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I am awake! Premier Smith fires back @ Opposition Leader for ‘claiming victory’

- said he is not surprised since an election year is around the corner
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, has promptly fired back at Leader of the Opposition Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, who had said in a statement following the vote on the Bill ‘Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018’ that he had said ‘yes’ to it because his primary concern was addressed and also noted that Premier Smith had ‘caved’ in producing essential documents long requested by Members of the House of Assembly. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), standing, left, has accused Leader of the Opposition Hon Andrew A. Fahie, right, of playing politics with the recently passed ‘Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018’ Bill. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), standing, left, has accused Leader of the Opposition Hon Andrew A. Fahie, right, of playing politics with the recently passed ‘Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018’ Bill. Photo: VINO/File
With the passing of the Bill ‘Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018’, the Territory has moved a step closer to benefiting from loan guarantees offered by the United Kingdom as the Territory seeks to borrow monies to rebuild following the destruction of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Photo: VINO/File
With the passing of the Bill ‘Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018’, the Territory has moved a step closer to benefiting from loan guarantees offered by the United Kingdom as the Territory seeks to borrow monies to rebuild following the destruction of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The usually quiet and seemingly sleeping and clueless Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), who has been struggling to hold his National Democratic Party (NDP) Government together, seems to have been given a shot of energy and courage with the passing of the controversial Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 in the House of Assembly yesterday, March 27, 2018.

Dr Smith promptly fired back at Leader of the Opposition Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who had said in a statement following the vote on the Bill that he had said ‘yes’ to it because his primary concern was addressed and also noted that Premier Smith had “caved” in producing essential documents long requested by Members of the House of Assembly, including some of the Backbenchers, for them to make an informed decision when it came to voting on the Bill.

The controversial Bill brought to the House of Assembly by Premier Smith was voted on and passed with amendments.

10 Members, including Honourable Fahie, voted in favour of the Bill, while two Members, Opposition Member Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R1) and Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull, voted against the Bill. Deputy Speaker and Fifth District Representative Hon Delores Christopher was absent.

Hon Fahie campaigning early?

In his statement today, March 28, 2018 Premier Smith accused Hon Fahie of playing politics and early campaigning.

“It is amazing, but not surprising that the Leader of the Opposition would claim victory for his participation in the discussion, after all an election year is just around the corner.

“It is also not surprising that he would regurgitate statements that he has made in the house over the past years, many inaccurate and to which I have responded and will continue to respond when necessary.”

Hon Fahie had repeated statements alleging that because the current Administration failed to police themselves, the Territory is now being policed. “Poor financial stewardship through many Constitutional violations over the past six consecutive years is mainly responsible for where we are today. I made it clear to the Government of the day that we must restore confidence in these Virgin Islands especially for investors (both local and foreign), the UK and the voters. As a result, I participated in making many amendments to the bill,” Hon Fahie remarked.

According to Premier Smith, he had indeed spoken to Hon Fahie as well as to other Members before the conclusion of the debate about supporting a position that was in the best interest of the people of these Islands and he was grateful that many of them took heed.

“This is what is expected of a leader when he is doing something in the best interest of the people,” Dr Smith stated.

Much ado about nothing

One of the concerns of the legislators who had expressed reluctance in supporting the Bill was that Premier Smith was seemingly being secretive about the plans and what the UK had mandated as well as to what he had already committed to.

Premier Smith was asked to produce correspondence between himself and the UK since November on the recovery and development plan but refused, alleging they were “confidential documents.”

He had a different explanation today, however.

“First, as I said yesterday when I read to the public the cover letter to the document called ‘The high level principles’, I had presented to members all documents that were required on the matter. Indeed, the demand for quote unquote “all documents” was much ado about nothing, as Members of the public would have realised on hearing the contents.”

Premier Smith also claimed that before having the debate on the Bill, the Cabinet had continuous engagement with the UK to ensure that the people of the VI were able to get the help needed and at the best terms, including assurance that the borrowing guidelines would be reviewed to accommodate the necessary increased loans for recovery.

This was a primary concern that Hon Fahie had expressed in the House of Assembly but stated he was satisfied that it was addressed before the vote.

And according to Premier Smith, “Specifically, I have repeatedly said, including as recently as last Monday in wrapping up the debate, that funding is necessary but that we would not be borrowing 300 hundred million pounds at once. We would borrow incrementally as needed. I share the Leader of the Opposition’s concern that this Territory not borrow in excess of our ability to repay.”

Who is trying to score political points here?

Hon Fahie had also said that the “Composition of the Board was amended to include a youth to be selected by the Leader of the Opposition; and the Premier to select a person from one of the sister islands.

But according to Premier Smith, the composition of the Board was not changed, “rather it was agreed that the Leader of the Opposition’s selection would be a youth (a suggestion from my government) and the Premier’s selection would be a member from the sister Islands. Both are important points which would have been addressed in any case.”

Dr Smith, with his seemingly renewed energy and alertness, will be holding a press briefing on the Recovery and Development Agency and related matters today, March 28, 2018.

