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Elections observers' recommendations should be heeded – Gov Duncan

- chides online news site for ‘fanning the flames’ of electorates
His Excellency the Governor John S. Duncan said the advice of the Commonwealth Observer Mission should be heeded. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith takes the Oath of Office before His Excellency, Governor John S. Duncan. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith takes the Oath of Office before His Excellency, Governor John S. Duncan. Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering returns to office as Minister for Natural Resources and Labour. Photo: VINO
Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering returns to office as Minister for Natural Resources and Labour. Photo: VINO
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton taking the Oath of Office. Photo: VINO
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton taking the Oath of Office. Photo: VINO
Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool, the 'Action man', being sworn in as Minister for Communications and Works at yesterday's June 10, 2015 ceremony. Photo: VINO
Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool, the 'Action man', being sworn in as Minister for Communications and Works at yesterday's June 10, 2015 ceremony. Photo: VINO
Honourable Myron V. Walwyn returns to serve another term as Minister for Education and Culture. Photo: VINO
Honourable Myron V. Walwyn returns to serve another term as Minister for Education and Culture. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- His Excellency the Governor, John S. Duncan OBE said the advice of the elections observers, which speaks to the fact that greater improvements are needed in the voting and counting processes as well as to address the deficiencies in regulatory framework, should be heeded.

He made the statement yesterday afternoon, June 10, 2015 at the official swearing in ceremony of the Premier and the Ministers of Government on the lawns of the Central Administration Complex in Road Town, Tortola.

Fanning the Flames

“I also note from the mission’s report that many members of the public voiced concerns about the campaign having too much inflammatory and defamatory rhetoric rather than positive discussions of the major political issues.”

Quoting the report, he said that voters also expressed concerns about, “Online coverage of the campaign being used to incite and fan the flames of the electorates…and I am sure that all political parties and editors of local media will take heed,” said Governor Duncan.

Other territories ahead of the VI

He said he was particularly pleased in noting the elections observers reporting that the elections of the Virgin Islands was genuine, vibrant and competitive and the elections met the key international standards. “This is as it should be,” said the Governor as he also congratulated all the candidates, who contested the elections, for standing up before the public to set out their vision for the future and seek the support of the electorate.

“Their commitment to a democratic process is worthy of applause and I hope that they would continue to engage in a wider political process,” he added.

Governor Duncan also noted that the time for backroom and opaque decisions are a thing of the past but said, “Particularly in this 21st century age, with social and online media, and a number of territories are now ahead of us in this agenda.”

Congratulations

He did not fail to recognise and congratulate Honourable Julian Fraser, RA and Honourable Andrew A. Fahie on their return to office as he said he looks forward to continue working with both the Government and the Opposition as he stressed that the task of government is one of partnership.

Governor Duncan, in offering his congratulations to the people of the territory for renewing the proud heritage of the community and democracy by turning out in large numbers on polling day, said “It should be a pride to our community that no matter how much our views may differ, our democracy allows everyone to express their views freely and without fear.”

“If this elections has been passionate and hard fought, it has also been peaceful and fair. The mantle of Government has now been passed to the Honourable Premier Dr Orlando Smith, OBE and to this his team and I offer my own sincere congratulations to Dr Smith and his team for this significant victory at the polls,” said Governor Duncan.

Supervisor of Elections Juliette Penn and her team of elections officers also came in for congratulations. 

