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

Opposition stands with Wheatley Gov't in opposing additional powers for Governor

- Opposition Leader says he does not support any dilution of powers of elected representatives by the UK
The 3-party Opposition has declared its unwavering support of the duly elected Government of the Virgin Islands in opposing additional powers for the unelected governor. Photo: Facebook
The Opposition members of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) led by Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) have indicated that they stand in solidarity with the Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) Government against giving the governor more powers to execute CoI recommendations in the territory. Photo: Facebook
The Opposition members of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) led by Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) have indicated that they stand in solidarity with the Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) Government against giving the governor more powers to execute CoI recommendations in the territory. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The Opposition Members of the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) led by Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) have indicated they stand in solidarity with Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and his Government against giving the governor more powers to execute Commission of Inquiry (CoI) recommendations in the territory.

Hon Skelton during a press conference called by the Opposition on January 9, 2023, said the Opposition Members were therefore concerned at the statement of the governor requesting more powers.

“We called this press conference because we are extremely concerned about the statement the governor has made in his Fifth Quarterly Report, which is that he will be seeking additional powers. As a result, we reiterate the Opposition's solidarity with the government and the people of the Virgin Islands against any additional powers being given to the governor,” Hon Skelton said.

Governor Rankin, in his Fifth Quarterly Review published on January 5, 2024, stated he was disappointed at the rate of reform ahead of an already revised May 2024 CoI Reform Implementation deadline, and has reached the conclusion that he must request additional powers to help ensure the Framework Agreement proposed by the VI Government is delivered.

Step for more powers 'Unnecessary' - Hon Skelton 

Further, the Opposition Leader said he believes it is both a retrograde and unnecessary step in the furtherance of governance and democracy to give the governor more powers.  

“I need to make it abundantly clear that, while we are in agreement on this core point. There are certain issues, discussions and agreements between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the Government of the UK, of which the Opposition and the people of the Virgin Islands have not yet been made aware.”

Hon Skelton on behalf of the Opposition added that while they stand formally with the government on this issue, they feel it was necessary to hold their own press conference to demonstrate zero tolerance for any dilution of the devolved power conferred by the duly elected representative of the people by the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Hon Skelton said he is of an age that is almost as old as the constitution and noted that “History has proven that every time the duly elected representative of the people get power, the VI advances."

VI advanced when its leaders get more powers -  Hon Skelton

“In the 1950s or 60s when little Dix and all the other development came into this country. It was the duly elected members… who advanced the cause for development in our country,” he said.

The Opposition Leader said even in the 1970’s when the VI leaders got additional powers through constitutional advancement under H. Lavity stoutt as Chief Minister, the country further advanced in ‘leaps and bounds’ in the areas of education, healthcare, and road infrastructure for example.

“I’m not just saying this in a vacuum that I don’t want Him [governor] to have it, I don't think when they have it our country does anything, our country goes in a stalemate," Hon Skelton said while adding the VI can solve its problems.

21 Responses to “Opposition stands with Wheatley Gov't in opposing additional powers for Governor”

  • Xxx (10/01/2024, 08:14) Like (10) Dislike (16) Reply
    The governor is like trump a want to be dictator
    • SECURE OUR DEMOCRACY (10/01/2024, 10:42) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      The BVI has a democratic system and if any one wants to run the BVI then let them seek to get the people's support through the established democratic process which is through the polls on election day. No one knows the agenda nor history of any Governor as they are appointed by the UK and not selected by the people of the BVI. So like most people in the BVI on the ground, I share in the strong views that no Governor should have such unlimited powers without going through the democratic system.
  • boy (10/01/2024, 08:18) Like (20) Dislike (8) Reply
    Look at where Sowande have the country. NO CONFIDENCE.
    • Hypocrisy (10/01/2024, 10:40) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
      The Governor admitted he is also behind with certain COI recommendations being implemented with the subjects he is responsible for. So how come in a modern partnership the BVi cannot take away some of his powers under him for his failure to hit the deadlines he help set? The Governor and UK are a set of hypocrites
  • 2024 (10/01/2024, 08:36) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    same level of conversation but the 13 of them should have sat at 1-table and speak to the people

