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An NDP collapse? Efforts to convince rebel backbenchers to vote with leader @ stake

- Civil war continues over the terms for the UK Guarantee of loans; Many backbenchers threaten to vote “NO”
The deep divisions over the terms and conditions for the United Kingdom’s guarantee loans, stipulated by the UK Framework for the BVI Recovery Plan, have caused much of the debate from within the National Democratic Party (NDP). Photo: Facebook
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) has been desperately trying to get support from his own Government members to vote in favour of borrowing loans under the guidelines put in place by the United Kingdom. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) has been desperately trying to get support from his own Government members to vote in favour of borrowing loans under the guidelines put in place by the United Kingdom. Photo: VINO/File
Three of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Backbenchers. From left: Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines, Fifth District Representative Hon Deloris Christopher and Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotions, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8). Photo: VINO/File
Three of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Backbenchers. From left: Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines, Fifth District Representative Hon Deloris Christopher and Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotions, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8). Photo: VINO/File
Immediately after Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith’s (AL) speech on March 12, 2018, his supporters sent around a message which was condemned by most as spreading propaganda and lies. It claimed that the public should, ‘join the movement, accept the UK loans and all other donations.’ Photo: VINO
Immediately after Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith’s (AL) speech on March 12, 2018, his supporters sent around a message which was condemned by most as spreading propaganda and lies. It claimed that the public should, ‘join the movement, accept the UK loans and all other donations.’ Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) is clearly not in control of his government, as the National Democratic Party (NDP) is on the verge of a collapse.

The deep divisions over the terms and conditions for the United Kingdom’s guarantee of the post hurricanes loans, as set out in the UK Framework for the BVI Recovery Plan, have caused much of the debate from within.

Both Opposition Members, Hons Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and Julian Fraser RA (R3), have stood together on this issue, objecting to the loan guarantee conditions. In fact, Hon Fraser at two public meetings and recently in the House of Assembly (HoA) described the conditions “as a noose around our neck”.

Retreat failed to move some Members

In an attempt to convince his rebel backbenchers to vote with him, Premier Smith last week had a two-day retreat, according to a senior NDP official. This was to try to get his government back on track but, according to two members who attended the retreat at a Road Town hotel, said it was a “waste of time”.

After a series of meetings, even as recent as Saturday, March 10, 2018 and on Monday, March 12, 2018 a public holiday, the caucus was still deeply divided over the loan guarantee conditions.

After that failed, Premier Smith came up with the idea of inviting the United Kingdom appointed Governor, Augustus J. U. Jaspert aka ‘Gus’, to help convince his government about the loan guarantee framework and to state again the United Kingdom’s position. That meeting is set for today, Tuesday, March 13, 2018 and should have been ongoing up to the time of publication.

Bringing in the Governor is playing politics?

It is our newsroom’s understanding that it was on the insistence of the Governor that the Opposition members were invited, so as not to appear as if the Governor was playing politics with the issues.

Last evening Monday, March 12, 2018, Dr Smith took to the airwaves with a national prerecorded broadcast that got little attention or media play. The public address was simply a regurgitation of what he had said previously, and in some cases- misinformation.

Immediately after Premier Smith’s speech, his supporters sent around a message, which was condemned by most as spreading propaganda and lies. It claimed that the public should, “join the movement, accept the UK loans and all other donations”.

Message by Dr Smith’s supporters are LIES!

This message is indeed disingenuous as the UK is not giving the Virgin Islands a dime in loans, only guaranteeing loans up to 419M US Dollars and providing other technical assistance which they have started.

As it relates to the donations, it was Dr Smith’s own government that turned away many of the donations while others have been left to spoil at the festival ground in Road Town, on the main island.

The international community has lost faith in the NDP regime and have been telling the world not to give donations to this government, but instead to non-governmental organisations.

Many political observers, civil society and the media are waiting for the loan guarantee to be placed on the HoA agenda to see the fall out, or if the political maneuvering by the 73-year-old Premier and hand wringing will bear fruits.

