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'D4 saga is not about Willock or Vanterpool' - Skelton-Cline

- Says it has constitutional precedence & ‘dialogue must continue’
Speaker of the House of Assembly (HoA) Hon Julian Willock, left, refused to swear in to the HoA Fourth District Representative-Elect Mr Mark H. Vanterpool who had resigned as the elected representative but suddenly changed his mind. Photo: VINO/File
On the Tuesday, May 14, 2019 edition of the radio show 'Honestly Speaking with Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the commentator encouraged his audience to actively talk about the matters regarding House of Assembly Speaker Mr Julian Willock and Fourth District Representative-Elect Mr Mark H. Vanterpool, regardless of the characters involved, since according to him, the outcome will have great future implications for the Territory. Photo: Facebook
On the Tuesday, May 14, 2019 edition of the radio show 'Honestly Speaking with Claude O. Skelton-Cline, the commentator encouraged his audience to actively talk about the matters regarding House of Assembly Speaker Mr Julian Willock and Fourth District Representative-Elect Mr Mark H. Vanterpool, regardless of the characters involved, since according to him, the outcome will have great future implications for the Territory. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – ZBVI 780am ‘Honestly Speaking’ commentator Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline is imploring that the saga surrounding the Fourth District seat of Representative-elect, Mr Mark H. Vanterpool and House of Assembly (HoA) Speaker, Hon Julian Willock is not about the characters involved, rather, it’s a matter of constitutional precedence and the dialogue must continue.

Mr Skelton-Cline uttered the sentiments on the Tuesday, May 14, 2019, edition of his radio show where he also encouraged his audience to actively talk about the matters, regardless of the characters involved since, according to him, the outcome will have great future implications for the territory.

Keep Talking – Skelton-Cline

“When we’re discussing these matters… this is a matter of constitutional proportion and what would be helpful is if we do not reduce the conversation, the dialogue, even the debate to the current personalities, the current characters that sit in the particular seat,” he said. 

The controversy officially began on March 5, 2019, after Mr Vanterpool—who won the Fourth District seat in the February 25, 2019 polls—submitted his resignation to the House of Assembly with a letter addressed to the Clerk of the House as a Speaker had not yet been named.

Following that, Mr Vanterpool recanted his resignation on March 14, 2019, citing incorrect resignation procedure, while noting that the people of his district had encouraged him to continue being their representative.

Speaker Willock, however, had stated the resignation was already accepted and refused to swear Mr Vanterpool into the HoA, leading to the entire D4 saga which is now at the final Appeal's Court, following a High Court ruling in favour of Mr Vanterpool.

According to the man of the cloth, Skelton-Cline, “It has constitutional importance, there are certain powers constitutionally that’s vested to the Executive Branch, that’s vested to the Legislative Branch, that's vested to our Judicial Branch,” Mr Skelton-Cline pointed out, in noting that the matter surrounding the current court case stemmed from a certain amount of silence in the constitution to this regard.

“And these powers, there are certain separations that exist and clearly the Legislative Branch, in this case, the Speaker of the House whomever he or she is, there are certain powers that are vested there in the Office of the Premier, in the office of the Governor, in the judiciary," he told the radio audience in underscoring that the Speaker had the power to take the route that was taken.

Constitutional Silence 

Skelton-Cline pointed out that the Judge in the first High Court ruling was correct to not grant a Judicial Review, “the courts were not the proper venue for the matter,” he reiterated in pointing out that it should have been settled in the Parliament.

Other persons have also expressed that the matter should have been resolved via a Parliamentary Procedure, whereby Members cast their votes, usually via secret ballots.

Other talk show commentators have also noted the need to address the constitution to ensure another such issue never recurs.

“In a matter where our constitution is silent, then there's always a need for interpretation. We must see the constitution as a living document. Where in each generation or in each season, or in each occasion, has to be interpreted. And when there’s silence to give voice to the silent place until there are opportunities for constitutional reforms," Mr Skelton-Cline stated.

He further pointed out that in the entire D4 conundrum, “This is not about Honourable Julian Willock, this is not about Honourable Mark Vanterpool. This, in my opinion, is a constitutional matter that needs to be properly distilled, properly ventilated.”

6 Responses to “'D4 saga is not about Willock or Vanterpool' - Skelton-Cline ”

  • stop (15/05/2019, 11:36) Like (27) Dislike (4) Reply

    Stop it. You know better. Why do you enjoy throwing oil on Fire.? Encourage VIP Fahie and The speaker to accept their defeat as they agreed to.. All legal litigation has ruled in Mark's favor.. Mark will always win no matter what court they want to go to. 

  • ABC (15/05/2019, 11:41) Like (9) Dislike (19) Reply
    We with jw
  • Outlaw (15/05/2019, 12:04) Like (24) Dislike (12) Reply
    Thanks Mr. Cline. Although I agree with you, that the matter should have been handle by the parliament, it would have still ended up in the courts because someone would have been aggrieved. So the courts have to make a decision on this matter. The high court make a ruling two weeks ago but I strongly believe that the judge erred when she ruled that the speaker swear in the 4th district elect immediately. I personally feel that she have no authority to make that ruling. Hence the appeal by the speaker. Now we have to understand that every ruling a court made can be challenged in a higher court and that is what is happening here. The speaker have a moral right to appeal the courts decision. I listened to Mr. Lorie Rhymer in a program Monday night and to be honest that show is just much to do about nothing. The matter is still before the court and no petition, demonstrations or what ever can compel the speaker to swear in the member. We still have to await the COA ruling. So all they planning to do is if none effect. Mr. Rhymer also read from section 119 of the constitution which is neither here nor there and have nothing to do with the matter at hand. Every laws that are made is not written in stone, it always can be challenged.
  • Very Confused (15/05/2019, 17:05) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    So as explained many times from the Willock corner, the matter must be resolved by the House of Assembly. So my foolish question is why has the legal minds from that end keep insisting that the matter be heard in court? So we can assume that in the event the Court of Appeal upholds the lower courts decision the song we will hear again is that we di not accept that decision but more so we will not honor any order/ suggestions because even the court of appeals cannot issue a directive to the House of Assembly. Hmmm. Yet the government waiting for a second time for a court decision rather than resolving the matter as they have the jurisdiction to do so. And we continue to ask, at whose expense?


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