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Hon Fahie should be made Leader of Opposition- Doug Wheatley

- Callers share mixed views, including that Hon Fahie should focus on becoming Premier rather than Opposition Leader
Talk show host Mr Doug Wheatley (right) believes Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, should be made the Leader of the Opposition since he is now the Virgin Islands Party Chairman. Photo: VINO/File
According to Mr Doug Wheatley, Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), front, had his opportunity as Opposition Leader and also at leading the Virgin Islands Party into a general elections. Photo: VINO/File
According to Mr Doug Wheatley, Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), front, had his opportunity as Opposition Leader and also at leading the Virgin Islands Party into a general elections. Photo: VINO/File
Virgin Islands Party (VIP) President Dr Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru (right) has said the Constitution of the VIP makes it clear that the Chairman of the party shall be the Titular Head of the Party and will lead the Party within the House of Assembly, something that was refuted by Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3). Photo: VINO/Facebook
Virgin Islands Party (VIP) President Dr Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru (right) has said the Constitution of the VIP makes it clear that the Chairman of the party shall be the Titular Head of the Party and will lead the Party within the House of Assembly, something that was refuted by Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3). Photo: VINO/Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Host of the 3-D show on ZBVI 780 AM, Doug Wheatley has added his voice to the controversy involving the apparent butting of heads over who should be the Leader of the Opposition in the Virgin Islands, saying junior member Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), who was recently elected as Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), should be the new Leader of the Opposition.

Wheatley, who is the father of President of the VIP Dr Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, was addressing the much talked about issue on his 90-minute programme on Friday January 20, 2017.

“Last night a number of persons engaged me on this topic so I thought that this evening I should say something about it,” he said. “That is the question seems to be facing everyone in the community, whether or not Honourable Julian Fraser RA should be asked to step down from being Leader of the Opposition and in his stead, Honourable Fahie assumes that position. There are some persons who are in favour of that and the there are other persons who said that nothing should be done until the next election.”


According to him, the constitution does not deal specifically with a situation where you have two members of the Opposition. Had there been three, or four or five or six members of the Opposition then they could have voted and then decided on the person that they wanted to be the leader.

“But when you have two persons and both of them would vote for himself or herself then you have an impasse or a stalemate and you can’t go anywhere with that.”

The talk show host pointed out that when there is a change of circumstances then you have to take a new look at whatever the situation is because there is a change of circumstances.

He informed that the present situation is an anomaly in the House of Assembly at the moment with respect to the Opposition because there is a Leader of the Opposition who was the leader when he was the Chairman of the party. "And then you have a Junior Member, who is Hon Fahie, who has now been elevated to the position of Chairman of the VIP and Hon Fraser has been demoted from that position."

“So you have an anomaly where the person who has been demoted from the position of Chairman is still senior in the house to the person who is now the new Chairman of the party. And that is an anomaly and you have to do something about this anomaly because we cannot have that anomaly in the house.”

Make Hon Fahie Opposition leader

“You should have a situation where Honourable Andrew Fahie as Chairman of the party should assume the position of Leader of Opposition and Honourable Fraser would be a member of the Opposition in other to overcome the anomaly whereby the leader of the opposition would be senior to the other the leader of the party,” she stated.

Wheatley continued, “So that is my take on it, there has been a change of circumstances and because there has been a change of circumstances the matter has to be addressed and I think the way to address it would be to appoint Honourable Andrew Fahie as the Leader of the Opposition.”

No hard feelings, work together

“And we don’t have to have any hard feelings and bad feelings about it… There shouldn’t be any ill will, any hard feelings; it is not a personal thing at all and it should not be regarded as a personal thing,” the outspoken host said.

The talk show host argued that Honourable Fraser was Chairman of the party and he had an opportunity to take the party into the election, “they lost the election, and he continued his leadership role as being the Leader of the Opposition, but since the congress has made a change I think Honourable Fahie should assume that position and everyone should thank Honourable Fraser for the service that he rendered during the time that he was there and both he and the new Leader of the Opposition should work together for the benefit of the party, for the benefit of the people of the Virgin Islands.”

Callers share mixed views

Several persons called into the programme expressing their opinions, with many arguing both for and against Mr Wheatley’s stance.

Some felt that Honourable Fahie should concentrate on being the Premier and not fight for the post of Opposition Leader, another felt that he should redirect his energy on the Public Accounts Committee, while another felt that the Opposition shouldn’t be wasting time on who is the Leader of Opposition and focus on the bigger picture by getting themselves ready for the next general election of the Virgin Islands.

