re-join the NDP. “I intend to be a Virgin
Islands Party member for a long time and those who don’t believe that they have me
to contend against, they will be seeing and feeling my force as I continue to work
in this election to help to build the Virgin Islands Party….And I certainly have no
interest in re-joining the National Democratic Party.”
The other former opposition party now ruling party member Mr. Harrigan said when he
joined that NDP he believed in the policies as laid out. However he said after they
tried to overthrow the government on two separate occasions, he thought this was
inconsistent with what he signed on to.
2003 by SUN ENTERPRISES (B.V.I.) LTD.
PUBLISHERS OF THE
ISLAND SUN Newspaper. All rights reserved.