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Could VI see its first female Premier after the 2023 Elections?

There are many female candidates being floated as possible premier includes, Lorna G. Smith of the NDP, Luce D. Hodge-Smith of the VIP, and Ingrid A. Moses-Scatliffe of the PVIM. Photo: VINO/File/Facebook
 Male dominated leadership of the current political parties include, Hons Dr Natalio D. Wheatley (VIP), Julian Fraser (PVIM), Marlon A. Penn (NDP) along with former Legislator Ronnie W. Skelton (PVIM). Photo: VINO/File/Facebook
Male dominated leadership of the current political parties include, Hons Dr Natalio D. Wheatley (VIP), Julian Fraser (PVIM), Marlon A. Penn (NDP) along with former Legislator Ronnie W. Skelton (PVIM). Photo: VINO/File/Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Since the Virgin Islands (VI) moved to a ministerial system some 56 years ago, there has never been a woman as Chief Minister or Premier of the territory.

Many residents are claiming that many of the issues caused by the political class have been because of Patriarchal leadership fueled by male egos, and that it is time for a woman to be at the helm of the Government in the Virgin Islands.

However, currently, there are no women heading any of the four main political parties, these are the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) led by Dr the Hon Natalio D. Whealty (R7); the National Democratic Party (NDP) led by Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8); Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) led by Ronnie W. Skelton and the one-man Progressives United (PU) led by Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), all men.

But with the outcome of the elections uncertain and many voters believing that there will be a coalition government, could a woman emerge as the next Premier?

There are many female candidates being floated as possible Premiers including, former First Lady Lorna G. Smith of the NDP, Luce D. Hodge-Smith of the VIP, and Ingrid A. Moses-Scatliffe of the PVIM. 

However, for these women to even be considered for premiership in the VI, they must first win their seats in the House of Assembly.

If the party leaders of the four main parties do not make the cut in the April 24, 2023, election there could be a lot of 'jockeying' for power and a female could be in the lead for the highest office in the VI.

A women leader possible in a sexist culture?

Over the years, there have been two former female legislators who served as Deputy Chief Minister/Deputy Premier in the persons of Eileene L. Parsons OBE and R. Dancia Penn-Sallah OBE, KC, but those have been the highest political office holders led by women.  

While the VI in 2023, remains a male leadership-dominated society with old-fashioned and often sexist attitudes being propagated about the role of women, political pundits are forecasting that in an election year when persons want change, a woman could possibly emerge as the first female Premier of the Virgin Islands. 

Five months ago, controversial talk-show host Claude O. Skelton-Cline, who hosts the Honestly Speaking radio show on ZBVI 780 AM, had predicted that a woman would emerge as the leader of the Territory following the 2023 General Elections. 

His prediction will be put to the test on April 24, 2023.

Mr. Skelton-Cline, like others in the VI, has encouraged residents to vote for women.




46 Responses to “Could VI see its first female Premier after the 2023 Elections?”

  • man & man (15/04/2023, 22:06) Like (21) Dislike (20) Reply
    Yo dont put a hen in a cockfight
    • VIP is Joke. (16/04/2023, 05:29) Like (31) Dislike (31) Reply
      The more I think about all thats going on, the more I see VIP as a weak jokey Party, Govt aint for them..Civil dervants got no respect for them, thats why we will never get the reccomendations fulfil under VIP..Ronnie is the leader for these times, well respected by civil servants and will get things done..
      • the rock (16/04/2023, 12:53) Like (16) Dislike (6) Reply
        Scatter yout old behind its this generation time to lead Ronny them time up, they crated the problems we got today
    • guy hill (16/04/2023, 10:21) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      man&man. .....When they Lord fights your battles, yes you can.
    • Greg (16/04/2023, 11:12) Like (20) Dislike (4) Reply
      NO! V.I. cannot see any of "THESE" 3 women pictured here to be our Premier! Maybe at the NEXT election, we will have stronger women to choose from.
    • smh (17/04/2023, 18:27) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      All of a sudden, loud mouth Lorna looking meek. Trying to fool people about who she is. Obnoxious and abrasive. She don't have time for anybody who is not in her circle. Wait and see.
  • only those 2 (15/04/2023, 22:08) Like (5) Dislike (60) Reply
    Only Perline and Sandy winning
  • The True Man Show (15/04/2023, 22:16) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everything is scripted.
  • But (15/04/2023, 22:19) Like (9) Dislike (60) Reply
    Luce looking way older than Lorna
    • Talk da (15/04/2023, 22:46) Like (23) Dislike (23) Reply
      Lorna needs to stop dying her hair or buy wigs her age colour.
      She old enough to be showing gray hair.
      • @ Talk da (16/04/2023, 06:51) Like (19) Dislike (5) Reply
        You must be the fashion police. Mind your business!
      • @Talk da (16/04/2023, 10:40) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
        Lorna is "old enough" to dress as she likes. Save that kind of controlling comment for the children in your family.
      • Rubber Duck (17/04/2023, 09:01) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        Its not the hair you should be looking at idiot , its the brains, experience and commitment. And of course in BVI
        where next to no politicians have it, honesty.