Background to the power struggle

On January 17, 2017, Virgin Islands News Online first and accurately reported that Virgin Islands Party Chairman Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had a renewed interest in becoming Leader of the Opposition, even after Governor John S. Duncan OBE had chosen Hon Fraser for the post following the 2015 General Elections.

Following our story, the Virgin Islands Party, through its President Dr Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, responded with a letter to the media, in which he stated that the Virgin Islands Party at its Executive Members elections in November 2016 had voted for a new Opposition Leader when they elected Hon Fahie as the new Chairman. Dr Wheatley, in his statement, said the Constitution of the VIP makes it clear that the Chairman of the party shall be the Titular Head of the Party and will lead the Party within the House of Assembly.

Hon Fraser, in his statement to the press on January 18, 2017, said he decided to end his silence on the matter after seeing a press release by the VIP that was riddled with falsehoods and fraught with presumptions.

Additionally, in coordination with the President of the VIP, a letter was written and signed by Dr Wheatley to Governor Duncan dated December 9, 2016, giving him the new executive officers of the VIP and advising the Governor to use the information to “assist in the administration of relevant onuses, inclusive of appointments.”

But according to Hon Fraser, petitioning a Governor to remove and replace a sitting Leader of the Opposition by a political party has no basis in the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007.

34 Responses to “Hon Fahie should be made Leader of Opposition- Doug Wheatley”

  • just asking.... (21/01/2017, 11:40) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    what else you expect the fool to say after his son is pushing the idea
  • Too (21/01/2017, 12:03) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    Hungry for Power. Dangerous!
  • My Take (21/01/2017, 12:19) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
    My view is independent of who the persons are. The Head/Chairman of any Party should be the Premier or the Leader of the Opposition.
    • @ my take (21/01/2017, 13:00) Like (20) Dislike (12) Reply
      when fahie led a coup he never had that position ..set of hypocrites and Oppressors NOT MY VOTE we will keep NDP in there
  • Hope (21/01/2017, 12:23) Like (11) Dislike (19) Reply
    I worked with both Fahie & Fraser & now some NDP ministers & I am convinced that Fahie as head of VIP is for a time as now. He can't do worse than these corrupt NDP.
    • Well Well (21/01/2017, 12:57) Like (4) Dislike (10) Reply
      Did you read the article"[ man you really need hope. What has it got to do with the NDP.
    • @ hope (21/01/2017, 20:08) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
      There are more than two sides to this destructive episode, but it's too late for "discovery " now. The rats have left the hole.
      One thing I can tell you though, the third party has legs now
  • People (21/01/2017, 12:28) Like (14) Dislike (14) Reply
    This isn't unique to the BVI. All over the world opposition party change head mid stream. The old head resigns as Opposition head after losing as head of the party then the new head takes up that post also. To remain there is inviting chaos.
  • voter (21/01/2017, 12:30) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    Good things come to those who wait. Do not destroy the party. Right now we are looking for people to lead who are willing to put country first. At this moment we have no representation.
  • Jack B Nimble (21/01/2017, 12:52) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
    I agree with Doug. Easy and easily without the public fight..The public fight has damaged the party permanently...
  • myrun (21/01/2017, 13:01) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply
    Fahie has now killed the VIP him
  • Clearly (21/01/2017, 13:29) Like (6) Dislike (11) Reply
    This matter came public due to Fraser & his gang not Fahie. It would have worked itself out without anyone knowing.
    • @ clearly (21/01/2017, 17:08) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply

      So in other words fahie and his gang must kill the vip in silence!! no no never will we who love country allow that! we want the voters to learn about them c***ks ..

    • @ clearly (21/01/2017, 20:05) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      If Fahie and the wicked ones want someone to blame, a mirror would have been far cheaper and better than your blog.
  • ole croak (21/01/2017, 13:52) Like (9) Dislike (8) Reply
    doug is only siding with his son
  • Dont forget (21/01/2017, 13:59) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
    Ralph was the leader of the opposition while fraser was chairman of the party...All Fraser has to do is resign from the party and keep the position as opposition leader then ALL TALK DONE, end of story.
  • cay (21/01/2017, 14:00) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    Leave things as is
  • Citizen (21/01/2017, 14:16) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Man you all been ridiculous. Any no fan of both parties, you all loosing strive.
  • bad news (21/01/2017, 16:24) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
    • ayo could stay deh (21/01/2017, 17:20) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
      Smart thinking bvislanders will never vote for this country to fall in the hands of fahie and his goons
    • @bad news (21/01/2017, 17:24) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      It will be good news for people like omar, bevis, tattoo, carvin, big ben gas and zoe them so if you wake up tomorrow and andrew is premier.
  • Trump (21/01/2017, 17:10) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply

