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‘We have a major problem with the HoA’ - Hon. J. Alvin Christopher

-Speaker forced to postpone Sitting of the House of Assembly after Opposition Leader fires off a letter on illegal adjournment
Following a letter from Leader of the Opposition Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE (R9) to the Speaker of the House of Assembly Ingrid A. Moses on August 27, 2014, a Sitting of the House of Assembly scheduled for tomorrow September 2, 2014, was postponed until further notice. The letter has to do with the illegality of the adjournment of the last Sitting on August 14, 2014 when there was a lack of Quorum and the Acting Speaker Hon Delores Christopher adjourned the House sine die. The lack of Quorum was as a result of Hon J. Alvin Christopher leaving the Chambers after the Acting Speaker refused him leave to speak on an earlier letter that was sent to the Speaker of the House regarding witness tampering by a Member of the House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
Speaking to this news site Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said he supported the position of the Leader of the Opposition, but said he does not expect them to admit it was because of Hon. O’Neal’s letter that caused Government to postpone the Sitting but said “wisdom prevailed which would seems that it was as a result of the letter.” Photo: VINO/File
Speaking to this news site Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said he supported the position of the Leader of the Opposition, but said he does not expect them to admit it was because of Hon. O’Neal’s letter that caused Government to postpone the Sitting but said “wisdom prevailed which would seems that it was as a result of the letter.” Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE fired off a letter to the Speaker of the HoA Ms. Ingrid A. Moses about the illegal adjournment of the Eighth Sitting of the Third Session of the Second HoA, sine die when a quorum was lost during a recess. Photo: VINO
Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE fired off a letter to the Speaker of the HoA Ms. Ingrid A. Moses about the illegal adjournment of the Eighth Sitting of the Third Session of the Second HoA, sine die when a quorum was lost during a recess. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The public and at least three former Legislators have already concluded that following the 2011 general elections in the Virgin Islands the House of Assembly has become the biggest embarrassment to the Territory and not a place residents or the youth can look up to for an example of leadership and upholding of laws.

There have been many incidents where Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) have lied to the public, used indecent and unparliamentary language, insulted each other and members of the public, broken the rules (Standing Orders) of the House and recently one member was accused of witness tampering, a crime in a civilian court that can land one to jail.

Last week the House of Assembly’s Public Relations Officer Linton V. Leonard announced a Sitting for 2nd September 2014. However, hours later another announcement came out notifying of its postponement until “further notice.”

No reasons were given for the abrupt postponement however, the same day of the notice was the same day Leader of the Opposition veteran Politician Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE fired off a letter to the Speaker of the HoA Ms. Ingrid A. Moses about the illegal adjournment of the Eighth Sitting of the Third Session of the Second HoA, sine die when a quorum was lost during a recess.

The decision to adjourn was taken by Acting Speaker at the time Honourable Deloris Christopher (R5).

Hon O’Neal in his letter to the Speaker of the HOA dated August 27, 2014 and obtained by this news site said, “the matter was reviewed and research conducted and nowhere could I find a basis in the Standing Orders of the HoA or Erskine May which supports the action taken. I have also consulted with my colleagues and they have all corroborated my findings.”

Speaking exclusively to this news site yesterday August 31, 2014 from his home in McNamara, on the main Island of Tortola Leader of the Opposition O’Neal confirmed that he was notified of the adjournment, but was not given any reasons, “I received a letter saying that the Notice of the Sitting had been withdrawn”.

The Leader of the Opposition also confirmed his letter to the Speaker on his protest about the illegal adjournment of the HoA where in his view that the last sitting was to have remained in recess, because there was no legal stating for the re-entry of the Mace into the Chambers on account of the said lack of Quorum.

Speaking to this news site Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said he supported the position of the Leader of the Opposition, but said he does not expect them to admit it was because of Hon. O’Neal’s letter that caused Government to postpone the Sitting but said “wisdom prevailed which would seems that it was as a result of the letter.”

Houston, we have a problem with the HoA- Hon. J Alvin Christopher

Representative for the Second District Hon J. Alvin Christopher said that the last sitting was adjourned unconstitutionally and it is now a challenge on how to move forward.

“We have a problem with the House of Assembly, a major problem. How do we now go from here to convene a sitting that is constitutional? The Standing Orders should guide us,” the Leader of the Minority Party in the Opposition the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) told our news site.