    United will shall stand but divided we shall fall….
    • Hold the Governor accountable (10/01/2024, 10:43) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
      The Governor is over the police and has failed in the area of crime and keeping the people safe. The Governor is over the public service and has failed to ensure fair promotions and salary increases. The Governor is over security and pardon of prisoners at HM Prison but only those who are white were pardon and all others refused in the last 10yrs. We have seen enough highhandedness by the Governor with the little power he has and now he wants more? Our democratic and civil rights as Virgin Islanders will be loss forever. We will fight against this slavery attempt with all we got.
  • Unity government (10/01/2024, 08:36) Like (18) Dislike (13) Reply
    Sticking together to stay dishonest!
    • Broly @Unity Gov (10/01/2024, 09:52) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
      lmfao Facts! Team Thief and Deceive
    • Oh please...the Governor is wrong (10/01/2024, 10:48) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      Imagine the Governor wants more power to allow him to ignore the democratic process to do the following(Note these are just a few of his alleged intentions cloaked as good governance):
      1) Take over Immigration: He wants to immediately give over 4000 of his kind status so they can out number the people of the BVI and then allow them to have a secondary take over plan.
      2) Pass the new police act on his own: He wants to give the police unlimited powers to do many anti-democratic things such as but not limited to searching anyone's home without a warrant and do so on mere suspicion. Talk about making the BVI a police state where people will have no basic human nor democratic rights.
      3) He wants to pass the Jury Act: Here is where he wants the cases to proceed without any jury to decided the cases but rather have the Judge themselves decide if you are guilty. Not only is this anti democratic but it represents dictatorship as all the UK will do next is flood the position of Judges with persons from the UK who have like minds as them against the locals and Caribbean people. It is another tier of their take over plan.
      4) Powers to pass laws by himself without HOA: Here is where he wants to legalize same sex marriage. Here is where he wants to redefine who is a Virgin Islander.

      I will stop there for now but people of the BVI these people have no good intention for us. They have no respect for our democracy and democratic rights. It is time to wake up and stand up for what is right and represents true democracy and not sit back and allow a wicked agenda by the Brits to get through.
    • @Unity government (10/01/2024, 10:50) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
      What is more dishonest than how the Governor is dealing with alleged wrong doing and corruption of the current white UK Commissioner of Police. You paid UK bloggers will not fool the majority of people of the BVI.
  • Josiahsbay (10/01/2024, 08:43) Like (13) Dislike (13) Reply
    It would be an abuse of power for the UK to grant more power to the Governor. We need to stand up for our right to self-determination. The UK is not filling the UN mandate for the UK to help us towards that end. They are pushing us back into a colonized state.
  • one eye (10/01/2024, 09:29) Like (8) Dislike (11) Reply
    How come we not marching yet?
    • @one eye (10/01/2024, 10:51) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      You are correct as only a revolution will bring the needed solution.
    • RealPol (10/01/2024, 13:56) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      To One Eye, open the other eye. Where is the organizing, planning, goals and objectives, strategies and tactics? Did the Great March of November 1949 happened without organizing, planning, etc? No. Will it serve the Governor’s purpose to see small turnout at a protest with a minuscule percentage of the population? Yes. It empowers and emboldens the Governor to move bud speed with his power grab to achieve the ultimate aim—taking control and taking. Yes, the Governor is leaving, but the plan is not a one man plan; it is a system approach and plan for the migration of Brits. Poor prior planning piss poor performance, and outcomes. A few people turning up for a protest march may make the few participants feel good but it does little for the overall objective..The Great March of Nov 1949 brought people out from from every nook and cranny of the VI, from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke, Jost Van Dyke to Salt Island, from Salt Island to Virgin Gorda and from every hamlet and village. An estimated 1500 Virgin Islanders joined the organized protest against the egregious behavior of Commissioner John Agustus Cockburn Cruikshank, the almost vanishing delivery of services.

