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'No Comments' – Speaker mum after D4 saga defeat

- High Court to rule on court costs on July 12, 2019
With Justice Ann-Marie Smith handing down the ultimatum that Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) Member-elect, Mr Mark H. Vanterpool be sworn into the House, Speaker Julian Willock has since remained silent on whether or not he intends to respect the ruling. Photo: VINO/GIS/File
In her May 2, 2019, decision following the District 4 (D4) conundrum surrounding the resignation of Mr Vanterpool, Justice Smith said that the resignation letter addressed to the Clerk of the HoA was invalid and hence, Mr Vanterpool is still eligible for the D4 seat. Photo: Internet Source
In her May 2, 2019, decision following the District 4 (D4) conundrum surrounding the resignation of Mr Vanterpool, Justice Smith said that the resignation letter addressed to the Clerk of the HoA was invalid and hence, Mr Vanterpool is still eligible for the D4 seat. Photo: Internet Source
The controversy begun on March 5, 2019, after Mr Vanterpool—who won the District 4 seat in the February 25, 2019, polls—submitted his resignation to the house to which it was advised the letter must be advised to the House Speaker and not the Clerk. Photo: VINO/File
The controversy begun on March 5, 2019, after Mr Vanterpool—who won the District 4 seat in the February 25, 2019, polls—submitted his resignation to the house to which it was advised the letter must be advised to the House Speaker and not the Clerk. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – With Justice Ann-Marie Smith ruling that Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) Member-elect, Mr Mark H. Vanterpool be sworn into the HoA, Speaker Julian Willock remains silent on whether or not he intends to respect the ruling.

In her May 2, 2019, decision following the District 4 (D4) conundrum surrounding the resignation of Mr Vanterpool, Justice Smith said the resignation letter addressed to the Clerk of the HoA was invalid and Mr Vanterpool is still eligible for his elected seat. 

The Judge in her ruling said the court was guided under Section 75 of the Constitution and noted that Mr Vanterpool could not constitutionally resign as there was no constitutionally recognised right conferred on him to resign during the interval between the General Elections and the date on which the HoA convened on March 12, 2019.

Justice Smith also indicated that the proper manner of resignation was not followed as prescribed in section 67 (3) (a) of the VI Constitution.

Willock Silent

Following the ruling, there has been a notable silence from the Speaker.

Inquiries to Speaker Willock from Virgin Islands News Online (VINO), to ascertain when he intends to respect the ruling of the court and swear Mr Vanterpool into the HoA, were met with “No Comments”.

Further, the Speaker is refusing to say if he intends to appeal the ruling of the High Court. 

Up to publication time, Mr Vanterpool could not be reached for comments regarding how he intends to move forward with the matter.

Genesis 

The controversy began on March 5, 2019, after Mr Vanterpool—who won the District 4 seat in the February 25, 2019 polls—submitted his resignation to the House of Assembly. The letter was 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.

Meanwhile, the High Court on July 12, 2019 will rule on the matter of court costs.

12 Responses to “'No Comments' – Speaker mum after D4 saga defeat”

  • zoe (07/05/2019, 14:03) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Let my people go
    • huh (07/05/2019, 15:54) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
      I am not sure I understand this - the Esteemed granted am interview to himself about what he is going to do about the Court telling him that he was wrong not to swear in Mark, and then declined to answer his own questions!!!
      Why doesn’t the Esteemed just be a good boy and do what the Judge told him?
  • YOLO (07/05/2019, 14:34) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Old news
  • Easy Fix (07/05/2019, 15:11) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    All Andrew needs to do is send the speaker on a training course, arrange a meeting of the house in his absence and allow the deputy speaker to swear in Vanterpool. Easy!!!, except the current stand off pleases Andrew????
  • Just wait Mr. Vanterpool (07/05/2019, 15:19) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    "Up to publication time, Mr Vanterpool could not be reached for comments regarding how he intends to move forward with the matter."

    Move forward? If I were Vanterpool I would not do a thing but wait it out. Done win the case. Done accept partial responsibility for saga and have since apologied to voters of District 4. Will receive salary in retroactive manner, regardless. Next move is Governor's, Willock's, Andrew's, Head of prison, not Mark's. Campaign over!!!
  • wize up (07/05/2019, 16:05) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    swear in Mark and the whole confusion is over and done with: the matter went through the judicial system for a finding or ruling and that process is now concluded(turn the man loose)
  • Cindy Lue (07/05/2019, 16:11) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    the speaker better be careful he gets in trouble for disobeying the court!
  • Truth (07/05/2019, 22:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    God in their mouth all the time and they keep quoting scriptures, but their heart is not there. They can fool man, but not God.


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