Last week Independent At-Large candidate, Dancia Penn expressed concern about what she describes as a disregard for the House of Assembly and also noted other issues that she intends to address both during her campaign and as member of the next House of Assembly.
In her launch address Mrs. Penn stated that she sees the decline in several areas and also sees the need for strong, competent, dedicated, honest, and transparent leadership.
The candidate announced that she has heard many concerns among which is the perceived blatant disregard for the Territory’s Constitution, and the lack of respect for private ownership of land, which is one of the dearest things to the heart of a Virgin Islander.
In reference to concerns about conduct in the House of Assembly, Mrs. Penn listed a number of offenses that were noted by the public. She confirmed that there has been a serious decline in the conduct, behaviour and standards in the “House of Assembly of The Virgin Islands — The Peoples’ House.”
The Candidate listed the issues as: “The disregard for the people in the manner in which the business of the House, which is our business, has been conducted. The disrespect and disregard for the Rules of the House.”
In reference the perceived disregard for the House, the former Attorney General, Deputy Governor, Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Social Development touched on the Opposition complaint as to how the issue of questions and answers were handled during the NDP Administration; and she noted that the matter also concerns her.
In emphasizing the issue of questions and answers in the House of Assembly, Mrs. Penn listed: “The games played with the placing of Questions on the Order Paper; the refusal, and failure to answer questions; the apparent providing of wrong and misleading Answers to Questions.”
“The actions taken in the House to relegate questions to Ministers as not important matters on the Order Paper, when they are of the essence of the people’s business. The lack of transparency and accountability on the part of some members of the House,” Mrs. Penn added.