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2023 election lies & VIP’s vindication; Dr Wheatley Gov’t now on to second term!

It must have been a bittersweet time for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) the political group that has won the most elections since the legislature was restored in 1950, after the party emerged as the Government in the 2023 Elections in the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook/File
VIP Chairman Dr Wheatley who is a second term Premier and Minister of Finance, returning to the House after he defeated his only opponent, Independent Perline R. Scatliffe-Leonard with a 487 to her 367 votes. Photo: GIS/Facebook/File
VIP Chairman Dr Wheatley who is a second term Premier and Minister of Finance, returning to the House after he defeated his only opponent, Independent Perline R. Scatliffe-Leonard with a 487 to her 367 votes. Photo: GIS/Facebook/File
VIP’s Hon Luce D. Hodge-Smith's win over NDP’s Sandy M. Harrigan-Underhill in the 2023 Elections. Photo: VINO/File
VIP’s Hon Luce D. Hodge-Smith's win over NDP’s Sandy M. Harrigan-Underhill in the 2023 Elections. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Kye M. Rymeris now in his second term in office and as the Minister for Communications and Works after wining District 5 with 840 votes to PVIM’s Marvin E. Blyden's mere 342. Photo: Facebook/VINO/File
Hon Kye M. Rymeris now in his second term in office and as the Minister for Communications and Works after wining District 5 with 840 votes to PVIM’s Marvin E. Blyden's mere 342. Photo: Facebook/VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It must have been a bittersweet time for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), the political group that has won the most elections since the legislature was restored in 1950, after the party emerged as the Government in the 2023 Elections in the Virgin Islands.

The VIP is also the only party that has been credited with some 85% of all the developments in the VI, including road and infrastructure works, bridges, schools, airports, hospital facilities, the local college, the BVI London Office, water and electricity supply, clinics, community centers, the strong twin pillars of the economy-tourism and financial services, direct flights from mainland USA by American Airlines to Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport and the national scholarship programme to name a few.

The last term was considered a rough four years for the VIP, which saw a two-year lockdown of the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, when that was over, its former Chairman and Premier Mr Andrew A. Fahie was arrested by US authorities.

A one-sided UK Commission of Inquiry (CoI) was also imposed on the people and government with a preconceived conclusion already written ahead of the official CoI report. The VI also saw the removal of its beloved Speaker Julian Willock for no reason, one of the few persons in the VI who was fighting to build the Legislative institution. 

At the formation of the Government of National Unity, the VI also saw the removal of two VIP Ministers, Carvin Malone and Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) from the Government.

The Big Lie!

Lies were told on the campaign trail by agents of the National Democratic Party (NDP) that the UK did not want the VIP back in power and that if the VIP wins the elections, they will not be sworn in or the UK will suspend the constitution.

Some were also claiming that two of the VIP members, former Legislator Carvin Malone and now Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Wheatley, could not hold Ministries. This was yet another lie. 

Hon Wheatley was sworn in as a Minister on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, the day after the general elections, and recently, some have erroneously claimed that the Governor must give permission if the former Speaker Willock is to be considered again for the Speaker's post. This is yet another lie.

Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has said both privately and publicly that he had nothing to do with the Speaker being asked to resign or the removal of two Ministers, Hon Wheatley and Mr Malone.

The now three-party Opposition held a press conference days after their defeat at the polls, as NDP was only able to reach 3 seats after they ran with 9 candidates. The NDP breakaway group, also referred to as NDP 2 but officially called the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), received only 3 seats out of  9 candidates on their 2023 slate.

In addition to all the challenges faced by the VIP, one of its members who is now a former Legislator, Ms Shereen D. Flax-Charles, left the party weeks before the general election, claiming she was in a “bad marriage” with the party and that she was more comfortable with another group, the PVIM, which allowed her to run in D9 against her longtime friend and colleague Hon Wheatley.

The people in D9 have since let their voices be heard at the polls, leading to Ms Flax-Charles coming in third in the four-person election race in the district. Members of the VI public have since wished her well with the hope that she is also comfortable at home out of the House of Assembly (HoA).

Did PVIM disappoint with its so-called ‘strongest At Large’ slate?

PVIM and their supporters, like controversial talk show host Claude O. Skelton-Cline, were even boasting that they had the “strongest 4 At-Large set of candidates”. This turned out to be far from the truth because 2 of their candidates were rejected by voters, with the group only winning two At-Large seats.

Their leader Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) only beat out his closest opponent, former legislator Neville A. Smith, by 354 votes for the fourth-place slot.

The other two of their so-called “strongest At Large candidates” were unable to win seats. Shaina M. Smith-Archer came in 7th place and Ingrid A. Moses-Scatliffe, who was to be the ‘wonder woman’ and ready to fight for Virgin Islanders, came in 9th out of 17 At Large candidates.

