Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

HoA to meet on May 18, 2023; Race is on for new House Speaker

Former Speaker Corine N. George-Massicote, left, and Mrs R. Dancia Penn OBE KC, right, are said to be the frontrunners for the post of Speaker of the Fifth House of Assembly. Photo: GIS/Facebook
The First Sitting of the Fifth House of Assembly is scheduled for Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10:00 AM at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, in Road Town, the capital city. Photo: VINO
The First Sitting of the Fifth House of Assembly is scheduled for Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10:00 AM at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, in Road Town, the capital city. Photo: VINO
 The Opposition led by Hon Ronnie W. Skelton, left, of Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) has promised to give the Government a ‘hard time’ and bring a number of motions of no confidence against the young administration of Premier Dr Natalio D. Wheatley (R), right. Photo: Facebook/File
The Opposition led by Hon Ronnie W. Skelton, left, of Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) has promised to give the Government a ‘hard time’ and bring a number of motions of no confidence against the young administration of Premier Dr Natalio D. Wheatley (R), right. Photo: Facebook/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- All 13 elected members will be sworn into office as legislators and official members of the House of Assembly (HoA) at the First Sitting of the Fifth HoA scheduled for Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10:00 AM at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex, in Road Town, the capital city.

The first order of business, according to section 69 of the Virgin Islands constitution, is the election of a Speaker followed by a Deputy Speaker. This must be done before any other business of the Legislative Chambers goes forward.

Sources familiar with the selection process have told our news center there has been intense lobbying of elected Members on the Government side, as to who should become the new Speaker in the Fifth HoA.

The race is on!

The same source has suggested that it could be down to a two-women race between former Speaker Corine N. George-Massicote, who had a short stint after the resignation of former Speaker Julian Willock, and Mrs R. Dancia Penn OBE KC.

Some in the public domain have advocated for a strong speaker because the tri-party Opposition, made up of members of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), National Democratic Party (NDP) and Progressives United (PU), is perceived to be strong while others believe it does not matter who the Speaker will be, as all elected Members and the Attorney General must abide by the rules of the House as set out in Standing  Orders.

It appears that more residents now have an interest in what goes on in the HoA, with the rise of political activists, online news sites, and active talk shows.

It is unclear who the ruling Virgin Island Party (VIP) will choose, however, it is also believed a dark horse could emerge as the Speaker.

Give her a second chance

Many praise the immediate former Speaker Mrs George-Massocate for doing a great job stepping in to fill the shoes of Mr Willock. Many in the public think she should be given another chance so she can serve a full term as she is young and professional.

However, others believe Mrs. Penn can bring a mature voice and experience to the table and can charm a politically hostile Opposition that has promised to give the Government a ‘hard time’ and bring a number of motions of no confidence against the sitting Dr Natalio D. Wheatley young administration.

A Speaker under the constitution can be nominated from outside of the chambers (the long tradition) or inside, once that elected member is not a Minister.

As the Premier and his team close in on a pick, they have about two weeks to come to a final decision. The Speaker of the HoA is the head of the Legislative branch and is a Member of the HoA.

History in a Deputy Speaker?

In addition, a Deputy Speaker will be selected, most likely making history coming from the Opposition benches, as no Minister can become a Deputy Speaker, since all seven Government Members on the VIP side are Ministers and Junior Ministers.

The speaker's responsibilities include presiding over the HoA and in committees, chairing about one or two HoA Standing Committees, and looking after current and former Members of the HoA. The Speaker is guided by Standing Orders, Erskine May and the Virgin Islands Constitution. The Speaker is elected by a majority in the HoA and is nominated by the Premier, who is the  Head of Government business.

The Opposition Leader can also nominate someone to be Speaker, but he or she usually does not have the votes for his nominee to win.

Additionally, a Speaker is a member of the HoA and he or she must also meet the same qualifying requirements under section 65 of the constitution in order to serve as Speaker just like any other of the 13 elected Members.