41 Responses to “An NDP collapse? Efforts to convince rebel backbenchers to vote with leader @ stake”

  • @ @ @ @ (13/03/2018, 16:28) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wow vino you on the inside
  • Hmmmm (13/03/2018, 16:37) Like (38) Dislike (17) Reply
    So they want to vote no then what? What is their plan to rebuild the Territory? You cannot just vote no and do nothing else, look at the place after 6 months. We elected men and women not boys and girls. Let them vote no and explain to their constituents why they did so. Call their bluff Doc, don't be scared of the ignorance. So much fear mongering and not information to back it up.
    • @hmmmm (13/03/2018, 19:29) Like (39) Dislike (4) Reply
      You could talk that but the truth is that the Premier has not been truthful or forthcoming with any information to neither his side nor the Opposition so nobody knows what he has committed the BVI to. This is sad.
      • Hmmmmm (13/03/2018, 21:01) Like (11) Dislike (7) Reply
        Thats not the point. If you are saying no to that plan then show us your plan. Just saying no does not help the Territory to rebuild.
        • really!!!! (14/03/2018, 10:36) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
          Before the hurricanes the Premier said the economy was robust. He needs to prove to the people of the BVI that that, in fact, was and still is the truth. Only then will we believe a word he says about this UK AID/LOANS or whatever it will be
  • please (13/03/2018, 16:40) Like (18) Dislike (12) Reply
    Watch the votes!!! This is no damn collapse, none of them will vote against the same money that they need so badly to move projects in their districts and ministries. Some of them may play smart and abstain but not one of the NDP elected officials will vote no.
    • @ please (13/03/2018, 23:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      keep dreaming boss
      • okay (14/03/2018, 09:37) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        So they vote no then what? The premier needs to call their bluff. What will they tell their district people when voting no to the only money on the table? This is more to do with a fight for the top than a fight for the BVI. They are using this to weaken the Premier that's all it is. If you think this is about country then you're not thinking straight.
  • It’s time (13/03/2018, 16:44) Like (37) Dislike (6) Reply
    to give it up premier; you just not ready for this. Our country is moving as slow as you are becoming up in age. No pun intended, just a fact of life.
    • @It's time (13/03/2018, 19:32) Like (42) Dislike (3) Reply
      If the elected members had went along with Hon. Fahie vote of "NO Confidence" in the Minister of Finance which was long before IRMA then we wouldn't be in this mess. The man has sold us out in the name of help.
    • 2 NDP (14/03/2018, 09:46) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      The question of the day is who's driving the car Doc or his Wife? Give Ronnie the books to clean up the rest of this mess we are in. He will do a better job.
  • voter (13/03/2018, 16:51) Like (27) Dislike (3) Reply
    Call an election
  • Welsah (13/03/2018, 16:54) Like (20) Dislike (5) Reply
    Can it get any worst than this? Look how NDP has become the enemies of progress.
  • Saul (13/03/2018, 17:03) Like (30) Dislike (10) Reply
    BackBenchers need to take action now and form the new NDP. Premier gig is up. He has become a drag on the party.
  • ... (13/03/2018, 17:12) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    Only 3 back benches got the balls
  • GEESH (13/03/2018, 17:18) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Clueless 1 and 2 .. look he face smh .
  • 007 (13/03/2018, 17:21) Like (32) Dislike (2) Reply
    Connecting the dots. Look how former governor Duncan set up the NDP, sit back and give them enough rope to hang themselves. Ow we are in a serious bind. “Da#n if we do and da#n if we don’t.” He pulled an age old western diplomatic strategy on them and now we all and our childrens’ children will have to pay.
  • Lawd (13/03/2018, 17:23) Like (23) Dislike (3) Reply
    Poor fella. Doc, you did it to yourself.
  • voter (13/03/2018, 17:53) Like (27) Dislike (3) Reply
    Ndp killed our country
  • sorry (13/03/2018, 18:10) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    I have been attacking Smith in my comments . But i will stop now .. All jokes aside , he look ill, and very sad . Sorry for him .
  • VIlander (13/03/2018, 18:35) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    It's not voting against the money, it's voting against the UK's plan. Smith brought the colonizer to assure us that they're not trying to put us back it he colonial era with this agreement. IT was Smith himself who refused the $$$ for 6 months now he's awake and wants to remind us how long it's been hoping we are so desperate that we agree to anything. DIVIDE & CONQUER is their main technique b/c it has worked for centuries since 1400's when they became world powers. Now their spin is Loans & Grants which makes sense but why did it take 6months for the premier to get there? It is a lie. They will impose regulations that will cause us to lose our land and homes to them. That is their agenda. We have survived this long it's better to get a new transparent plan and involve everyone instead of these secret decisions being made in the UK for all of our children's children to be indebted by. First accept the grants let the uk handle their responsibility of security ie police stations ports & prisons and we handle our end but we cannot allow political favoritism with the rebuild money and everything must be properly realtime audited and accounted for.
  • SMH (13/03/2018, 18:44) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    What this gang really going tell the people next elections?
  • my my my (13/03/2018, 19:34) Like (28) Dislike (2) Reply
    To cover their corruption so no one goes ballo the waste of time Mr. Zzzz signed us away and hide the details because he had too.
  • All you stressing man (13/03/2018, 19:40) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
    but to think of it.If assistance is given freely or by grants and loans take it. It doesn't matter who is at the helm one will need financial assistance to take the country forward and when I say that such has what the govt has in hand that alone can't take the country forward that is if anything there to be accountable of. Govt has to do something and do so quickly. As Willock stated before perhaps land for debt lease on land or the citizen by investment plan or something. Just do something. Time is running out. The quicker we act the quicker we will see results improvements and development.Pls make sure there is accountability in every actions taken