Two big upsets on election night April 24, 2023, against all odds and big money in District Four, were VIP’s Hon Luce D. Hodge-Smith's win over NDP’s Sandy M. Harrigan-Underhill and the VIP Chairman Dr Wheatley, who is a second term Premier and Minister of Finance, returning to the House after he defeated his only opponent, Independent candidate Perline R. Scatliffe-Leonard, with 487 votes to her 367 votes.

Some political and social pundits were claiming for weeks that Premier Wheatley would lose to independent candidate Ms Scatliffe-Leonard who was endorsed by the NDP and the PVIM.

Meanwhile, others were claiming there was a race to watch in District 5 against the hardest-working politician, Hon Kye M. Rymer. The other only hardest working politician compared to Hon Rymer, was in the days of J. Alvin Christopher a former Minister for Communications and Works some 25 years ago.

In the end, as some predicted, it was a blowout for Minister Rymer, who is now in his second term in office as the Minister for Communications and Works, with 840 votes to PVIM’s Marvin E. Blyden's 342.

Trying to rewrite history?

While the losers are claiming that the three-party Opposition got the most votes overall, in the Westminster system of Government practiced in the Virgin Islands it takes seven seats to form a government and the VIP had 6.

Many knew all along that Honourable Lorna G. Smith, OBE (AL), now the Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services, Labour, and Trade, was always an Independent and never fully signed on to the politics of weak leadership the NDP was known for.

One of the NDP's losing candidates, D. Allen O’Neal, who was whipped on polling day; coming in 13th out of 17 At-Large Candidates and even beaten by Independent candidate Daniel  F. Davies, had labeled the Premier as an “accidental Premier” on the campaign trail, but now must eat his words as Dr Wheatley has a clear mandate today to lead the Territory.

One other politician, Hon Julian Fraser (R3) of the one-man Progressives United (PU), whose only request throughout all the attempts to form a government was that he wanted to be the “Premier”, had some fighting words during the political campaign. 

It was Hon Fraser who labeled the VIP as the “enemy” and advocated to “cut off the head of the snake.” Hon Fraser will now spend his next four years in the Opposition where he has already threatened to interrupt the work of the HoA and bring votes of no confidence against the government. We will see how the Speaker deals with him.

So, despite the many attempts to use the Auditor General's reports to portray the VIP as corrupt and wasting government funds, when in fact money was spent on the residents, the many lies and untruths by some to secure power have now come crashing down, and the people of the VI, along with the Deputy Premier Hon Smith, have vindicated the VIP.

The voters on April 24, 2023, rose above the dishonesty and propaganda told on the campaign trail and in desperation for power the NDP, PU, and PVIM even floated the idea that the Governor was against the VIP returning to power which was why he recalled the HoA.

Today, we have yet again a VIP Administration in the VI, along with Dr Wheatley as the Head of Government and the VIP prevailed. Someone once said it may take a long time, but the truth does emerge in the end!

56 Responses to “2023 election lies & VIP’s vindication; Dr Wheatley Gov’t now on to second term!”

  • lol (29/04/2023, 20:11) Like (22) Dislike (27) Reply
    Clear mandate. How many votes did the premier actually get ?
    • @LOL (29/04/2023, 20:51) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
      I thought this article have the amount??
    • @ lol (29/04/2023, 21:08) Like (23) Dislike (6) Reply
      Dr Showda won the election bossie and he is we premier
    • @LOL (30/04/2023, 05:48) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
      Enough to win his seat. You would not have asked that question if it was the other way around.
      • @@LOL (30/04/2023, 13:44) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
        He is not the Premier for this Territory; the entire population did not vote for him. Lorna in our Corner is rightfully placed and should have been granted Premiership status with Mather as deputy.
        • the rock (01/05/2023, 05:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          Hon Mather needs to join Hon Lorna, he's young those old folks will Just hold him Backstreet, Hon Walwyn needs to go VIP too
      • Dee (30/04/2023, 14:07) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        Exactly..move on u haters.
    • the rock (01/05/2023, 05:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      He's inn thats all that matters
  • BARRY SEH YO WILL HEAR (29/04/2023, 20:12) Like (29) Dislike (38) Reply
    • VOTER6BVI (29/04/2023, 21:33) Like (40) Dislike (9) Reply
    • Class Is in Session (29/04/2023, 21:44) Like (18) Dislike (13) Reply
      He going learn when the Deputy start barking orders
      • ... (30/04/2023, 10:15) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
        Key word "Deputy"
        And I'll go ahead an ask, you didn't have this concern when she was with the 3 stooges?

