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By-Election debate ongoing within NDP

The main Opposition VIP confirmed candidate is Department of Motor Vehicles boss, Mr Kye M. Rymer, who is the front runner. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands Alliance will run Comptroller of Customs, Mr Wade N. Smith. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands Alliance will run Comptroller of Customs, Mr Wade N. Smith. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Myron V. Walwyn’s (AL) wing, will run former Legislator Elvis J. Harrigan. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Myron V. Walwyn’s (AL) wing, will run former Legislator Elvis J. Harrigan. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Following the death and burial of late Firth District Representative, Honourable Delores Lettsome-Christopher, there is an active debate with the split National Democratic Party (NDP) over a By-Election.

Some within the party mainly the Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton’s (AL) wing, is hoping the NDP goes to a general election that likely could happened between March and April 2019. 

Other elements in the party want a By-Election in January 2019 and have begun consultation with the Governor, the Police Commissioner and election office, preparing for one.

No date has been announced either by Premier and Co Leader of Government Business Dr the Honourable  D. Orlando Smith (AL) or United Kingdom appointed Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert.

However, if the by-election is called in January 2019 to fill the vacant fifth district seat, it could mean the collapse of the already  divided NDP, as the Honourable Myron V. Walwyn’s (AL) wing, will run former Legislator Elvis J. Harrigan, while the Hon Skelton wing now called the Virgin Islands Alliance (VIA) will run Comptroller of Customs, Mr Wade N. Smith.

The main Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) confirmed candidate is Department of Motor Vehicles boss, Mr Kye M.  Rymer, who is the front runner.

The election laws

Legal experts say the 2007 Constitutional Order itself, does not deal with by-elections, the matter arises under the Election Act, 1994.

The 2007 Constitution only deals with vacancies, and it is believed that the British Overseas Territory of the Virgin Islands’ (VI) process is somewhat different from the United Kingdom (UK).

In reading Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 23rd Edition, there is a specific process outlined when a member of the UK House of Commons dies in office.

There is no similar provision under the VI Constitutional Order or the Standing Orders.

In fact, the only provision under the Constitution that would allow for a vacancy upon death, is under Section 67 (3)(B) by virtue of being absent for a period prescribed by the Standing Orders.—by virtue of Standing Order 84 (2).

That the period is three consecutive sittings, in any one session without leave of the Speaker.

Therefore, after the next three consecutive sittings, (there has been two consecutive Sitting since the late legislator’s passing), the seat for District Five becomes vacant and the Election Act, 1994, then kicks in.

It would then require a Writ of Election to be issued, by the Election Office.

A call to government’s Chief Information Officer Ms Desiree Smith, was not returned instead, a text message was sent claiming, “I am in a meeting.”

16 Responses to “By-Election debate ongoing within NDP”

  • wize up (07/11/2018, 12:00) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Harrigan(really)’s really funny because the buzz word is how broke this territory is, however this is the most political drama is have even seen in 60-years: locks like the VIP group finally pushed fraser from the VIP-train and now moving forward: NDP now have different 3 factions and only time will tell:this is a prime example of the democratic freedom we continue to enjoy in this country(long live the Queen)
    • Jaigon (07/11/2018, 15:37) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply
      @ Wize up. No one pushed Frazer anywhere, he pulled himself completely away and now cannot even pool a team together to form his own party. Heard he was trying to regroup some retired/ wounded horses together to make a comeback.
      • wize up (07/11/2018, 17:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ jaigon: so what’s with that big billboard in Road Town: can you share the names of the wounded: and you said he actually jumped of his own free will from the moving VIP train....but some says he running for the #3 on the TCP party tickets(it’s a covert operation!!!’)
        • Jaigon (07/11/2018, 19:53) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
          @wize up. Well the big billboard was when he was trying to start something. He cannot get a party together so he have no choice but to get on board with TCP. The wounded, Scatliffe, Flax, Penn, Malone, Christopher, Rhymer, just to name a few.
          • wize up (08/11/2018, 10:36) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
            @ jaigon: I personally think fraser will make a good leader of government business: at the ending of the day the direction of our country must be and have to revisited....something wrong
  • asking for a freind (07/11/2018, 12:03) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    what about lesmore? Is he not with Joe frazer?
    • wize up (07/11/2018, 14:52) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ asking for friend: joe Frazer could a silent partner with the TCP Party: heard so While passing by a class-room yesterday !!!!
    • Sparrow (07/11/2018, 16:36) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ asking for a friend, what about who? “LESS” More.
  • overseas (07/11/2018, 13:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hope they take into consideration students who will be home for Christmas and would like to vote before returning to school in January.
  • Lawyer (07/11/2018, 14:51) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    two candidates have a job already, one needs a job. The choice is crystal clear!! Lets make the BVI better and stronger, all hands on deck.
  • Music (07/11/2018, 16:05) Like (15) Dislike (8) Reply
    Wade Smith cost the government millions over the Delta affair.

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