        Lorna and Ingrid both have these attributes in spades.

        I look forward to seeing both of these ladies in Cabinet.
    • Hen House (16/04/2023, 03:34) Like (39) Dislike (3) Reply
      Luce does not look older than lorna. Lorna removed her glasses, not showing her all grey hair and wearing younger looking hair style. I see her up close and these pictures are photo shopped to make her look younger.
      • @ Tak Da and Hen House (16/04/2023, 06:59) Like (25) Dislike (5) Reply
        You people don’t speak that way about the men!!!

        JUST STOP IT!!!!!!!!!

        Just like you don’t discriminate against locks, tattoos, men dying their hair, STOP BEING TWO-FACED about women who choose to retain their youthful appearance!
        • Madussa (16/04/2023, 11:30) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
          @ Tak Da and Hen House. People talk about men all of the time. Haven't you been reading anything all of these years? They just talked about all of the tattoos a man is wearing, they talk about men dying their hair trying to look younger with their old faces, they talk about the men parting their hair in the middle and looking clownish, they talk about how fat and out of shape they are, they talk about their snobbish nose up in the air and their pockmarked face, they talk about their mental stability, they talk about mumbling where no one can understand them, they talk about elected men womanizing, they talk about elected men being thieves and everything else you can think of, etc etc etc, so why are you so offended when they talk about women? Once anyone enters the political arena, the fight is on. You should be used to it by now unless you can't read.
        • @Tek da (16/04/2023, 16:10) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
          Mr. Oneal -NDP
          Mr. Oneal. Will need a toupee on April 24.He will go bald after a land slide on Election Day. CSC
  • I voting for she (15/04/2023, 22:20) Like (57) Dislike (18) Reply
    Ingrid''''i just love to see that lady
    • lol (16/04/2023, 12:18) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      She have a man already. Take a cold shower and sit down
    • Hell no (19/04/2023, 17:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      integrity you say? Joke. She doesn't know the meaning of the word in her personal or her professional life. She could shake a bottle good though so beware.
  • Question answered. (15/04/2023, 23:30) Like (22) Dislike (30) Reply
    Naaah..None is ready at this time.. The next Premier is between Ronnie or Marlon...Ronnie is the better of the two but first he has to win his seat..
    • Voter6 (16/04/2023, 07:03) Like (32) Dislike (9) Reply
      • @Voter6.. Hear this. (16/04/2023, 11:17) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
        If Ronnie loses his seat Marlon will be the next Premier... Keep this in your head. VIP cannot win 7 seats and NDP, PVIM and Frazer together will win 7 seats...VIP will win 5 seats, (one at large and 4 district)...One independent. = 13.
        • @Voter 6 (16/04/2023, 16:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          Ronnie na we had a seat to loose. Get your facts right lol
        • Trebble (17/04/2023, 01:34) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
          AND you want Mitch, he fadder and he brother get the pudging if Ronnie lose a seat? Look trubble Election Night.
  • asking for a friend (16/04/2023, 00:13) Like (9) Dislike (66) Reply
    What about decastro ?
    • & asking for a friend (16/04/2023, 06:53) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
      You must be want mother hen to be Premier while baby chick acts the role
  • Why??? (16/04/2023, 00:50) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    It’s interesting that everyone is now subscribing to the notion of a female leader of the BVI. Why not list all the women on the trail? It’s a slap in the face to the women who are there now, as well as those who have been trying to get in for years. What are the qualifications, criteria, traits and ideologies that our new female leaders should possess? What are those required for the males? Many of them are running because of loyalty to someone instead of the territory. Until we start to educate future leaders on government systems prior to them beginning a campaign, the empty promises are just fodder for the sh!t show that we call elections. Consider that we complain about it being talking season, yet get excited about how people talk at their launches and look forward to debates.
  • Drought (16/04/2023, 01:23) Like (35) Dislike (3) Reply
    What makes them better than the other women running that are also qualified? Oh please for heavens sake.

