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Premier chides Opposition as ‘Weak & Cowardly’

- Says disappointed @ absence of Opposition during debate & passing of Immigration Act 2019
Members of the Opposition. From left: Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2); Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6); Hon Julian Fraser, RA (R3); and Opposition Leader Marlon A. Penn (R8). Photo: VINO/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) cites as ‘Disappointing’ and 'Cowardly' the conduction of the Opposition at Monday’s June 3, 2019, Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA. Photo: Youtube
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) cites as ‘Disappointing’ and 'Cowardly' the conduction of the Opposition at Monday’s June 3, 2019, Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA. Photo: Youtube
“The overall lack of participation by Opposition members in the debate and absence from the chamber during the vote is an important issue and cannot go unnoticed, nor should it be forgotten,” Premier Andew A. Fahie said in a statement forwarded to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO). Photo: Youtube
“The overall lack of participation by Opposition members in the debate and absence from the chamber during the vote is an important issue and cannot go unnoticed, nor should it be forgotten,” Premier Andew A. Fahie said in a statement forwarded to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO). Photo: Youtube
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – With the Immigration and Passport (Amendment) Act 2019, passed in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) and paving the way for immigration reform under the Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) ‘fast track’ initiative, the Premier cites as ‘disappointing’ the conduction of the Opposition at Monday’s June 3, 2019, Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth HoA.

The Premier said that in spite of government’s success in passing the act that has been strengthened through public consultation, dialogue and compromise, there was a dereliction of duty by the members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition at that sitting.

Opposition absence was worrying - Hon Fahie

“The overall lack of participation by Opposition members in the debate and absence from the chamber during the vote is an important issue and cannot go unnoticed, nor should it be forgotten,” Premier Fahie said in a statement forwarded to Virgin Islands News Online (VINO).

According to Hon Fahie, “A vibrant Opposition is one of the foundation stones of a healthy democracy. The function of the Opposition in the House of Assembly is not merely to make itself good or to make the government look bad. Nor is it to oppose for opposing sake or to create frivolous and trivial obstacles to progress.”

He said the Opposition plays a critical role of being a check and balance on government conduct, and not only in respect of scrutinizing the exercise of power but in introducing different views and ensuring that minority interests are not overlooked.

The Leader of Government Business noted that the role of the Opposition is to strengthen the outputs and products of the governance process and makes a contribution to improving the quality of life of citizens.

No meaningful contribution

“Therefore, for the Opposition to withhold making any meaningful contribution to the debate on the Bill, and for them to pack up and leave because the proceedings did not seem to be going in their favour, is puerile and an abdication of their responsibility to the Belongers who voted for them in the general elections,” Hon Fahie said in noting that like him, the territory was interested to hear what the opposition has to say in the Debate phase of the Bill.

It should be noted that the only Opposition Member that contributed to the debate was Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines, who was of the view the issue of regularisation could have been addressed internally by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Administration.

“The Representative for the 2nd District was reported in the media over the weekend as riling up citizens to protest outside the House of Assembly during the sitting. The member owes the public an explanation as to whether the concerns that roused his passion still linger on,” Premier Fahie said in reference to Hon Melvin M. Turnbull.

“It was disappointing that one of the longest-serving veterans offered not an iota of wisdom to the discussion, and that the only words recorded from him in yesterday’s crucial debate was an interruption to say that he was hungry,” the Premier said in reference to Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA.

“Opposition took the coward’s way out” – Hon Fahie 

“To make matters worse, the entire Opposition took the coward’s way out and absented themselves from the chamber for the taking of the vote on the Bill. Citizens will recall that I did say that weak politicians and insecure leaders have run from tough issues such as this, and others would seek an escape if put to the test.”

He said the four Opposition Members have demonstrated that they cannot be relied upon to perform the role of Opposition MPs and in the absence of a strong and committed Opposition, citizens will now have to become the compass to help the government navigate the way forward.

“We will try our best to ensure the fullest transparency and accountability, and to keep citizens updated with information on government’s activities and actions.”

Hon Fahie also implored, “Suffice it to say, members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition have also abdicated the right and moral authority to criticise this Act and the fast-track policy at any later date, especially outside the house… because when presented the opportunity to do so, they sat silently and then scuttled away.”

14 Responses to “Premier chides Opposition as ‘Weak & Cowardly’”

  • wize up (06/06/2019, 11:45) Like (38) Dislike (2) Reply
    some of us listen to the various sittings of the house to see what our elected members bring to the table(all 13 of them): not because you are labeled opposition-members means U have to find fault with everything: as opposition or member of the house and you are not in favour with a given presentation(u have the right to express your point of view): following your point of view please present an alternate perspective to the given issue on the floor; not just criticize every living thing: the 13 members were elected by the people and we expect you to defend what is upfull and right for the territory: following an election there is no longer any VIP; PU, PVIM or NDP the lucky 13 is the administration that oversee the movement of government for 4 years
    • Keeping it real (06/06/2019, 12:30) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
      to wize up. Keeping it $7.2 “fly-away” millions agreed.
      • wize up (06/06/2019, 20:37) Like (26) Dislike (1) Reply

        @ keeping it real: from your lips to God’s ears because between the 25 February to 03 June 2019 the current opposition members seems found salvation: for 8 years Penn, turnbull & canes sat in Electoral office and jointly Def***ded the people of the BVI of millions....a few hours before 2019 elections turnbull saw a light and jumped from M/V NDP and swam towards M/V PVIM.....

