Governor seems ‘hell bent’ on running the country- Hon Fraser
“Could you imagine, the Comptroller of Customs telling the Premier he needs $800,000 to patrol the waters and immediately proceeded to sign his own warrant for the Accountant General to give him the money. NO. Because the Comptroller of Customs don't have that power. But the Governor does, and that's what he did for his police,” Hon Fraser wrote on his Facebook page on March 16, 2017.
Recalling that on January 10, 2017 he had stated on Facebook that police officers are humans and that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) should not be in competition for funds in order to provide the necessary resources to keep the peace, Hon Fraser had said persons shouldn’t expect that to change as long as the RVIPF remained under the Governor.
“I was wrong, because I didn't think the day would come when I would see a Governor exercise a Monarchial takeover of our Treasury. This is what I call a soft takeover of the democratically elected Smith Government. The Governor was wrong and he has to be stopped,” Hon Fraser stated yesterday, March 16, 2017.
Act of desperation
The former Leader of the Opposition reminded too that he had also stated in his January post that as long as the RVIPF is under the Governor the elected Government would never feel the necessary pressures to properly fund the Police because the issue of crime is always the responsibility of those in charge. “There is no reason the Governor can't give responsibility for the police to the Premier. It happens in Bermuda, and it has been working for decades. The mechanism for this exists constitutionally. We need to make our Elected Government responsible for keeping us safe, and if they don’t, hold them accountable," Hon Fraser had stated.
The long serving legislator said he still believes this, “because it is the democratic thing to do. What the Governor did was an act of desperation and undemocratic.”
Noting that some might disagree with him, Hon Fraser said it is his opinion that the Governor ought to stay out of local politics. “…he has the Protocols for Effective Financial Management to hold the government accountable with. That is an Administrative arrangement between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Government of the Virgin Islands to keep the Government frugal in its financial affairs.
“What happened today, has set this territory back at least a decade in our Constitutional advancement, and has shaken the core of our democracy. Hate the Government all you want, but keep your dignity by respecting your fellow Virgin Islanders. They did it to him, what makes you think you are any different?”
Opposition Leader not ready to speak
His Excellency Governor Duncan, who has been publicly embarrassing and blasting this government, told the local media yesterday that he had used his reserved powers under the constitution to direct the Accountant General via warrant to allocate the sum of $800,000 to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).
Last month Governor Duncan made public that since the NDP took office they have cut the Police operations budget by some 46% percent and told persons at a government ceremony that this administration has no regard for “priority in spending.”
Meanwhile, this news site sought the views of Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) on Governor Duncan’s historic move yesterday; however, Hon Fahie stated he would share his views at another time.
“I will release my views in due course,” the Opposition Leader responded.