Using terms such as ‘dysfunctional government’, and repeating the phrase ‘release this government’ Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie has called for urgent general elections.
During a press conference on 16 November the Leader of the Opposition was asked to comment on the recent falling apart of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) but he declined to do so stating “I have no views about the internal infighting in the NDP, it was always clear to me that it was happening it is just that it has manifested itself now publicly. I have learnt to always keep out of fights between husbands and wives.”
However, following further media prompting Hon. Fahie commented on the fact that during the week there has been a separation from the National Democratic Party including at the ministerial level. Hon. Fahie said: “These are the reasons along with many others along with financial reasons I have stated why I have been calling for quite a while now to ask release this government from the bondage that they are in with each other. Release the country from this bondage and allow for general elections so that the people can have a choice and decide which government they want.”
The Leader of the Opposition therefore announced that this current situation with the government is not conducive to the recovery process. “They are not together in thoughts, they are not together in actions and for them to continue to bring forward projects and programs for the people of the Virgin Islands at a time when there is no cohesiveness and the people’s views are not being adhered to is an injustice to the public of the Virgin Islands. It’s an injustice to the taxpayers of the Virgin Islands.”
Hon. Fahie further referenced the international threats to the Territory’s financial services sector and said that responding to these issues at this time will require “a government that is united in its efforts.”
“They cannot be sidetracked by internal fighting. It needs the full attention of the government. There is nobody that can lead this government at this time the way it is, and be able to concentrate on their work for the people. There are too many sidebar threats internally so in order to have piece of mind and to run the country properly you need a united team of people…that has the intelligence and love the people and understand to put country above self and country above power.”
The Leader of the Opposition also referenced His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert recent announcement that there will be no by-election for the Fifth District but rather that the general elections will be held in a reasonable time. In mentioning that announcement Hon. Fahie said: “The Governor stated the right things and I must commend him for agreeing to take this country out of the labour pains that it is in [now]and allowing the general elections rather than a by-election.”
One of the things that the Governor opined in said statement was that the members of the House of Assembly should use the remaining time to work together to pass various bills. However, Hon. Fahie said that it is going to be difficult considering the current state of the Government.
He supported this statement by commenting that the sittings of the House of Assembly continue to start late because of the tardiness of members of Government. “Any legislation that has not been passed cannot be blamed on the opposition it is the matter of a dysfunctional government continuing to run the Territory,” the Opposition Leader declared.
In calling for urgent general elections, Hon. Fahie said: “The general elections is the time when the people of the Virgin Islands voice would be heard and they will decide. It is not fair to the people of the Virgin Islands what’s happening with their government that they elected so the only way that could be handled is through a general elections and let the chip fall where they may.”