73 Responses to “HoA to meet on May 18, 2023; Race is on for new House Speaker”

  • bam (05/05/2023, 14:02) Like (60) Dislike (27) Reply
    Let it be Corinne George-Massicote
    • To Bam (05/05/2023, 15:32) Like (20) Dislike (40) Reply
      Give it to the most qualified, competent and mature person at this time which is Dancia.
      • ... (05/05/2023, 19:55) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
        More mature in age doesn't always equal more competent. What has Mrs. Massicote done to prove she can't handle the role? This isn't a superstar role this is a referee role, and no referee should ever be the story. And if the opposition doesn't respect her before the house meet then they surely will after. If you don't let younger people prove themselves or to remove them before they have will stagnant the country will has been's, been there's and done that's. Let us move fwd.
    • @Bam agree 100%. (06/05/2023, 11:17) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      The people rejected Dancia two times after being a minister of Govt. Come on Dancia, "Think of that". Let the Ego trip go, concentrate on your legal work, rest when you want, sleep when you want, travel when you want. go to the toilet when you want witboutasking for permission...To add, the young lady did very well for her short period!.
  • east (05/05/2023, 14:09) Like (60) Dislike (22) Reply
    Give it to the young girl
  • Yow (05/05/2023, 14:10) Like (66) Dislike (13) Reply
    Please Hon Premier bring back the young lady, it's her generation time, plus she got the sterdiness to keep the house in check!
  • street reporter. (05/05/2023, 14:19) Like (52) Dislike (43) Reply
    To even consider Dancia is Going backwards. Straight up backwards thinking...Let Dancia enjoy her last days in the comfort of her office....Let the young lady continue as speaker, or other options would Former head teacher Ms. Headley who contested district 2, Or Zoe Walcott who contested at large and did very well those who were courageous to put themselves up before the people in this just concluded election..
    • Oh ! Boy.. (05/05/2023, 19:40) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
      Headley or Walcott? Come on people of the BVI, leave that George lady there please and thank you!!
      • Typical (06/05/2023, 15:28) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
        Let me guess why to this VIP blogger. Because they are vip cronies and bullies think them entitle and should be rewarded for losing election. These the Cronies time to fix themselves. Not about what the people want. Forcing themselves on the people after loosing election. Is no different from political rape.
  • Native Citizen (05/05/2023, 14:56) Like (72) Dislike (19) Reply
    Dancia Penn needs to give this lady a chance. She did well in the las HOA. These old people always complaining about young people not doing but they do not want to give them a chance. She already serves as Deputy Governor and was involved in politics. We had enough of her, please take your seat.