Hon. Christopher, himself the second longest serving member in the current HoA said, “when the Standing Orders go silent we have the Erskine May Parliamentary guidelines for all Commonwealth Parliaments to be guided by.”

He said that it is more than 10 days since the last sitting on August 14 and as a result, the House cannot go back into that sitting again. “We already gone past the time that the rules permit,” he said.

“The Eighth Sitting is not finished,” he said. “The challenge now is to find a legal way forward. I have a couple of ideas but I haven’t discussed them with anybody yet. I will be looking at the rules and verify what the rules say,” the PEP Leader told our news site.

Meanwhile, the Speaker dispatched a letter through the Clerk to all members dated August 25, 2014 inviting the members to attend a Meeting on Thursday September 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM at the HoA office conference room on the 2nd floor of the Richard C. Stoutt Building.

According to a Government Minister of the National Democratic Party who spoke to this news site off the record, he expects the issue of the next Sitting to be raised there.

26 Responses to “ ‘We have a major problem with the HoA’ - Hon. J. Alvin Christopher”

  • qc (01/09/2014, 11:37) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Houston, we have a problem with the HoA- Hon. J Alvin Christopher..ha ha that one for ball headed
  • ... (01/09/2014, 11:38) Like (9) Dislike (6) Reply
    just when thye think Uncle sleeping he out foxing the NDP
  • wize up (01/09/2014, 11:44) Like (7) Dislike (18) Reply
    the british virgin islands is quickly becoming like cuba under the ndp; these guys are something else !!!!!
  • my two cents (01/09/2014, 11:49) Like (13) Dislike (7) Reply
    what surprise me is the speker is a lawyer and its still shamful how she deals with the rules
    • for the record (01/09/2014, 14:56) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
      Lawyers in the bvi make the worst pilitians remember dancia Vernon Myron and now this speaker
    • Me (02/09/2014, 05:48) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      That is the same thing I was thinking. I guess she is not concerned about her reputation.
  • well saw (01/09/2014, 11:50) Like (13) Dislike (9) Reply
    The NDP & their crony speaker of the House & their deputy Speaker have now corrupted the House of Assembly. Totally embarrasing.
  • OhKala (01/09/2014, 11:50) Like (12) Dislike (8) Reply
    This whole thing Dr Smith has brought upon himself. It is a mess. Where is the leadership?
  • watching (01/09/2014, 11:52) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    I will be watching to see what rule the Speaker breaks to fix the Hosue that done break the rules to get onto this embarrassing situation.
  • Hmmm (01/09/2014, 11:53) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    The Speaker & her NDP thinks that they know it all so worst than this will happen yet.
  • Yes (01/09/2014, 11:55) Like (6) Dislike (11) Reply
    Alvin only problem with hoa is that he wants to sit on the other side so badly.
  • Ooo (01/09/2014, 13:49) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    Dissolve the House of Assembly and have fresh election.
  • cat (01/09/2014, 14:06) Like (5) Dislike (14) Reply
    Look melee when you let all kind of island ppl in your hoa this is what happens
  • 6th Distrect (01/09/2014, 14:07) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Keep off that PURCELL WOMAN she fraid no one
  • son of the soil (01/09/2014, 14:14) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
    The real problem is too many doggone island people in there.
  • lol eff alvin (01/09/2014, 14:28) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    i glad for him lol he the only think bout he self lol lol yes is good for him take that he got more to come he worthless self.
  • pat (01/09/2014, 14:58) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
    Look how moses mess up her political career behind funny man with he pess
  • pony show (01/09/2014, 17:24) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    The whole bvi gone to the dogs
  • Broken Mace (01/09/2014, 18:28) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Did someone break the mace agaain?
  • Dragon (02/09/2014, 03:06) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    I agree wholeheartedly that the HOA is at a low point and with the likes of mark, achie and myron they will sure bring the house down.
  • humble (02/09/2014, 08:51) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Election Is here so expect This behavior, what have happen over the years with the same opposition? Think back, give the gov a chance, See where our medical has gone, great things are happening. We the people should talk to the politicians and stop criticizing. Just Llike everything else we all make mistakes. We are getting things done in the community so lets try and get it done then u can change the gov


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