NDP Ministers Retain Their Seats

(l to r) Hon. Myron Walwyn, Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Hon. Ronnie Skelton, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering, and Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith [GIS Photo]

(l to r) Hon. Myron Walwyn, Hon. Mark Vanterpool, Hon. Ronnie Skelton, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering, and Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith [GIS Photo]

All of the Ministers of Government from the 2011-2015 NDP Administration have retained their seats. This announcement was made by Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith at the swearing in ceremony that was held at 5:30 pm at the Central Administration Complex on Wednesday 10 June.

In making the announcement about the composition of the new Cabinet, Premier Smith said: “It is traditional today to announce changes in the administration, however in order to finish the work that we have started the Ministerial architecture will remain intact. That means that Ministers will remain with their assigned portfolios.”

The BVI Leader announced that he plans to strengthen the various Ministries by assigning positions to other elected members. The Premier said:  “In the coming days I will be reviewing certain areas to see how these might be made more efficient. I am happy to announce that as a priority I will be assigning certain responsibilities to some elected representatives, thereby creating the equivalent of Ministers in certain Ministries to support or enhance the work of a particular Ministry.”

“In fact I have already mentioned my intentions to His Excellency the Governor and we will be working together to make this a reality in keeping with our Constitution,” Hon. Smith added.

The Premier thanked the people of the BVI for re-electing his Government and announced that the success at that poll is not merely an NDP success. “This time we will engage every man and woman in this Territory… I pledge to work only in the interest of the British Virgin Islands and the progress of all.”

He said that the manifesto that was launched some days ago is the Government’s contract with the people for another term, and that contract sets out the ambitious goals of his Government, which he said he is confident his Party can deliver.

“We will continue to listen to you who we serve and renew our commitment to you. I am confident that over the next four years we will work together with the help of the public sector to make the Territory a shining star not only in the Caribbean but to the rest of the world.”

His Excellency Governor John Duncan congratulated the people of the BVI for turning out in large numbers to vote for their representatives. “This election has been passionate and hardcore it has also been peaceful and fair. I offer my congratulations to Dr. Smith and his team for his significant victory at the polls,” the Governor said.

Her Majesty’s Representative  also congratulated Virgin Islands Party members – First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie, and Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser, and said that he looks forward to working with both the Government and Opposition over the coming months.

The Queen’s Representative also noted that there will be challenges ahead that are social and political; and dealing with these challenges would entail putting country first. The Governor added that Dr. Smith put forward a realistic plan that would require all working together.

In the previous cabinet and this new Administration — Premier Dr. The Hon. D. Orlando Smith holds the portfolios of Minister for Finance, and Tourism; Deputy Premier and Seventh District Representative, Dr. The Hon. Kedrick Pickering has the post of Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Fourth District Representative, Hon. Mark Vanterpool is the Minister for Communications and Works, and At Large Representative, Hon. Ronnie Skelton holds the Post of Health and Social Development. At-Large Territorial elected representative, Hon. Myron V. Walwyn, who attracted the highest number of votes, is Minister of Education & Culture

The Government Back-Benchers are: Fifth District Representative, Hon. Delores Christopher, Sixth District Representative, Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines, Eight District Representative, Hon. Marlon Penn and At Large Member, Hon. Archibald Christian.

The new members of Government are Second District Representative, Hon. Mitch Turnbull, and Ninth District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Hubert O’Neal.

The National Democratic Party secured the its Government with an 11 to 2 win. Similar to the 2011 election At-Large Representative, Hon. Walwyn secured the most votes with 5777. Premier Smith was the second highest vote getter with 5,753 votes. Hon. Skelton garnered 5,333 votes and Hon. Christian secured 4,659.

This is a milestone victory for the NDP, as no government since 1999 has been able to secure consecutive terms.