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Mark H. Vanterpool should be made to ‘forfeit’ nomination fee- Caller

- said such matters should come with consequences
Fourth District Representative-Elect Mr Mark H. Vanterpool should be made to forfeit his $1000 paid as nomination fee for the February 25, 2019 General Elections, a caller to the radio talk show Speak Out BVI on ZBVI 780 AM on May 7, 2019 suggested. Photo: Facebook
Lawyers representing Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon Julian Willock, and by extension the Government of the Virgin Islands, have filed an appeal against the High Court ruling of May 2, 2019 to have Mr Mark H. Vanterpool sworn in as the Fourth District Representative. Photo: GIS/File
Lawyers representing Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon Julian Willock, and by extension the Government of the Virgin Islands, have filed an appeal against the High Court ruling of May 2, 2019 to have Mr Mark H. Vanterpool sworn in as the Fourth District Representative. Photo: GIS/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A caller to the talk show Speak Out BVI with host Doug Wheatley on ZBVI 780 AM on May 7, 2019 suggested that Fourth District Representative-Elect Mr Mark H. Vanterpool be made to forfeit his $1000 paid as nomination fee for the February 25, 2019 General Elections.

Mr Vanterpool had retained his seat as the Representative for the Fourth District but days after submitted his resignation to the House of Assembly and announced it publicly via press release and social media. He; however, subsequently had a change of heart and asked to be sworn in as a Member of the House of Assembly.

His argument was that he didn’t address the letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly as is required by the constitution but rather he addressed it to the Clerk, which made his resignation letter invalid.

When the Speaker Honourable Julian Willock refused to swear in Mr Vanterpool he turned to the High Court and was subsequently granted a ruling in his favour. The Speaker has since filed an appeal.

Mr Vanterpool should face ‘consequences’

According to the caller to Speak Out BVI, Mr Vanterpool should either be fined or made to forfeit his refundable $1000 nomination fee.

“There also should be consequences for the whole event,” the caller stated, while referring to a case that took place in the House of Commons in 1880 when an elected Member of Parliament, Charles Bradlaugh, was disallowed in the House of Commons for refusing to take the religious Oath of Allegiance. Mr Bradlaugh, an atheist, had said the Oath would have been meaningless to him.”

Because Members had to take the oath before being allowed to take their seats, Bradlaugh effectively forfeited his seat in Parliament. His seat fell vacant and a by-election was declared.

On at least one occasion, Bradlaugh was escorted from the House by police officers. In 1883 he took his seat and voted three times before being fined £1,500 for voting illegally. A bill allowing him to affirm was defeated in Parliament.

According to Wikipedia, in 1886 Bradlaugh was finally allowed to take the oath, and did so at the risk of prosecution under the Parliamentary Oaths Act. Two years later, in 1888, he secured passage of a new Oaths Act,[22] which enshrined into law the right of affirmation for members of both House of Commons and House of Lords.

According to the caller, similarly, Mr Vanterpool should be made to face some consequences.

“Because Mr Bradlaugh was fined 1500 Pounds, and I think the elected representative should have been allowed to forfeit the $1000 he paid on Nomination Day, even if he is sworn in. But these matters got to come with consequences; you cannot just do what you want.”

Vanterpool was a ‘little disrespectful to his constituents’

Another caller to the show said he had preferred that the matter not reach the courts but thought that the way Mr Vanterpool resigned was “a little disrespectful to his constituents and the country as a whole…”

In a press release sent out to the media on May 5, 2019 Mr Vanterpool cited personal reasons as the motive for the resignation and apologised to the people of the Fourth District 4 for the sudden move. 

“Today I have advised the Clerk of the House of Assembly that I wish to be excused from sitting in the next House of Assembly due to be convened on 12th March 2019. I am aware that this would be very surprising to the residents of District 4 and the territory, having been duly elected in the February 25, 2019, General Elections,” he said in the opening of his statement.

“However, allow me to say that this is a decision I have made for personal reasons... I sincerely regret the disappointment and inconvenience that this will cause. I wish to thank all the constituents of District 4 and the citizens of the Territory for allowing me to serve you for four (4) terms in the House of Assembly,” Hon Vanterpool said.

According to the caller, one can’t just decide one day they are going to quit and then suddenly want back the job.

“What is really going on there? And that is something we have to look into. You can’t just say it is invalid.”

Another caller expressed concern about the “stability” of Mr Vanterpool due to his sudden decisions and said she would have liked to know what was going on in the mind of Mr Vanterpool when he suddenly resigned and then wanted to withdraw his resignation.