  • hulk (06/06/2019, 11:56) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
    My calculated guess is they expat haters but they still want to keep power. Best to say nothing than vote no.
    • j (07/06/2019, 08:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Why does this matter have to be about expat haters and expat lovers? Come on...look beyond that nonsense. There is more to this issue than that.
  • Tired (06/06/2019, 12:25) Like (7) Dislike (31) Reply
    With most respect I would like the premier to think of what is his next move and move on with building the country and stop the crap. It’s about time we move forward from fast track and belonger , let’s build the country and be a man
  • NezRez (06/06/2019, 13:24) Like (7) Dislike (28) Reply
    This has to STOP! This in house fighting and finger pointing is even affecting our children. Everything does not need to be reported. MY own children are asking me what is going on with our new government. It seems government needs to approach and work to fix what is broken, since we already know what the problems are. These bickerings sound like after school fights. Please act as mature leaders so our children can look up to you. They can read the blogs too you know.
    • wize up (07/06/2019, 10:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ nezrez: be of good courage; it is all poli-tricks and mostly political grandstanding: if you follow political affairs regionally or even internationally you will realize it’s the same conduct: I agree our territory far to small for certain levels of conduct be such conduct social; economic and yes political
      as parents we have the role to inform our children however do not estimate their knowledge
      As an example; I personally saw the incident during the 03 June sitting of house of assembly as deplorable conduct however my children and their business colleagues had that ting to be the funniest thing since Comedy Central(changing times)...I eventually saw the humour when they showed me the video which went viral
  • Myo (06/06/2019, 13:42) Like (11) Dislike (21) Reply
    The members of his cabinet did not debate the bill either so I guess they fall in the same group as cowards. Fahie himself falls in that group for several times in the house he either went missing when cane to voting on a bill or abstain. How quickly one forgets. Fahie, get out of campaign mode and run the country. When I was a child I spoke as a child. Breaking news, you are a man now.. put away childish behavior..
  • No Name (06/06/2019, 18:58) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
    Leader of the opposition need to go siddung!!!!
  • Charley Rose (07/06/2019, 03:17) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    For the first time we are seeing a government that is informing the population of the affairs of the country and that is good for all of us. When things are going good we should inform the territory. Similarly when things happened adversely the people should know. In that way we can ask the people to exercise some patience as the late Robert Bradshaw did in St. Kitts. Such information can remove all the anxiety and fear from the people's mind. Guessing and assumption do more harm than good.
  • legal team (07/06/2019, 08:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The citizens of this territory the bvi made a decision on 25th feb. 2019 at 10.20PM that NDP will not be allowed to run the affairs of the bvi for the next 4 years.[We voted them out of office]
    We the voters are taking notes,that the opposition did not consult with the masses or the citizens in a form of a petition for deciding to stay out of parliament.[We voted them out,so let them stay out]
    For example; when the premier announced that the fast track immigration bill was to be read to the house, many persons like Cyndi etc took objection via a petition.[The premier listened to their concerns]
    The premier delayed the process before the house and sought the imput of the citizens and several meetings were held.[The premier to advice and made some adjustment to the bill,after consultation]
    the premier is not constitutional bound to consult with the citizens before a bill is brought to the house.but in the interest of transparency,he listened to the citizens and we are pleased.[That is true democracy]
    Next election,we will vote VIP all the way,and thereafter,his excellency shall appoint an opposition after consultation with the citizens,and if that opposition stays away,they will be fired by the citizen.[opposition must stay in the house]
    For now,let them show their anger of not being in power to rule the citizens with their premeditated dictatorship.
    The opposition,do not want good residents residing in the BVI to become good-bvi citizens.
    Mrs Caines is a hypocrite,who is pretending to "love expatriates because her children's father and husband are all expatriates.[That's what she said in her response to Haters of Expat]
    Mrs Caines is a political hypocrite.[By next election,no expat-bvislander will vote for this HYPOCRITE]
    Andrew Fahie will become the longest serving premier of the bvi, because for many years as a teacher,who taught me and as a politician,he displayed a love for people. love for people.[Andrew Fahie will retire as Premier]
    One love..
  • SMH (07/06/2019, 09:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    All this is a plot to distract the Administration and see it's flop. Let the Electives do the work they were elected to do. If some of those elected can't find ways of being constructive in representing their constituents, them they need to relinquish their position and move on. Enough of these prolonging tactics on personal feelings and get on with working for the betterment of the Territory.

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