Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie broke from the harmonious talks of financial services he and Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith shared over the last week as they lobbied in the UK on the Territory’s behalf and has returned to holding the Government’s feet to the fire.
After calling for a commission of inquiry in April over the $7M used for the BVI Airways deal the Leader of the Opposition appeared to have called a temporary truce as he stood shoulder to shoulder with Premier Smith in the days following the 1 May UK House of Common’s approval of an absurdly ruinous amendment to force the Territory to institute a public register by 2020.
The seemingly kumbaya moment extended to a press conference last week as both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition addressed members of the media on 23 May. However, hint that the truce had ended came during the Decision March the next day as Hon. Fahie announced that “local” constitutional breach should be also addressed not just the international breach of the UK’s interference.
Then as if to remove subtlety Hon. Fahie followed up on Monday this week with a statement which also accused the Government of breaching the Territory’s Constitution. Hon. Fahie announced: “When I spoke at the rally on Thursday 24 May (The Decision March), when I signed the petition as Leader of the Opposition and as one of the Leaders of the Territory, I signed to protect the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 against any violations locally, regionally and internationally.”
In tying the UK overreach with what he described as local contravention Hon. Fahie said: “If the U.K. is violating our Constitution — it must stop! If the NDP Government is violating our Constitution — it must stop! Unaudited financial statements is a breach of our Constitution. Seven million dollars for a plane that will not fly is a breach of our Constitution. Thirty million dollars over expenditure on the Cruise Pier Project is a breach of our Constitution — they all must stop! If they do not stop locally, regionally and internationally, our jobs are at risk. Our way of living is at risk. We must restore transparency, accountability and good governance.”
For years Hon. Fahie has accused the Government of breaching the Constitution and he also made reference to this fact in his statement this week: “My message has been clear and consistent for the past five years and it will not change. Either we police ourselves or we will be policed in a manner that we all will not like,” the Opposition Leader added. . [READ EDITORIAL ON PAGE 39 TO UNDERSTAND WHO IS BENEFITTING FROM THE OVERSEAS TERRITORIES DEMISE]