    • @NATIVE CITIZEN (05/05/2023, 15:22) Like (43) Dislike (29) Reply
      It is for all the reasons you named why it should not be Dancia are the very reasons why at this time in the country's situation it should be Dancia. She needs to take the Speaker's seat and let's move on. We can never get enough of our people who are experience and competent.
    • to Native Citizen (05/05/2023, 17:52) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
      who told you Mrs. Penn-Sallah applied to be speaker. These names are put forward. Who told you she wants to be speaker and cared for the position. Youall always finding the most negative to say without knowing actual facts. This woman enjoys her life on her own time. One thing she knows is that she has served her country and served it well and now enjoy kicking off her shoes and doing a good dance when the music start to play
  • Youth (05/05/2023, 15:01) Like (86) Dislike (43) Reply
    With due respect Danica will be the better choice at this time. Make the young lady Deputy Speaker.
    • x (05/05/2023, 15:39) Like (60) Dislike (8) Reply
      What makes Dancia the better choice? The immediate former speaker is a lawyer in her own right. She has the experience and she did a fine job in her short stint. I don't care how bad the opposition think they are, they MUST abide by the rules of the house.
  • HMMM (05/05/2023, 15:02) Like (43) Dislike (39) Reply
    My preference would be the former Attorney General Danica Penn.
  • vg youth (05/05/2023, 15:03) Like (25) Dislike (40) Reply
    This is not a time to experiment as the country also have to deal with the bad intentions of the Governor and UK officials for the House and Territory. It needs a mature Speaker at this time and Dancia is the best bet.
  • Hmm (05/05/2023, 15:05) Like (27) Dislike (9) Reply
    Jr Minister is not a member of cabinet, why cant Dawson or Hodge Smith be deputy speaker. You dont want someone from the opposition. Trust me.
    • @hmm (05/05/2023, 15:31) Like (27) Dislike (6) Reply
      I fully agree with you. A jr. Minister is not a Minister as they do not have the full authority of a Minister so they can be Deputy Speaker. Or they can put Dancia as Speaker and let the George be the Deputy Speaker. It is simple as these two options.
    • @ Hmm (05/05/2023, 16:12) Like (8) Dislike (9) Reply
      Neither Speaker NOR Deputy Speaker should be from Govt or the Opposition. The individual should be separate and impartial.
  • View of a woman (05/05/2023, 15:06) Like (24) Dislike (27) Reply
    I am glad two women are in the running. This is an encouraging sign. It would be wise to make Dancia the Speaker and allow the young lady to be Deputy Speaker. This will bring a good balance of stability and maturity.
  • Interesting (05/05/2023, 15:11) Like (20) Dislike (31) Reply
    Based on what they said in their press conference it is safe to conclude the Opposition is out for blood and a pound of flesh and will try anything to bring down the Government. The country is also in the fight for its life against an unjust UK take over strategy. There needs to be a mature, knowledgably, and articulate Speaker at this time and that person is definitely Attorney Dancia Penn.
    • x (05/05/2023, 15:45) Like (21) Dislike (8) Reply
      Tell me: How can the speaker prevent a UK takeover? And besides age, what does Dancia have over the younger attorney?
  • Good choices (05/05/2023, 15:12) Like (19) Dislike (27) Reply
    Two good choices but the best one for these trying turbulent times is Dancia.
  • Insight (05/05/2023, 15:12) Like (16) Dislike (40) Reply
    Let the young girl understudy Dancia.
  • Young person (05/05/2023, 15:14) Like (22) Dislike (41) Reply
    I am a young lady who loves the BVI and want to see our people take their rightful place in the BVI especially our youth, but this is a situation where the most experienced person should be given the role as Speaker and that person is Dancia.
  • Caution (05/05/2023, 15:17) Like (19) Dislike (35) Reply
    This is not about younger or older person, or whether male or female, but about what and who is best for this present time and situation. Without a doubt this person is Attorney Dancia Penn Sallah.
    • @ Caution (05/05/2023, 16:13) Like (13) Dislike (10) Reply
      Thank you. Tired of this younger, female, etc. talk and I’m a female and not elderly.
    • The truth Be Told (05/05/2023, 22:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Mrs. Penn done make her contribution to the BVI. She deserves to function on her own time and paste.
  • asura (05/05/2023, 15:21) Like (11) Dislike (46) Reply
    I don’t care what a man say I for the esteemed going back as speaker only he can get Myron , Fraser and Marlon handle
  • Clearly (05/05/2023, 15:27) Like (15) Dislike (26) Reply
    Those against the government will want the younger of the two ladies because they know she will not be able to withstand the constant negative pressure the Opposition has stated they will be bringing just for power. She will cave in and make many mistakes and decisions just to appease them rather than doing what is best for the country. This is why Dancia is the best person at this time to bring balance and fairness through her maturity and institutional knowledge.
    • Bumble Bee (05/05/2023, 16:37) Like (30) Dislike (9) Reply
      Mrs. George was there during our most turbulent times thus far and did an excellent job. ????????
  • facts (05/05/2023, 15:28) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    Experience is needed now.
  • hoa (05/05/2023, 15:30) Like (1) Dislike (25) Reply
    Corrie, Shania, Sharie,Zoe for speaker.. sheep, OJ for Deputy. All they do they better not put carvin Malone anywhere near the HOA, not after what he did with the vaccines.
  • Patriotic (05/05/2023, 15:30) Like (10) Dislike (15) Reply
    In light of the intentions of the members of the Opposition, Dancia would be the better choice of a Speaker to run the fifth HOA. The sitting government is basically young with the exception of two or so members, hence the need for a more mature person to strike a balance in the house.