        "THE REST OF THE OPPOSITION ARE LOYAL TO EACH OTHER" - Do you think Fraser & Mather feel loyalty to each other? What about Myron, Marlon & Ronnie?
        What a joke. Some denial of truth there but we'll all get over it soon lol
        • Yow (01/05/2023, 05:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          What a sad situación the Best opposition ever formed but they are bitter over a woman sad sad
    • @Barry (29/04/2023, 23:09) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
      "Loyal to each other". You sure?
      • :) (30/04/2023, 16:54) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
        They are so loyal that Ronnie quit the NDP when Myron was named the leader. Myron. Marlon and Ronnie tried to join together as one party and failed. Ronnie endorsed Fraser over the NDP candidate. Fraser endorsed PVIM and criticised NDP several times during his campaign. Sounds like one big happy family.
    • @BARRY SEH YO WILL HEAR. (30/04/2023, 06:05) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
      You always preach gloom and doom for the BVIs. "DELILAH" will be here for the next four years. What so ever happens from here on, history will record her as an elected Member of the House of Assemble. Do not get up every morning hoping to hear her fall. Please take care of your health. Stress is linked to hypertension, stroke and heart disease amongst other things.
    • Talk da (30/04/2023, 12:47) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      The royal opposition only got a leader because PVIM had three seats... otherwise they would be fighting over that as well.
    • Poor george (01/05/2023, 05:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Bitter bitter
  • HMMM (29/04/2023, 20:19) Like (28) Dislike (22) Reply
    Congratulations to VIP. It's a shame the people of the Premier district didn't vote all out for him and the man was in his district up and down meeting and having discussion with his district people.
    • @hmmm (29/04/2023, 22:53) Like (23) Dislike (7) Reply
      But he still made it. I am proud of this new cabinet especially Luce. last election she did not make it, now look at her four years later. For you females that tried, don’t give up, use Luce as the inspiration and the door that was just opened to Women in the territory with Political aspirations.
      • WOW (01/05/2023, 05:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Heard Hon luce had an inside weapon, good for her, persistance always win, woman power to the World!
    • @hmmm (30/04/2023, 06:38) Like (5) Dislike (8) Reply
      So because I up and down in people face having discussions I deserve votes? Talk is talk. Be for real and act like you know how politics works.
  • Application (29/04/2023, 21:07) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply
    The fact is no one wanted Ronnie as chief not even Lorna and fraser so ayo go sit down with that confusion
  • ... (29/04/2023, 21:08) Like (18) Dislike (10) Reply
    Long live the vip
  • God Blessings and best wishes (29/04/2023, 22:29) Like (31) Dislike (13) Reply
    To this Government, it is one of the best I have seen in years. I know Honorable Wheatley and his team will do an outstanding job in leading these Virgin Islands. Let's all get behind them, be one and make good things happen.
  • LL (29/04/2023, 22:36) Like (14) Dislike (7) Reply
    But at the end he has prevail. Thank God. The only party that has given civil servants their increments and raise.
  • Prevail (29/04/2023, 22:39) Like (23) Dislike (13) Reply

    VIP, VIP, VIP all the way. Who don't like it, lump it for the next four years. Election is over let us get on with it.
  • resident (29/04/2023, 22:48) Like (19) Dislike (11) Reply
    this was far from a mandate, this was a warning VIP is in trouble if ndp 1 and 2 ever get their act together and present a credible alternative, the people voted for change but those clowns dropped the ball
    • @resident (30/04/2023, 14:57) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Clowns you say. Don't describe them that way for they are the mistaken government. See who has the last say. old people say time will tell and certainly time catch up with them. The man who knows our hidden secrets exposed the plot so they fell into their own hole that they dug. They had forget to dig two.

      When I became premier, when I became premier, when I become premier all of them was the mistaken premier.

      Tell me who has the final say? The God who answers sincere prayers, don't test him. The people of this territory been on their knees and in their closets tearing down wickedness and evil desires and intentions and God answered their cry. Stop plotting for people downfall and take some self introspection then and only then healing will take place.