  • Foolishness (16/04/2023, 03:18) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    People need to stop trying to sway the minds of the people their way. I reject it for them in the name of Jesus.
    None of the mentioned qualify as Premier.
  • Woman (16/04/2023, 07:31) Like (7) Dislike (11) Reply
    Not good, so according to this, the other women names not mentioned dont qualify, so dont vote for them. We dont want another accidental premier
  • lol (16/04/2023, 07:40) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    Three lame mares. Wheel and come again selector!
  • Seriously? (16/04/2023, 07:56) Like (8) Dislike (26) Reply
    the only one there we will accept as Premier is Mrs. L Hodge-Smith. The other two naaa because Lorna from Anguilla, none of Moses' parents born here, so Luce is the only indigenous one!!! BAM BAM BAM
  • one eye (16/04/2023, 08:18) Like (20) Dislike (5) Reply
    Yes we need a women at the top these old men have killed the bvi dream
  • Stealth (16/04/2023, 12:15) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    1 of the 3 (why just these 3? Are not other women in the race) listed was the de facto Premier for 2 terms (8 year),?was she not? True, she was not the de jure Premier; nevertheless she had had tremendous influence over policy. A comprehensive, honest analysis of the 8 years of NDP rule would indicate a record of under performance. The BVI Air Ways fiasco, the EE/Ll sewage project money transfer, the Elmo Stout High School Wall, the Brandy Wine Bay Beach Renourishment project,,etc, are just a few of the misadventures and underperformance. It s underperformance did not foster reflection 2019.

    Moreover, I’m not averse to a woman becoming Premier. Nonetheless, a woman should be qualified, prepared, ready tested and proven….etc. The same criteria should apply also to men. What we don’t want is a Peter Principle situation, ie, promoting a person to a level of incompetence. In unscientific polls, it appears that after after the 24 April General Election indeed there may be a Hung-HoA, ie, no party winning 7 seats to form a government. Consequently, there will be much leverage of position(s) and horse trading, etc, for forming a government. The horse trading will be about personal self interest, not assembling the best suited team to form the government. In such a situation, a woman indeed may emerge in becoming Premier . As noted above, a woman should not be elevated just to check a historical block but rather because she is best suited, qualified, tested, proven….etc Similarly, no man should be elevated to Premier unless he is best suited, qualified, tested, ready, demonstrated experience, proven, prepared and ready. The Westminister system is flawed and can be a hot mess.
    • Word Salad (16/04/2023, 14:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Lots of flowery, unfamiliar words, ie, de facto, de jure, Hung-HoA, Peter Principle. I feel like I’m in a political science 101 or basic management class. I started reading the comment and went oh, oh, this person is going to get blasted for broad daylight sexism but you recovered nicely by expecting the same standards for men. I had to go look up Peter Principle. Well, Peter Principle is employed frequently in the VI where a piece of paper and other things trumps experience.
    • Sounding Board (16/04/2023, 18:37) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      I’m sure Lorna was a sounding board/consultant for the Hon Dr. D. Orlando Smith, her Husband who was Premier and Minister of Finance. Though she may or may not have been just an adviser, he was the final decision maker, so the blame cannot heaped on Lorna for any SNAFUs. The impression is being created that Dr. Smith was a weakling and not a free, capable, independent thinker decision decision maker. Lorna is her own woman with a resume.
      • Truth (16/04/2023, 22:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Dr smith was a good doctor but he was out of his depth as a political leader. He lacked the effective communication skills, political and leader skills needed for the rough and tumble world of politics. The bedside, compassionate persona was not conducive to rugged world of politics. As the saying goes, politics is not for choir boys. Warranted or not some of his colleagues may have felt they had to take the lead on things, which is awkward for any leader. So it is not a stretch to assume that Lorna may have had strong influence on things. And some things may have gone sideways.
  • Quietly (16/04/2023, 12:28) Like (3) Dislike (9) Reply
    Ronnie for Premier. We ain't playing that this time. We love our country and tired of the chaos. We need a builder and financial wizard. Ronnie is it!!!! Come on BVI. Wake up. Put away the excuses and vote for the best for your Country and not self.
  • ausar (16/04/2023, 13:04) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    As far as I'm concerned, they are all qualifiable for the position!
    The people will decide, that's all!
  • District 2 (16/04/2023, 14:02) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    Turnbull should been chairman of PVIM because he was sitting in house of assembly while Skelton was out of public office
  • (16/04/2023, 16:32) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
  • rolls eyes (17/04/2023, 03:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Whoever is pushing this topic needs to stop. As a young woman myself who has worked under women in the bvi I can tell you they are hoggish and terrible to work with. Particularly when you're younger than them they get really threatened and insecure about your input. Until we start really empowering women in society so that they don't see the need to be unnecessarily assertive and power drunk I will never promote a woman holding Premiership
  • FEO GOMEZ (17/04/2023, 08:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ummm nope.
  • not now (17/04/2023, 11:43) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am a woman and now is not the time. Stop this man vs woman thing. Let the best person win and right now that is a man. I will be voting for Ronnie Skelton.

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