See link to related article:

http://www.virginislandsnewsonline.com/en/news/the-premier-caved-provided-essential-documents-hon-fahie

26 Responses to “I am awake! Premier Smith fires back @ Opposition Leader for ‘claiming victory’”

  • voter (28/03/2018, 12:53) Like (13) Dislike (34) Reply
    My money on Mr zzzzzzzzz
    • Well (28/03/2018, 14:56) Like (26) Dislike (15) Reply
      We need a PREMIER who do not sleep on the job and now telling us he is awake. Only stupid people sign with out reading what they are signing . Please stop that childishness and start the recovery. What you did last was to first.
    • @ voter (28/03/2018, 15:17) Like (21) Dislike (9) Reply
      until he falls asleep again
  • tears (28/03/2018, 12:54) Like (15) Dislike (25) Reply
    "Don't play with our premier, he is not a toy to be played with." Premier has woken up from his long slumber. Campaigning start now...popcorn time now again.
  • Hmmm (28/03/2018, 13:07) Like (46) Dislike (20) Reply
    It is clear that the Premier cannot be trusted.
  • People (28/03/2018, 13:09) Like (42) Dislike (8) Reply
    I do not see why the Premier is answering to a statement made by the Leader of the Opposition. All Fahie was doing was stating why he decided to vote yes for the legislation. There's no problem with that.
    • Jacperlance (28/03/2018, 18:03) Like (19) Dislike (3) Reply
      Ungrateful old man, he was like a little puppy with its tail lap when he wanted the members to vote yes but now he got the votes, he gain his composure and still in a denying state. Lying seems to be the norm. Talking about answering questions in the house, yes answering is one thing but answering truthfully is another
  • Clearly (28/03/2018, 13:09) Like (46) Dislike (21) Reply
    It is clear that Smith is a poor leader. His side is falling apart because of his poor leadership.
    • Bonagide (29/03/2018, 12:01) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      The other side has no sides none whatsoever...cant even be a snap election because there is no other side and what puddle their is on the other side just attempting to tear down what is lefy of Government.
  • Come on (28/03/2018, 13:11) Like (44) Dislike (9) Reply
    Premier come on and act mature. The Leader of the Opposition did not attack you in his press release so why are you coming now with this tic for tac nonsense? Get on with the Recovery.
    • Shaking My head (28/03/2018, 14:02) Like (39) Dislike (2) Reply
      I really don't get it.

      1. Of course the composition changed. The arrangement has shifted, albeit slightly. The Premier is correct that the number of possible board members has not changed but there is now a restriction on who the Premier and LOO can select, so that is a change in the quality of the composition if not the quantity of the composition.

      2. Information Sharing. The Premier shared with members of the HOA what he had previously not shared. Hence, another reason members got comfortable;

      3. Important documentation came from the FCO recently showing UK's relaxation in their attitude toward the recover, which also made members comfortable and which the Premier shared with his members.

      Had he not done that, this vote would have not passed in this way, if passed at all. So, the Premier knows that he did compromise in order to succeed and that can be admitted by him as a leader or by any leader, as the amendments to the bill were for the betterment of the Virgin Islands so he should be proud to say that he was happy to support the amendments made.
  • Okay now (28/03/2018, 13:12) Like (36) Dislike (15) Reply
    Orlando crying fowl but why. He got us in this mess and everyone except him knows that his government is corrupt.
  • LOL (28/03/2018, 13:14) Like (18) Dislike (8) Reply
    Snap election in the air
  • one thing (28/03/2018, 13:16) Like (43) Dislike (8) Reply
    One thing that most of us have come to realise is that the Premier is a stranger to the TRUTH.
  • Disgusted (28/03/2018, 13:35) Like (34) Dislike (4) Reply
    Big men should act in a mature manner. No need for this foolishness.
  • farmer brown (28/03/2018, 14:00) Like (24) Dislike (6) Reply
    But Mitch made a video and confirmed what Foy said so what the big deal? just more lies from Dr ZZZZZZZ
    • No (28/03/2018, 14:51) Like (24) Dislike (31) Reply
      Mitch video confirms he is a confused young man. He should have let the vote speak for itself instead of doubling down on nonsense. Beef Island is packed full of tourists today with the ship in because cane garden bay is in shambles. Do you think when cane garden finally decides to rebuild that this will change? He is in for a very rude awakening if he continues on this track of destruction. I don't know who is advising him but it has become a national embarrassment. I agree we need the money, I agree we need help but I don't like how the process went that's why I vote no. So if others voted like that and the bill got defeated how would cane garden bay, jvd and others be rebuilt? He should have said that in his video as well.
  • watch it (28/03/2018, 14:06) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    Summer election? Hmmm
  • Yep (28/03/2018, 14:31) Like (15) Dislike (28) Reply
    Foy is a snake in the grass from long
  • dude (28/03/2018, 15:05) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
    Doc found campaign $$ so he talking again, feeling confident huh? Be humble doc you've showed who u are u cannot survive
  • voiceofthevoiceless (28/03/2018, 19:01) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Doc just awoke from his slumber after 6 years of fiscal irresponsible behavior by his administration? No audited statements, 7 million gone to BVI Airways, 30 plus million over-expenditure at the Pier park, Million dollar wall just to name a few of the major mishaps. That money could have come in handy today.

    Anyways let us hope that his Agency would enforce the needed oversight to allow for management of projects going forward but the reality is that we should not have been in this big a mess to begin with.
  • tola (29/03/2018, 11:51) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dr smith action aint surprise me fake piece of hmmm
  • fowl foot (30/03/2018, 05:41) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    The king is coming get ready


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