    Fa... and his rebels love power and confusion this is so sad sad sad

  • voiceofthevoiceless (21/01/2017, 18:10) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    "The communication level between the Past-Chairman and the Executive Committee seems to be extremely low to nonexistence, and comes at a time when the policies and decisions of the Virgin Islands Party must be represented in the House of Assembly by the Chairman".

    I believe this statement by the new President sheds a lot of light on the tenuous and unsustainable situation that exists between the VIP Executive and the former chairman, but still member Fraser. Fraser has not refuted this part of the statement so it is reasonable to assume that it is true.

    You see Party members must be in regular contact with the executive to allow for the relay of ideas and a push of the Party's agenda in the House. It must be a team effort and you simply cannot have one man running one way and the team the next or conflict, confusion and disunity would be the result. If Fraser does not wish to continue as a party member then he should do the honorable thing and resign and I believe the Executive Committee may have exhausted all efforts in communicating to the member so resorted to asking for his removal as opposition leader. What I would have done is contact by written communication Mr. Fraser on a regular basis to schedule meetings with the new Chairman and if that failed then ask that he tender his resignation as party member. The leader of the opposition is a moot one really as what really comes with that position except possibly extra change and some benefits like special appearances and title. That could wait as what is most important going forward is finding a unified team for the next election and it appears that Hon. Fraser wants no part of it so it is time to move on for both parties.

    The current position does not help to foster the necessary harmony for the team to unify going forward.
  • long look me come from (21/01/2017, 19:54) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    Sowada wheatley come to the VIP to engage in tribalism SMH
  • Delegate (21/01/2017, 19:55) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    The correct terminology for this is 'politics vip-fahie-decastro style'
  • John (22/01/2017, 13:16) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    We only have to look to the the united states. Although presidents have been party chairman, it is almost never cuncurrent with his presidency. The currnent US democratic party chairman is Donna Brazile. She has been in that post since since Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned under fire last summer. The current GOP chairman is Reince Priebus. In modern times, the party chairman in the US has never been the president. The president is the leader. This is clearly a case of family interest. Douglas is flawed on this one: he must rethink this one otherwise democracy in the Virgin Istlands can be lost for a long time. We can't criticize wrong and engage in wrong at the same time. Was it also Fahie's wish to replace hon O'Neal?

    We are at the crossroads, where we go from here is crucial. We can't have policy based on special interest in the Virgin Islands.
    • voiceofthevoiceless (22/01/2017, 15:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The US system is just using a different name for the positions and the roles assigned to those positions. The roles of Chairwoman Donna Brazile and Chairman Reince Preibus are akin to President Dr. Wheatley 's role in the VIP which is to among other things organize the party, plan strategy, organize fundraisers and work with the campaigns of the Presidential nominee. The nominees Clinton/Trump are similar to Chairman Andrew Fahie as they were elected via the party process to represent their respective parties as leader in the general election. What the VIP just had on November 30th was akin to a US primary. The Chairman is the Leader as he is the face of the party and elected to represent the party at the next election.
      • John (22/01/2017, 19:02) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
        You are right in equating the US party chairperson with the VI president but the leader in the US is their president, in the VI it is our premier. Should the VIP win the next election the party leader should be premier. The party leader is Mr Fraser.
        • voiceofthevoiceless (22/01/2017, 20:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

          "Should the VIP win the next election the party leader should be premier. The party leader is Mr Fraser".

          How is Fraser the leader of the party? He maybe leader of the opposition but as of the 30th November 2016 election he was removed as Leader/Chairman of the party. Again the Chairman is the face of the party and the one to lead the party into the next election. Btw why are we using US analogy and political terminology when we are under the UK/Commonwealth political system?
          • John (23/01/2017, 12:55) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
            The VIP is in the opposition, Fraser is the leader of the opposition, if he was not, they won't have to write to the Governor to remove him. If everyone knows Fraser is not the leader, then why the big debate and letter writing?

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