17 Responses to “Mark H. Vanterpool should be made to ‘forfeit’ nomination fee- Caller”

  • 123 (08/05/2019, 12:15) Like (13) Dislike (8) Reply
    let the court decide
  • SMH (08/05/2019, 12:16) Like (32) Dislike (20) Reply
    Vanterpool caused all this...let him alone suffer the consequences. Forfeit his nomination Fee and pay all Court Fees accumulated. That mentality he has is very foolish at this time. No matter what, he ain't going to disrupt the House Of Assembly.
  • Case closed!!!! (08/05/2019, 12:25) Like (25) Dislike (15) Reply
    Don't you guys realize the case is closed? The appeal will suffer same fate yet more expensive. Why continue to reprint the circumstances surrounding the event, which by the way are never complete. Keep forgetting that the speaker drew to Mr. Vanterpool's attention that his INTENDED resignation was invalid (unacceptable) as it was not addressed to HIM. Intention bears no weight in the matter. Similarly Willock's Trinidad lawyer INTENDED to visit BVI last week but he could not and in fact did not. Should BVI immigration processes him as having arrived in the BVI on the basis of his intention? So unlike the UK minister Mark did not do anything legally wrong. On what basis does the caller think he should be fined- because he the caller) misinterpreted his research finding? The courts cannot make up rules and impose penalties just so. We know better yet trying to make a story out of this?
    • rock city (08/05/2019, 15:22) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
      I am NOT a VIP blogger. I voted for Mark. The Speaker has did the right thing in appealing. He did said let the court decide and there is some three courts.
      Ignore the Puppet masters whishing to over turn the 2019 elections results
    • @case closed (08/05/2019, 15:48) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
      The Speaker intended to say allow the HOA to determine the issue, but instead said the court. Now he has corrected himself, so where does your pigeon hole example intend to stand now.
  • qc (08/05/2019, 12:28) Like (13) Dislike (10) Reply
    Mark has been turning people against the NDP it means that VIP will be there long
  • lodger (08/05/2019, 13:18) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    Nomination fee only has to be forfeited if you dont get one eigth of the votes.
  • pat (08/05/2019, 13:23) Like (13) Dislike (16) Reply
    Mark and Myron and their 4 bloggers are getting ridiculous. They have no got the memo that VIP won the elections
    • You are laughable (08/05/2019, 15:34) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
      Who is disputing that VIP won, are you reading the blogs. Stop making unnecessary remark.
  • Tristanian (08/05/2019, 19:22) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
    Forget Mark and the Court, We want our 41 million and the 7.2 million back ASAP
  • District IV (09/05/2019, 04:59) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply

    I live in district 4 and to be honest, I don’t care for mark to be any representative of mine or this country matter of fact. I feel disrespected. He came campaigning and and skinning he ugly teeth with all that talk and b***ery begging for a vote and to be put back in. We stood in that line on Election Day and supported him wasted our time putting the X at his name only for his l**ng as* to come days later bout he ain want to represent us again for personal reasons. This ain’t no personal decision. Was it life or death or health? And if it was, is he (or they/ wife/ family) suddenly cured? Does this man really realize what he did and what’s really going on here?? This ain’t no joke. This job doesn’t come with a big eraser or a bottle of white out. All of this back and forth, he caused it. All. It doesn’t get any more serious than this. He wants to be a minister of government today, then he doesn’t want to be that again this afternoon. He think he on the play ground?? Cause he acting like a big spoiled child and that is all I see when I see him about the place like he looking for something to do. I feel that there should be big consequences to pay for his actions of course. It sends a bad message and leaving a bitter taste.
    Get away n don’t come back here.

  • wize up (09/05/2019, 06:40) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    why dont Mark cross the floor and link up with Virgin Islands Party(he jump ship before)
  • Quiet Warrior (09/05/2019, 11:03) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Though it is my opinion that the court errored in determining that Mark resignation was invalid, the rule of law must carry the day. The laws currently in place must apply. We cannot make up laws and apply them retroactively. Mark intended to resign and he resigned. Intent, intent, intent! Whether Mark sent his letter to the Speaker ( HOA was dissolved), Clerk, Premier or a rat does not matter. He resigned. He dissed D-4 and the people. Disgrace himself and the Honourable HOA and trample and pi...d on the process. If he truly likes D-4, call it george. Mark caused this royal mess.
    • wize up (09/05/2019, 17:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ quiet warrior: I second your motion: for peace I would have simply swear him in however as you noted it was mark intention to resign hours after he was declared successful at the poles:
    • RAJ (18/05/2019, 00:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Would it have been valid if it was addressed to you "Quiet Warrior". A case for "Intent, Intent, Intent" could still been made, right?
  • 1 (12/05/2019, 17:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Willock is spot on

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