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VIP vote of no confidence defeated in HOA 7 to 2

- Hon. J. Alvin Christopher abstained from voting but praised mover of the motion
Second District Representative Hon. J. Alvin Christopher said the Motion of No Confidence presented the opportunity for the opposition and the people of the territory to be fed with a wealth of information that has not been forthcoming previously from the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government. Photo: VINO/File
First District Representative Hon. Andrew A. Fahie said the motion should be seen as a ‘Red Letter’ day in the history of the Virgin Islands since it resulted because of negative behaviour by members of the House and many questionable actions in certain areas by the NDP administration. Photo: VINO/File
First District Representative Hon. Andrew A. Fahie said the motion should be seen as a ‘Red Letter’ day in the history of the Virgin Islands since it resulted because of negative behaviour by members of the House and many questionable actions in certain areas by the NDP administration. Photo: VINO/File
The Motion of No Confidence moved in the House of Assembly by Hon. Julian Fraser RA received a vote from member of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie. Hon. J. Alvin Christopher praised the mover of the motion but abstained from voting in the end. Photo: VINO/File
The Motion of No Confidence moved in the House of Assembly by Hon. Julian Fraser RA received a vote from member of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie. Hon. J. Alvin Christopher praised the mover of the motion but abstained from voting in the end. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – One side of the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands saw the Motion of No Confidence brought by Virgin Islands Party member and Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser RA as lacking basis; however, members of the Opposition disagreed as they saw it as an intelligent move for detailed information about several issues they have been asking of the government for a long time.

Hon. Fraser took a bold step on Friday July 26, 2013 when he moved a No Confidence Motion against the National Democratic Party (NDP) government during the Tenth Sitting of the Second Session of the Second House of Assembly, a motion that sparked a lengthy debate between the two sides.

The House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands consists of two sides; the ruling National Democratic Party Government of Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. The Honourable D. Olando Smith with nine (9) members and the opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) of Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal OBE which has four (4) members.

7 out of 9 members, with Eighth District Representative Hon. Marlon A. Penn being overseas and Hon Myron V. Walwyn not present for the vote on the NDP side of the House, voted against the No Confidence Motion, claiming that it had no basis and was uncalled for.

However, Representative for the Second District, Honourable J. Alvin Christopher while praising the mover of the motion decided in the end to abstain, leaving Representative for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie and Hon. Fraser to support the motion and making it 2 votes for it.

In his presentation on the motion, Hon. Christopher said that it presented the opportunity for the opposition and the people of the territory to be fed with a wealth of information that had not been forthcoming previously. “Madam Speaker, I must commend the mover of the motion that is before the House. Not that he sincerely believed that he will get a majority vote but what he would have gotten in the past couple of days and weeks and even today even more so, an opportunity Madam Speaker, to give the House and the people of the British Virgin Islands an opportunity to discuss matters that is of vital importance to them at this point in time,” said Hon. Christopher.

According to the Second District Representative, Hon. Fraser has gotten some level of success in a democracy by moving the No Confidence Motion. “That’s very good. So whatever he gets, a majority vote or not, like I say I want to commend him because motions of no confidence …..are not very easy to discuss, to move or to carry through with,” said Hon. Christopher.

Hon. Christopher said that in reviewing the motion that was before the house, the very first paragraph spoke to the issue of the economy of the Virgin Islands, which he said brings out an un-debatable fact. “In the first paragraph it is basically touching on the economy and Madam Speaker I don’t think that you will find one member in this house and very few in the community that will tell you that our economy today in the VI is not hurting.”

He explained that the economy today is worse than it was a year and seven months ago when the present government took office. “…I must say that the motion had some merit…. But I must admit that the economy today in the BVI is worse than when the government took office.”

Meanwhile, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie said the motion should be seen as a ‘Red Letter’ day in the history of the Virgin Islands as he said it resulted because of negative behaviour by members of the House and many questionable actions in certain areas by the NDP administration. “This is my prayer, which is my humble submission that this administration hereby be charged today with the following charges and offences as I see them Madam Speaker.”

The charges that were laid out by Hon. Fahie included those of conflict of interest, abuse of power, actions that are liable of misfeasance and total neglect in many areas in the Protocols for Effective Financial Management thereby putting the territory strongly at risk of being reprimanded by the United Kingdom (UK).

He said what has been glaring is the fact that the government of the day sees themselves of having done no wrong but has been throwing all the blame at the feet of the previous VIP government. “Whatever has gone wrong in this territory are the members of this side. The former administration, the former government, the minister of finance, is our entire fault…. But I am here to tell this administration ‘not so fast’ Madam Speaker.”

During his debate, Hon. Fahie brought out a striking revelation, which unlike many other observations that he had tabled, got a hand shake from the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith. The revelation surrounded Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), a firm hired by this present NDP government to conduct an audit of the Territory’s finances over a particular period.

“I put it to this administration to divorce themselves immediately from any dealings with Price Waterhouse Coopers, Madam Speaker, the regional body,” he charged, noting that he will not have any confidence in this government until they sever ties with PWC.

Hon. Fahie spent an extensive time explaining his grounds for the charge, which brought out allegations of bribery practices by the very PWC firm.