  • Main Thing (05/05/2023, 15:34) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    Is that two women is up for the position. Anyway you put it, a woman will be sitting in the seat. Who ever it is, it is fine with me as long as a woman is sitting in the seat.
  • What we know (05/05/2023, 15:40) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    What we know is the Opposition side will vote together because people are always united when it comes to mischief and destruction. When it comes to building up it is a different story as it was seen why the Opposition could not form the government with 7 members. Let us see if the Government side will all remain united. This will be the real show down.
  • @view of a woman (05/05/2023, 15:48) Like (25) Dislike (15) Reply
    The deputy speaker can only be from those elected. Let the young lady be speaker, she is more than capable, as well as qualified.
  • Observer (05/05/2023, 15:49) Like (15) Dislike (17) Reply
    We need a mature and experience person to deal with that bullying opposition of Fraser, Ronnie , Marlon , Walwyn and Mitch to keep them in check so we can have an orderly HOA and that person must be Danica Penn
  • WTF (05/05/2023, 16:14) Like (16) Dislike (16) Reply
    Please not Dancia. She is a weak attorney and will be a weak Speaker. Look for a person who is going to be strong and impartial.
  • Bret (05/05/2023, 16:53) Like (4) Dislike (9) Reply
    The BVI will always be a laughing stock.
    • To Bret (05/05/2023, 18:08) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      You can never please some of you. The two ladies are good choices and the BVI is an example for all countries of how to develop and invest in the education of its people, especially women, so you can have good, qualified, choices to select from when positions to be filled come up like now. I am proud of the BVI, and many people share this sentiment.
  • Truth (05/05/2023, 17:16) Like (21) Dislike (13) Reply
    "Dancia's experience as a Kings Counsel and Deputy Premier, as well as her impartiality, make her the better choice for these turbulent times. Competency doesn't age."
  • youths (05/05/2023, 17:26) Like (13) Dislike (11) Reply
    Give the Youths a chance man!
    Is this the year of the elderly?
  • Not up for grab (05/05/2023, 17:30) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
    They already give it to Penn........Honestly, how is the Penn's Law firm doing........Is it still in existence..........Asking for my School age Daughter.
  • @ Observer (05/05/2023, 17:47) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
    Who cares about them. They done start to make themselves look ignorant. You cant fix stupid. It wont matter who is speaker, they cant get a thing do but make noise. They already prove for them it is about self interest.
  • @ NATIVE CITIZEN (05/05/2023, 18:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    That was brutally gentle
    ???? or nicely put ????
  • True (05/05/2023, 18:11) Like (13) Dislike (14) Reply
    I believe Neville Smith would be a good candidate since he spent some time as deputy speaker.
    • Rhythm up.. (05/05/2023, 18:48) Like (23) Dislike (11) Reply
      You all get serious. Danica has failed in every area in her official capacity, or for a better line she wasn't great Leave her in the rear view mirror let her rest. Why Dancia never got re-elected and got rejected by voters? Allow the young lady to continue, she is up to the challenge, Give her the opportunity..As a matter a fact Dancia should do the right and honourable thing and withdraw her name from consideration.. Let her old body rest and avoid all the unnecessary stress...
    • False (05/05/2023, 19:17) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
      Only a jacka$$ would recommend a sheep to lead cows.
    • huh (06/05/2023, 05:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Stop it
  • Go Dancia! (05/05/2023, 18:37) Like (3) Dislike (11) Reply
    Go Dancia!!!
  • Hmm (05/05/2023, 18:48) Like (3) Dislike (13) Reply
    Melvin, sheep or Zoe or Daniel
  • The Right (05/05/2023, 19:18) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
    Danica as speaker the young lady as deputy. She can learn a lot from Danica to one day be speaker in full capacity with valuable knowledge .
  • 123 (05/05/2023, 19:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rev Turnbull ask for Speaker ask Mitch
  • @wtf (05/05/2023, 19:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm with you ????
  • Lighterside (05/05/2023, 20:20) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why is it that every issue becomes such a burdensome problem in the BVIs? Will there eve be a time when we agree on something? I do hope the Opposition will reach an "amicable agreement " in the matter and suggest at least one person to fill this post. What about the 3rd district Rep. for deputy speaker. Nah.. second place isn't his ting!
  • Dancing with the Stars (05/05/2023, 22:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The question of Speaker of the House of Assembly will be settled before the H.O.A convenes. However the question of the Deputy Speaker is more intriguing. Since all the members on the government side are either Senior or junior ministers. The government should consider nominating new-comer in the H.O.A Hon Stacey Mater to be the Deputy Speaker of the H.O.A. Because if my memory serves me well, the Deputy Speaker should be an elected member of the H.O.A.
  • stay @ it (05/05/2023, 22:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who is it that said in 2007,to Vance Lewis, when asked, " will you be running for political office"? Answer: I'm going back to my office, that is my Law firm."
  • musa (05/05/2023, 23:16) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
    dr Pickering will be a great asset
  • Let's be fair (06/05/2023, 05:39) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    This young lady rose to the occasion to fill the void of Speaker, her stint was short but she did an awesome job.

