Leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is expecting victory when the Territory goes to the polls in the coming months and he announced that this Saturday the final four candidates to make up the VIP slate will be known.
While addressing the Territory on 26 November Hon. Fahie said: “As the VIP continues to prepare for the upcoming General Elections in early 2019, we intend to remain steadfast in purpose and diligent in actions. By no means do we intend to win the next General Elections merely because the other sides are not good but rather because our programmes and vision for the future are better.”
Hon. Fahie announced, “The VIP is united in its efforts to ensure that transparency, accountability, integrity and good governance are restored in the affairs of government. This must be the norm and not the exception!”
He pointed out that the VIP is on the last lap of finalizing its slate of candidates for the 2019 general elections. This final process, he said, involves the 76- member VIP Congress selecting the four candidates that would be running as At Large members on 1 December.
It was stated that the Congress of the Virgin Islands Party agreed that 15 October was the deadline given for submittal of names by anyone who wanted to run under the VIP banner as a Territorial/At-Large candidate; it was noted that eight persons submitted their names for consideration.
As part of the selection process it was explained that the eight candidates seeking consideration were mandated to visit each of the nine VIP District Committees and make presentations that included solutions to the Territory’s problems and demonstrate willingness to work as a unified team with all previously ratified VIP candidates and the Congress of the VIP.
Hon. Fahie disclosed that an additional person has express intention to seek the support of the Congress to be considered as one of the VIP’s Territorial/At-Large candidates after the passage of the official deadline to do so. As such – he said – this person would have to be nominated from the floor of the Congress meeting on Saturday.
The VIP Chairman stressed that the selection process is a fair and transparent one. “My people of the Virgin Islands, please note that this process is done independent of the Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party. The VIP practices what we preach for the wider Virgin Islands, which is accountability and transparency. I have stated clearly to the Congress that they – as well as myself as Chairman of the VIP – must be willing to ‘promote and defend’ whatever decision is made by the Congress of the VIP.”
“The sad part is that the Congress of the VIP can only select four of the nine persons. As Chairman of the VIP, I have met with all nine persons that have graciously put forward their names to serve their country in this capacity if selected by the Congress of the VIP and each candidate has stated in writing that no matter the final decision made by the Congress on 1 December, they will accept the decision of the Congress and work hand in glove with the Virgin Islands Party to be the next Government of the Virgin Islands,” he added.