Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666                               Tune into 90.9FM from 04 September until 12 October for the 2019 Caribbean Premier League: visit www.cbnvirginislands.com for more information: 1 284 340 3461

'The time is now to push' for Constitutional Review- Premier Fahie

- says Chairman of Constitutional Review Committee to be named by September
Overlooking Wickham's Cay I on Tortola, Virgin Islands. The Government of the Virgin Islands will soon be moving forward with consultations for Constitutional Review. Photo: VINO/File
Speaking on the latest episode of the 'Honestly Speaking' Premier Andrew A. Fahie says the long-overdue Virgin Islands (VI) constitutional review will finally be given precedence and be taking input from citizens of the Virgin Islands (VI) via public consultations on the away forward according. Photo: Facebook
Speaking on the latest episode of the 'Honestly Speaking' Premier Andrew A. Fahie says the long-overdue Virgin Islands (VI) constitutional review will finally be given precedence and be taking input from citizens of the Virgin Islands (VI) via public consultations on the away forward according. Photo: Facebook
According to Mr Skelton-Cline, the review is two years overdue and hence, a way forward must be charted given recent
According to Mr Skelton-Cline, the review is two years overdue and hence, a way forward must be charted given recent "encroachment" which he says includes Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert's exercise of powers outside of the constituiton. Photo: VINO/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola VI - The long-overdue Virgin Islands (VI) constitutional review will finally be given precedence and Government will be taking input from citizens of the Virgin Islands (VI) via public consultations on the away forward, according to Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1).

Informal meeting Soon - Premier 

Hon Fahie, speaking on the Tuesday, September 3, 2019, edition of ‘Honestly Speaking’ with host Claude O. Skelton-Cline, said there will be "an informal meeting" very soon with Members of the House of Assembly, "and that is going to be one of the things on the agenda in terms of the constitutional review, because the time is now to push for that and our aim is by at least the end of September to name a Chairman."

The Premier noted that in the informal meeting, the government will be looking for input from House Members on the structure of the Constitutional Review Committee and to set target points. Following that, the process will move into public consultation on the way forward.

"This is not a political constitution, this is a constitution for the people of the Virgin Islands so the input of the entire Virgin Islands will be sought, in terms of the areas of the constitution that we need to improve upon."

The Premier said areas his administration will be looking for feedback on include accountability and transparency for elected HoA Members, public entities and the Governor, in addition to policies on strengthening self-governance.

Respecting Powers 

According to Mr Skelton-Cline, the review is two years overdue and hence, a way forward must be charted given recent "encroachment" which he says includes Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert's exercise of powers outside of the constituiton.

"This is a concern we've been having presently with the current Queen's Representative, who somehow in our view is interpreting the constitution different to us," Hon Fahie said.

He said there is a clear role for Ministers and the Government regardless of which political party is in power and that those roles must be respected. 

"We feel there is encroachment now on those lines," Hon Fahie noted which includes too much interference from the Governor and this he says, has become a 'bone of contention' as his administration carries out its mandate.

Recently, the unelected Governor thrashed the recommendations of the Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding appointments of Permanent Secretaries and proceeded to make his own appointments.

In a statement on September 3, 2019, Hon Fahie said the Governor's actions signaled his lack of confidence in the members of the Public Service Commission to perform in a manner that protects Her Majesty’s Service.

"This is a very serious aspersion that the Governor has cast on the members of the Commission who are among the brightest minds of the Virgin Islands with long, unblemished careers and who are stalwarts of our territory."

Premier Fahie, in thrashing any suspicion that the PSC might have been biased to the current government, said all the sitting members of the PSC were appointed during the term of the last government and four of those commissioners were not appointed based on any input from the current Premier, while two of those persons were selected by the Governor himself, including the Chairman of the PSC.

"Further to this, Section 91(9) of the Constitution Order stipulates that “in the exercise of its functions the Public Service Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.” The PSC is therefore an independent institution."

Scaling back of the Governor's powers

The Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 was scheduled for review in 2017 but was delayed due to the hurricanes of that same year that ravaged the VI.

One of the items that was high on the agenda for discussions during the planned review phase by the last government was the scaling back of the powers of the Governor.

5 Responses to “'The time is now to push' for Constitutional Review- Premier Fahie”

  • facts (05/09/2019, 11:06) Like (5) Dislike (23) Reply
    We need independence now that the government has changed
    • Are you crazy (06/09/2019, 07:31) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The BVI NOT ready for independence. You can’t find BVI locals who want to join the police must less to join a national Guard. We only offer things for the tourist and Financial services. We still strongly depends on Tropical Shippinng to being us food. Also keep in mind if we was independent how much support we would have gotten after Irma. The Bahamas’s are independent but now after a major hurricane they need outside help and will need it for the next few years. People feels independent or being independent is good, it can be. All depends on the side of the table. The BVI ain’t ready or close for independence as yet. We need to get our (acts) together.
  • WAIT!!!! (05/09/2019, 11:15) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    You just got there. Already you pushing for more power?! Hold the brakes please!
  • biker (05/09/2019, 20:11) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Premier should just lead the BVI for independence from the UK. Why waste more years with another 'constitutional review' while the UK is still in control.


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.