15 Responses to “Elections observers' recommendations should be heeded – Gov Duncan”

  • pat (11/06/2015, 12:48) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    Dem thief we elections just like dem do down island
  • God Help The BVI... (11/06/2015, 13:48) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    After electoral corruption the nation always falls. (This pattern never changes and the BVI is no exception!)
  • Thinking (11/06/2015, 14:28) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's not a bed of roses to successfully run a country but with God all things are possible. I wish the B.V.I. success.
  • Pat... (11/06/2015, 15:15) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Congratulations to NDP Government. With God's help, continue to work hard for the people.
    • Please.... (11/06/2015, 17:24) Like (13) Dislike (6) Reply
      God's help?...their devilish corruption and selling of votes got them in. Now their corrupt ways are going to distroy the country. God's mercy on the good God abiding citizen of the VI may a sign of protection be placed on your door-post when destruction comes.
      • Pat... (11/06/2015, 18:51) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
        We are protected, thank you. God will continue to bless these Virgin Islands.
        • @pat (12/06/2015, 08:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          Protected? Greedy Self-Centered People!! Protected by the spirit of greed? There is no protection when the wraith of God comes and He is coming. This election is just one sign of the greedy hearts of many in this nation. You have tested Him for far too long. He have shown me the judgment of these nations that are ruled by the spirit greed. (He will protect His people 'and not the ones who sit in church and on the pulpit besides His people'.) God has searched the hearts of this nation through this election and found many with the spirit of greed as their god. The god of greed will fall and God will rise! Your smiles will soon turn to despair and the foundation that You have built for Yourselves will fall. Final Warning Repent!!
  • ABC (11/06/2015, 21:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    That picture with the Governor and Mark is worth a thousand words.
  • dog (11/06/2015, 23:05) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I would like to know how the governor would recognize "backroom and opaque decisions". They are ingrained into the system. Also, I think the media covered issues well even if the two news sites had a different emphasis. It was the only way some of us heard both sides or different issues. It also brought up opinions and concerns not being addressed by candidates. I would have liked to see debates around the districts to see how candidates handle themselves. This is not a popularity or beauty contest though it was treated like one at times. I would also like to see women being taken more seriously. I highly doubt they would get into pissing contests at the ease some of the incumbents did. The tone of any campaign is set by the leaders. There were lots of whining and finger-pointing. Some of the most calm, well-spoken and dignified were Preston and Sheri. Dancia has experience and reputation, yet she is a woman and ran as independent. I'm waiting for the day when character and talent is considered before party and associations.

    As they say- "take what you like and leave the rest".
    • Sherry (12/06/2015, 23:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The Governor should have had the inquiry into the Cruise Ship Dock. People have a short memory and it was brought to the floor by BVI officials with an audit. It was ignored. You have to show a sign of transparency and willingness to keep things honest, even if some think it a bother.
  • nbc (12/06/2015, 10:20) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are many issues which need to be addressed before the next election. However, I am of the view that the most pressing issue on the books is that of "election financing." This election has, more than any thing else, demonstrated the need to introduce legislation which will require parties and individuals to disclose their source of funding. A cap should also be placed on such funds. To allow the present open ended system to remain in place will inevitably produce predictable results.
    • shaw (12/06/2015, 13:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      and conflict of interest and a fixed game plan for the benefit of the few at the detriment to the many.
  • A Concerned Duncan (14/06/2015, 14:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    When Governor Duncan stated that: "the time for backroom and opaque decisions are a thing of the past, and that “Particularly in this 21st century age, with social and online media, with a number of territories now ahead of us in this agenda,” he was talking from a point of embarrassment and concern.

    A description of the word Opaque is as follows: "Not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy; impenetrable to sight".

    For the governor to make that statement, it appears he is finally aware and convinced of those activities taking place under his watch.

    Given the contents of Overseas Election Observers "Preliminary Report", he knows that the final Report to be released in August is not going to be something he cannot be proud of.

    The "Action Man" humbling demeanor and the governor's Suspicious look says at him says a lot...(a picture is worth a 1,000 words). He darn well knows that there's has been conflict of interest, and deals "under and on top of the table" during the NDPS governance during the past 3.5 years.

    The "Overseas Observers Mission" will highlight quite a few things, and it appears that he is aware that it will prove that he has been less than an effective governor. I am sure the report will reach the desk of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    He darn well knows that the Auditor General"s report was one of substance, as well as that of the PAC. Had the Commission Of Inquiry been allowed, it is questionable whether the NDP would be in office today.

    Myron should not have been allowed to get away with his $100,000 catering deal with the HOA, when Keith Flax had to vacate the office of the Speaker, only because he was renting a section of his building to the Tourist board; something that is still happening.
    My suspicion is that Governor Duncan is a bit concerned that those things have happened under his watch and he cannot be happy about.

    To mention about the "Backroom and Opaque Deals", he must be convinced that it has been happening. Why would he even mention it?
    Instead, he would have been happy to talk about "his government's record of Accountability and Transparency". But he couldn't.


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