  • Wolf Blitzer (13/03/2018, 19:54) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is CNN, just in we have breaking News from the British Virgin islands, Ministers and other MPs in the NDP the sitting government has just told their leader, the Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. Orlando Smith, he must resigned as Premier and Minister of Finance effective immediately for they will not vote for the loan on Thursday in HoA. The Government is now in chaos for the Premier does not have the support of 5 of his MP including 2 Junior Ministers, and probably the opposition members will also not support the motion. Stay tuned to CNN as we get more information coming of the BVI. It maybe a government on the verge of collapse.
  • Irvin (13/03/2018, 20:28) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Didn't my sister Irma say the NDP Government will self-destruct before the next election???? Hmmmmm.....
  • my 2 cents (13/03/2018, 22:04) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think we need to take all the grants that we do not have to pay back. Go after the damn insurance companies for our monies to fix back Government buildings. Ask the corporate entities to have a little pride and assist in any way possible to build back the schools or start a GO FUND ME Page for the Government of the BVI. Keep the damn cookie monster off the roads and any monies associated with fixing them. Get qualified and experienced contractors to fix Government buildings. We need to allow the engineers in PWD if they have the know how to design proper roads based on international specs. If I am not missing out on anything, leave the private buildings and put most of Government departments back in the complex because we creating too much sub offices/departments. we need a 20 year plan on how we intend to build back the BVI and beyond. The world was not created in one day. I do not want my great great great grand kids to be paying a debt some of us wont live to stress about.
  • Socrates (13/03/2018, 22:34) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Again. If you have a toothache, you do not go to a mechanic...............(well, he could use a pair of pliers).............and if your ride breaks down, you do not take your car to a dentist. Why? It's obvious.....just as its obvious that we have the people with the wrong training running this government. Its BEYOND sad....
    • Can you believe... (14/03/2018, 02:20) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      Socrates you questions always keep me thinking. I just plugged turned on my computer to get my daily dose of what’s going on on VINO and the last 3 comments I read, including your, had 666 likes, this must really be a sign of something explosive that’s about to drop about the NDP party. Must be a sign of a dying era of status quo government leadership in our Virgin Islands. One thing for sure- politics will not be the same in thi next upcoming election. The future of our country is at stake.
    • Gitano Jr. (14/03/2018, 03:12) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      And discriminating against some of the people like The hill man who used to be in immigration. Hmmm
  • Thr 2 Doc Show (14/03/2018, 06:37) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP was always the 2 Doc show. The devision was there from the start. the only 2 NDP that never lost an election...Brandy Wine Bay beach was a very unpopular project never had the support of the people yet they sprint along wasting millions.. Those two I heard was responsible for the discontinuation of music fest.. The people's fun and the country's external annual attraction..The Devision was there from the start.. People cant take it no more.. Time to stand up like caring mature individuals..
  • cromwell (14/03/2018, 07:15) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    Suggest you all consider looking at all the other islands, Cayman, Bermuda, Guernsey, Jersey etc etc. Their economies are booming, so, what are they doing different to the BVI. Well, firstly, they bring in outside experts to run everything as against insisting it has to be a local do it. You have brought this upon yourselves by limiting your progress by excluding outside expert support in favor of small island thinking. Now the outside world really is not interested in digging you out of the mess you created for yourselves.
  • speak your mind (14/03/2018, 08:55) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    ITS GONNA BE HARD FOR FOR ANY ELECTED PARTY TO RUN THIS COUNTRY.
    BECAUSE TORTOLA PEOPLE ARE LIKE NO OTHER. THEY COMPLAIN ABOUT EVERYTHING.
    NEVER SATISFIED, ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT EACH OTHER AND THEY NEVER THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY. THEY WANT EVERYTHING NOW, AND IF THEY DONT GET IT NOW, THEY COMPLAIN AND SPREAD RUMORS.
    TORTOLA PEOPLE DONT LIKE CHANGE. TO BAD FOR YOU IF YOU GET OFFENDED, THE TRUTH IS THE TRUTH! I COULD SAY SO MUCH MORE, BUT I'LL LEAVE IT THERE FOR A WHILE.
  • BVI First !!! (14/03/2018, 17:39) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    First of all the simple truth is that the government has no plan other than to beg and spend. There is not even any conversation regarding how this proposed recovery loan will be repaid. And if and when the government defaults despite the UK guarantee the cost of capital in BVI will skyrocket for all.

    Second of all the UK is essentially setting up parameters for the gentrification of our community. Therefore we need to be weary not only of the gift but also the giver. And surrender of our political autonomy is simply to high a price even for $400 million.

    Third of all we should consider the biblical lessons in “parable of the talents”. The Lord took from his servant who did not invest wisely. And truth be told this servant was only actually guilty of hoarding resources. One shutters to think what the Lord would have done with a servant who blatantly squandered resources. However the important lesson is that those “who are faithful over a little, will be set over much”.

    We can not reasonably be expected to trust this government to negotiate and manage a $400 million recovery loan after countless financial missteps including giving away $7 million to BVI Airways and mismanaging over $80 million at Tortola Pier Park. This government is simply not a “good and faithful servant”.
  • more money (14/03/2018, 18:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why they don't want to do this, we need the loans


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