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Opposition denied request to meet Premier Fahie 'alone'

- Opposition Members seeking meeting with Premier to discuss ‘fast track’ regularisation initiative
Legislators sitting on the Opposition are, from left: Leader of the Opposition Honourable Marlon A. Penn(R8), Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) and Hon Julian Fraser RA(R3). Photo: VINO/Facebook
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) is open to meeting with the Members of the Opposition to discuss the initiative dubbed, ‘Clear Path to Regularisation: Residency & Belonger Status’. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) is open to meeting with the Members of the Opposition to discuss the initiative dubbed, ‘Clear Path to Regularisation: Residency & Belonger Status’. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The four Opposition Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands have been seeking to have a sit down with only Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) to discuss the now controversial programme dubbed “Clear Path to Regularisation: Residency & Belonger Status”.

Premier Fahie confirmed he did receive a request to meet the four legislators, Leader of the Opposition Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8), Hon Julian Fraser, RA (R3), Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) and the lone female amongst them, Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6).

When contacted about the meeting on May 28, 2019 Premier Fahie said the meeting was postponed due to the unavailability of some Members of the Opposition. “We scheduled a meeting with them for two o’clock yesterday which was Monday but we received word coming on close to that time that one or two of them had some emergency calls [and] that they couldn’t make it, so they asked for it to be postponed.”

According to Premier Fahie, he highly respects the Members of the Opposition and asked that they suggest another date.

“On my own terms”

The Leader of Government Business further said, “They wanted to meet with me alone as Premier, however, I don’t agree with that.”

Premier Fahie stressed that he runs a government that is all inclusive, “So I told them that request cannot be honoured. They have to meet with the entire government side because we are together, and at the end of the day, with our decisions.”

According to the Premier, “We are not going to have a meeting like that with such an important matter with the Premier alone with the Opposition. The optics of it is not good. So that part of the request was denied.”

According to Premier Fahie, he anticipates the meeting with the Opposition at the availability of both sides, “Because we have a lot of other meetings. We are even meeting the congress for the Virgin Islands Party separately to get their views. We are meeting with a lot of other groups, so when we give that time from last week we put off all we were doing for Monday afternoon just to meet with the Opposition.”

Premier Fahie and his ministers had made a decision to put the initial process of regularisation on pause and responded to the calls of mainly the indigenous population of the territory to hold a series of meetings across the territory to garner views.

“We have had persons that came up with some very good solutions and we want to continue meeting with the different groups. Some of the meetings are not public but we are continuing meeting almost every night to make sure that we gather as much information, not just for the initial initiative but also for the long-term in terms of what’s going to happen with immigration reform and eventually labour.

Premier Fahie said he is satisfied that his team is making good strides, “I really like the suggestions that are coming forward.”

Be in a state of readiness

Meanwhile, there have been lots of concerns with the initiative being put on hold and Premier Fahie sought to clarify.

“All we are saying [is] rather than have anyone submit anything right now, be in a state of readiness, allow us to finish these discussions to come up with what we feel is the best way forward for all concerned and then we will be able to say what we are accepting when, where and how.”

8 Responses to “Opposition denied request to meet Premier Fahie 'alone'”

  • mildred (29/05/2019, 12:19) Like (46) Dislike (22) Reply
    don't bother with them mr premier what his name jealous.he want to be the leader for over there .keep u eye on them
  • Disinterested (29/05/2019, 13:04) Like (24) Dislike (62) Reply
    Premier Fahie, stop the damn nonsense. What hell optics are you talking about? Meet with the people representatives; there is no downside to meeting alone with the Opposition, unless you are afraid and don’t trust yourself meeting with them. Well, mai boy! Your vote in the HOA is 1 of 13; outside the HOA, your are the leader and no#1 among equals. Stop making a “pappy” of tings.
    • SMH (29/05/2019, 17:11) Like (38) Dislike (8) Reply
      @Disinterested. Why should he alone meet with them? He alone does not form the Government. Why didn't they All attended any of the Forums (Town Meetings) and voice their Concerns? Like the Premier said, "On His Terms not Theirs " A Bunch of practical jokers (putting it lightly)
  • ta ta (29/05/2019, 13:26) Like (45) Dislike (17) Reply
    Set of weak people over on the opposition trying to get some attention
  • jokers (29/05/2019, 15:57) Like (35) Dislike (7) Reply
    The government going Fine now i like it do like it?
    BIGGGGG UPPPP
  • Street reporter (30/05/2019, 06:47) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is an unfair request. Why all 4 of them must meet with the premier alone to tag team him... I would understand if it's the opposition leader wants to meet with the premier one on one.. The opposition leader represent the opposition and the premier represent the government. I agree with the premier. Don't play their smart games...
  • Street reporter (30/05/2019, 06:47) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    This is an unfair request. Why all 4 of them must meet with the premier alone to tag team him... I would understand if it's the opposition leader wants to meet with the premier one on one.. The opposition leader represent the opposition and the premier represent the government. I agree with the premier. Don't play their smart games...
    • wize up (30/05/2019, 10:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ street reporter: government business is public business: it might be good if the opposition/government invites the general public to some of these meetings: during the campaigns were all invited let continue: keep the people involved with government business


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