During his response to the debate, Premier Smith admitted that he was not aware of the allegations against PWC but will take immediate steps of investigations, which will follow with corresponding necessary actions.

Meanwhile, the Motion of No Confidence was not brought by Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, which according to Premier Smith has raised eyebrows. “We wondered of course why it was brought in this way. Why the leader of the opposition did not want the motion. We wondered if this was a power grab or a move to … get into a position of oneself in the right position for leadership. We wondered all sorts of things but in the end, Madam Speaker, we basically said essentially let the vote come.”

As the debate on the motion rolled into the late hours of the night, Leader of the Opposition Hon. O’Neal left prior to the adjournment of the sitting of the house, without publicly saying whether or not he was in support of the motion.

Motion of No Confidence as moved by Hon. Julian Fraser RA

The Member for the Third District, Hon. Julian Fraser had moved the Motion of No Confidence in the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands based on the following grounds:

  1. WHEREAS the Government of the Second House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands recognizes that the Government of the Virgin Islands has been experiencing harsh criticism from residents including those in business for its policies and practices
  2. AND WHEREAS the Protocols for Effective Financial Management has been signed between Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of the Virgin Islands on April 23rd, 2012 with rules to ensure that good governance, transparency and accountability of its leadership remains paramount.
  3. AND WHEREAS Her Majesty's Government has on occasions demonstrated willingness to act and act decisively at the core of leadership at the sight of violations of such rules, and given my absolute conviction that these abuses are flagrant and gaining attention.
  4. AND WHEREAS this behaviour comes at the worst possible time in the performance of our territory’s economy which is hopelessly tanking, the Government's failure to stimulate said economy, and given the absence of any acceptable response from leadership.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this House has no confidence in the Government of the Virgin Islands.

19 Responses to “VIP vote of no confidence defeated in HOA 7 to 2”

  • Really (28/07/2013, 10:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why did he abstain then. Playing both sides, Alvin make him look foolish.
  • ABC (28/07/2013, 12:29) Like (15) Dislike (13) Reply
    It failed in the house of assibly but will not at the balot box
  • No loyalty (28/07/2013, 13:10) Like (7) Dislike (102) Reply
    - If you can't trust your own who can you trust- the VIP got a real leadership problem- if they don'y get their act together- NDP back in 2016- BAM
  • qc (28/07/2013, 13:59) Like (9) Dislike (20) Reply
    UNCLE RALPH TIME IS UP JUST LIKE THE ndp
  • question (28/07/2013, 14:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    come on now people did anyone expect the government with a 9-4 advantage in the HOA to be toppled with this motion?
    • answer (28/07/2013, 20:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Fraser and Andrew only ... And maybe a few others who can't tell the difference between 9 and 2.
  • good job (28/07/2013, 15:18) Like (12) Dislike (75) Reply
    The Opposition members did a good job because now through the evidence they brought to the table it is clear that the NDP is totally corrupt but doing it at a high sophisticated manner. The NDP is a dictatorship gang that must go.
  • enough (28/07/2013, 15:20) Like (12) Dislike (16) Reply
    I had enough of Alvin who can work with no one else but himself. Alvin destroy this country financially & morally for years & now coming here playing self righteous.
  • Sarah (28/07/2013, 17:40) Like (11) Dislike (20) Reply
    This is not Egypt neither is it Grenada. In reality, I don't think anyone expected a different outcome. We all know that the Faihe / Fraser machine are more about personal power than it is about us, the people. The only thing to look forward to with this duo is which one will out-do the other in terms of position and status.
    • @ Sarah (29/07/2013, 00:46) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      I thank the members of the Opposition for fighting for true democracy to reign...thank GOD FOR FRASER AND FHAIE
  • Balls (28/07/2013, 18:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fraser the one with balls in the VIP
  • 1 (28/07/2013, 22:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Alvin trying to play the people by playing both sides….the monkey on vip back!!!!
  • cat walk (28/07/2013, 23:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well saw
  • AS for me (29/07/2013, 00:31) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Alvin is a total disgrace to politics.
  • Clearly (29/07/2013, 00:33) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This course of action by Fraser was timely & necessary. The NDP is a corrupt bunch that thinks that they can use dictatorship to scare off anyone who tries to reveal it.
  • Liars (29/07/2013, 00:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP are liars. They said that the VIP left us broke & they met $15mil worth of bills to pay with no money to pay them when they took office but yet they immediately paid the water company that they have interest in $15million dollars rather than appealing the case to try to protect the public's interest. Only their interest were they looking out for as usual.
  • . (29/07/2013, 00:53) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Alvin is a traitor and Ralph is a defector.
  • Papalin (29/07/2013, 10:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now I want to know how Fraser had intend to win that no confidence motion. He really went to sleep wake up and think in his little mind that ndp would have side with him seeing that he may have needed at lease two of their members to vote yes. This only goes to show you the kind of don't think persons we have representing us didn't he think or was this just a front to intimidate the locals PLEASE............
    • shaw (29/07/2013, 12:02) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      these kinds of votes are symbolic. No one expected it to pass, but it brought the issues to the forefront and to the public which it was intended to do.


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