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Voter registration cards coming as Election Act to be amended

- Drug Trafficking Offences Act to be amended; What is the Gov't up to with these two amendments?
The Government of the Virgin Islands will be seeking at the next House of Assembly Sitting set for April 18, 2017 to make amendment to the Election Act, reportedly to bring into effect voter registration cards. Photo: VINO/File
Another Bill before the HoA for the April 18, 2017 Sitting is the Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act 2017 which seems to be targeting issues of extradition. Photo: VINO/File
Another Bill before the HoA for the April 18, 2017 Sitting is the Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act 2017 which seems to be targeting issues of extradition. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- When the House of Assembly (HoA) meets on Tuesday April 18, 2017 there will be some twelve (12) Bills on the Order Paper, some for first readings, others for amendments and one seems to be very urgent.

None of these Bills have come to the public for discussions, public inputs or debates, therefore the average resident, a few elected officials, and the media have not a clue what is in these Bills or how they would affect the daily lives of residents.

In fact, one Bill on the Order Paper for Tuesday’s Sitting- the Customs Management and Duties (Amendment) Act 2017- seems to be so urgent that Leader of Government Business and Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) will be moving a motion for the suspension of Standing Order 52 (2) and (3) to allow for the Second and Third Readings of this piece of legislation.

Government ‘run around’ for information

However, the public has not been made aware of the urgency of this Bill that will lead to a suspension of the rules. Calls both yesterday April 12, 2017 and today April 13, 2017 to the Attorney General’s Chambers were met with the usual ‘run around’, of; “the AG is not available”, or “no one is in today in drafting”, or “we will call you back”, but no calls are returned from that Chambers, at least to our newsroom.

One of the many Bills before the Legislators is an Elections (Amendment) Act 2017. We tried to contact the Attorney General’s Chambers to find out what the Bill was about before it received its first reading.

We were unable to reach anyone and then decided to call the Premier’s Office, as Premier Smith is the one who will be introducing the Bill in the House for the first reading. We were told that we would have been referred to the Director of Communications, Mrs Arlene T. Penn, who was yet to return a call at the time of this article.

We finally reached a Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office who referred us to the Deputy Governor’s Office.

After almost twenty minutes of back and forth we were advised that the amendment to the Election Act is to bring into effect voter registration cards.

What is the real objective?

Another Bill before the HoA for the April 18, 2017 meeting is the Drug Trafficking Offences (Amendment) Act 2017. We were able to obtain a copy of the short amendments and the Bill seems to be targeted at extradition.

It stated that the replacing paragraph “apply to eternal confiscation orders and to proceedings which have been or are to be instituted in the requesting country and may result in an external confiscation order being made there.”

The amendment also addressed replacing the words in the main Act from “designated country” with the words “requesting country.”

The other interpretation of the amendments are not clear as finally Mrs Penn called back but it was after publication time, but still was unable to explain what are the changes trying to achieve.

19 Responses to “Voter registration cards coming as Election Act to be amended”

  • qc (13/04/2017, 18:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
  • wize up (13/04/2017, 19:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    what is new
  • vip (13/04/2017, 19:42) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hope ndp not trying to steal the elections
  • tola (13/04/2017, 20:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    So what it is NDP really got to hide boy we really need to Buckle up Caz we goin to have a ruff ride
  • VG Realist (13/04/2017, 21:19) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    This August election may be true after all. Lawd.
  • evil doers (13/04/2017, 22:09) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Simple, they are trying to limit those who are not at home and can't get their card can't vote.

    I have a surprise for those power hungry evil doers.

    Election is around the corner people.

    NDP is a vote of no confidence.
  • Mel (14/04/2017, 02:33) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just hope the governor does not sign off on these blils when they are rushed through the house by the NDP without informing the the citizens of this territory what they are doing. They are doing a bunch of foolishness because they outnumber the opposition and know they will stick together, even though some of their own might not understand the bill or not be in favor of it. They will still vote yes like the airport runway.
  • Intelligent (14/04/2017, 07:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't take our eyes off that August Election rumor.
  • Scoundrels (14/04/2017, 07:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let them come with an August election. It could be Yellow running against ndp and I still will vote the asssss out.
  • MY Gawd (14/04/2017, 08:19) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Look how the NDP following the republicans with their Voter suppression efforts........clearly that is what this is for!
    • FYI (14/04/2017, 17:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      FYI for the last elections its US Republican consultants they used for help
  • heads up (14/04/2017, 11:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    As long as Bolo crab owner of Bolos's printing and Caribbean printing is printing the ballots ndp will win.
  • seven millions (14/04/2017, 12:13) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Will there be more customs duty breaks for the rich? By the way, did that airline paid any import duty on that plane?
  • Political Observer (PO) (14/04/2017, 22:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Will the voter registration card be the only form of identification accepted in order to vote? Other forms of valid picture identifications should also be permitted, i.e., passport, drivers license.........etc. Government should strive for maximum voter participation. There should be no attempt like the Republican Party in the US to suppress the vote. Mek ah we vote.
  • 911 (15/04/2017, 21:08) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    We're the ones that are letting this happen, and we should be ashamed of ourselves for doing so.
  • Anonymous (16/04/2017, 21:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    there must be some inherent flaw in democracy

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