      The God of heaven and earth won this earthly battle. Time for the territory to heal it has been bruised and battered
  • hang in there P (29/04/2023, 23:07) Like (7) Dislike (16) Reply
    We going to beat him next time after Lorna finish undermine him
    • @hang in there P (30/04/2023, 14:56) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      That's ok. This was the bigger battle and PREMIER Wheatley won. If he looses next time it wouldn't hurt that much.
  • WOW (29/04/2023, 23:11) Like (15) Dislike (21) Reply
    After getting all those votes Kye was still demoted....The premier had need demoting instead
    • :) (30/04/2023, 11:19) Like (21) Dislike (4) Reply
      If I see Kye today today today I will give him a big hug, this man represents country before self, and his humility did not demote him it only make people like me to see him as a hero, and one that is sacrificial. I will always look up to him; I do not think he knows how big his actions were to give way to the demand of the other. He is a real country man, and should be an ambassador. This here is far from being demoted, it has elevated his personality and worth. Mr. Rhymer I have great respect for you. Keep being you and always listen to others, not killing self for the wrong but for the right. Congratulations on your second term. Put God first in all you do without favor and guile. Seek Him early in the morning before you do any other. Do good for your family, self, and country. Go out now and do what was handed to you by God. Blessings!!!!!!!
      • Angel (30/04/2023, 12:59) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
    • the rock (01/05/2023, 05:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree but Hon Rhymer is COOL with thst he's not power hungry, too one for the team unñike those other power hungry fallas on the other side
  • Youth (29/04/2023, 23:41) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    All the best to the government.
  • Little advise (30/04/2023, 00:15) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    Do the right things
    Do not favor anyone over anything (personal favors )
    And u May all have another term
    All the ppl want is good governance.
  • vi (30/04/2023, 02:47) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    Blame Ronnie they didn’t want to join to form the government
  • 2023 (30/04/2023, 03:03) Like (15) Dislike (9) Reply
    Fraser: Penn: Ronnie they all had such terrible things to speak about the VIP however the actual voters had a different impression and perspective

  • cnn (30/04/2023, 04:03) Like (16) Dislike (7) Reply
    The lies did not help ndp the people knew better
  • asura (30/04/2023, 04:13) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    the voters can pick out lies from truth not to worry
  • resident (30/04/2023, 05:52) Like (11) Dislike (22) Reply
    VIP did not win the elections. There was a major betrayal or they would be in government today. It's obvious because they lost most of their seats from the last elections. Time will tell though. You lose them how you got them. I hope they have a good four years.
    • Hmm (30/04/2023, 06:58) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
      If the constitution had no coalition laws in it tell me who would have won. The VIP outnumbered them with their six seats so tell me how they didn't win? Which other party in the election had six seats?? None, they would all have to come together to form a government to take out the VIP three parties together not two. One ruling party and three opposition lol.
    • bbc (30/04/2023, 07:10) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
      @ resident.....
      NDP 3 people out of a possible 13
      PU 1 person out of a possible 13
      VIP 6 people out of a possible 13

      VIP 6 people out of 7 needed to form government
      NDP 6 people out of 7 needed to form government
      PU 1 person out of 7 needed to form government
      NDP 3 people out of 7 needed to form government

      History will show PU, NDP or PVIM did not had enough integrity to form the government because the mindset is personal and not for the benefit of the country
    • @ resident (30/04/2023, 11:23) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      ???? ✔✔✔✔✔✔ Seriously?
      Do take time to read your own comment, then analyze, see if it makes any sense. I guess when done, you will remember what 3 is to 6. I really hope you do, Good luck! ????????
    • @resident (30/04/2023, 11:29) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      The VIP had 7 elected as Shereen had already bolted. They now have 6 elected how have they lost most of their seats? Even if people wanted VIP gone, the low voter turnout says that there was little confidence in the other options being floated. Voter turnout is usually high when people want change. The reality is that if rhe NDP reverted back to being the REAL NDP we wouldnt be having this conversation.
    • um (01/05/2023, 05:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Bitter bitter country over party boom Hon Lorna for the win
  • fat virgin (30/04/2023, 06:43) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Up to now we can’t hear a word from the looser in d9 the flax girl, well sah let her stay vg
  • jah know (30/04/2023, 06:54) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    The election is over Mr premier now is time to focus on moving the froward this country and helping the people in this country
  • Final Analysis (30/04/2023, 07:27) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Very fair price VINO !!
  • THINK! (30/04/2023, 08:28) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Man talking woman walking to get the job done.
  • Coalition Government.... (30/04/2023, 10:22) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    ... will never work in the VI. Every party chairman wants to be Premier. No one is willing to sacrifice for the good of the territory. Too much confusion. Our Constitution us based on a party winning a majority of at least seven seats. Hon. L. Smith realized the confusion called power-struggle between NDP, PVIM and PU. Who in their right mind would want to be a part of that mad mess.?
    • the rock (01/05/2023, 05:26) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Perfectly said, thats why we have so much apprecistion for Hon Khoy, 5th district you are Blessed as heck to have him!
  • @resident (30/04/2023, 12:44) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Three parties against one and yet the cannot outnumbered them that's to show how powerful the VIP supporters are. You need to understand that's why there is election every 4 years you lose some and win some

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