    Now, that elections have been called and over she deserves the opportunity to continue the works started.

    Corinne you are most deserving of this job at this time. Dancing can be a mentor for with her legal seniority.
    • @ Let’s be Fair (06/05/2023, 16:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Corrine will not be rewarded for her stellar performance as speaker because the corrupt cronies and them family ready to go take her out. Time longer than twine.
  • 2023 (06/05/2023, 07:44) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    how will the young men and women of our country gain any experience if the older generation doesn't move aside: whoever holds the post of speaker have regulations and rules to adhere to: once the young men and men holds the required qualifications for a given position; grant the person an opportunity to spread their wings
  • Bout Time (06/05/2023, 08:38) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Give the young people a chance the world has change and the elders has failed to change with it.
    • @about time. Exactly.. (06/05/2023, 11:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree with you one 100%...To add its not like Dancia was an effective AG or as Minister, I am concern. Why is Dancia in this.? She just need to withdraw her name and remains honourable because this making her look other wise.
  • voter (06/05/2023, 10:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What difference does this make?? Just think to talk
  • Honestly (06/05/2023, 17:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I love Corrine George. She is a wonderful, professional young lady. The probably she had though was the young people in the House did not respect her. They constantly showed up late for House. In the history of the House I don't believe the elected Members truly cared about starting on time which was a level of disrespect to the House and the Speaker. Ms. George will have to work on that aspect of things. Dancia on the other hand would not abide by that at all.
  • asking for a friend (06/05/2023, 17:49) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    I for willock they forced him out for no reason but Marlon and Mitch end up back in opposition, want all get nothing!!! things for soo
  • Disinterested (06/05/2023, 18:58) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Dancia has check a number of blocks, ie, Attorney General, Deputy Governor, andDistrict Rep. As District Rep., she failed to earn a second term. Further, though she has had a number of positions of increasing responsibility, she has left any legacy markers. Moreover, the future of BVI is in the Millennial, Gen Z, and younger generations. Time to pass the baton to Ms. Corinne George Massicote. Let’s not make this a block checking exercise. Give the younger generation the chance and opportunity.
  • Want Experience (06/05/2023, 19:36) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    If you all was looking for experience at this time the government would have been a coalition of Kedrick, Ronnie, Julian, Lorna, Marlon, Myron, Mitch, Ingrid, Natalio, Carvin, Kye, Vincent, and Karl.

    Those were the most experienced.
    • Really (07/05/2023, 08:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Kedric May be a good doctor but an ineffective politician hindered by status and elitism, believing the colonialist story.his ship sailed. Julian may be experienced but arrogant. Vincent out of his depth. Marlon time does not equate to experience.,he is an immature rube panting to be Premier.

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.

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.