      The Governor is playing the long game, playing chess while Virgin Islanders are divided, playing checkers. The colonialists abandoned the VI as only useful as a bird sanctuary. Today, the VI is experiencing a rebirth, a renaissance,etc. The British Empire has collapsed and vanished and things are not going too well economically, socially,,politically, etc., for the UK and Britons and they have trained their eyes on the VI and other OTs as employment and business opportunities, their tropical play grounds, etc. Stay vigilate, vigilant and woke folks.
  • GateKeeper (10/01/2024, 10:40) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    A picture is worth a thousand words. What a great visual it would have been and could be seeing Government and Opposition united and standing shoulder to shoulder pushing back against UK-appointed Governor John Rankin, CMG, bombshell brazen power grab. The UK sees the VI and its people as belonging to and owned by the UK, but not an integral part of UK and not part of the UK family as it conveniently states. The US’ Insular Cases takes and hold the same view,,ie, the US territories, viz, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Marianas, American Samoa, United States Virgin Islands, etc, as belonging to the US but not being part of the US. This is a critical period for the people of VI and their political representatives. In this grave hour, political combatants must put aside their philosophical differences and come together to resist the rising tide of undemocratic actions, diminishing rights, freedoms, blessings of liberty, self-determination pursuits, etc. Thumbs up to the Opposition for setting aside its differences with Government to unite to fight the rising tide. Commendable.

    Moreover, the divide and rule, divide and scatter construct employed by colonialists have controlled and retarded/slowed slaves and descendants progress, keeping them non-empowered, impoverished, powerless, non competitive and as an underclass. The colonialists have always had the assistance of some slave and descendants in executing their divide and rule,,divide and scatter plan. Colonialism’s Modus Operandi is dividing a country, colony, territory, etc into sectors and supporting a sector which is then beholding to it.

    The Virgin Islands [British] is a deeply divided territory. And consistent with the divide and rule strategy, Governor Rankin and the cabal are weaponizing the VI’s disunity to easily do what it wants—-take control. Consequently, the VI people must unite to protect the VI for the good of Virgin Islanders and residents by working collectively, cooperatively, and collaboratively. Pushing back against the colonialism rising tide requires effective organizing, planning, unity. The Great March of 24 November 1949, which was led by national Hero Theodolph Faulkner, success depended and rested heavily on organizing, planning and unity. National hero Noel Lloyd and Positive Action Movement (PAM) success in putting Wickhams Cay and 80% of Anegada back into local hands rested on unity , organizing and planning. The blueprint is there for fighting the rising tide. Let’s do dis ting!!
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (10/01/2024, 10:53) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Fear of future unknown can cause destructive present errors, in reference to the Governor's request for greater power to seek for the completion of the 48 CoI recommendations to repair much alledge harm done against the people of the BVI over many years of political malpractices by, if not all, the majority of politicians that have served, and are currently serving as government leaders.
    There is a saying: Those that done no wrong do not attempt cover-up of wrong. But that statement is not entirely true.because many people that have not done certain wrong do try to help cover wrongs that others have committed for various reasons.

    We humans is living in a world of two extreme, good and evil. The following statement is a true one. More often than not we assume that persons, Governors to be exact, in Superior position than us, if given additional power in an attempt to help remedy certain needful problems, such as we are currently experiencing in the BVI, especially if their skin colour is white and they birth place and culture differ, we assume the worst outcome will be evil prematurely, rather than some good. Such a way of thinking is also just as racist as those we often we accusing of being racist Colonizers Racist mentality is of no particular skin colour, place of birth and cultural diversities.
    • Stupes (10/01/2024, 13:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I was trying to read your post until I got to "we humans is ....".
  • Which Governor? (10/01/2024, 11:02) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rankin is leaving this month (January), so he is seeking additional powers for a brand new Governor....hmmmm

    Old people say, 'Yuh know what ya have, yuh don't know wa yuh gon get!"
    • @Which Governor (10/01/2024, 13:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      To Which Governor, real talk, excellent insight. Kudos to you for your observation. Let’s open our eyes, ears, etc and be thinking at the tip of the spear like the colonialists m.
  • Socrates (10/01/2024, 14:59) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    The UK is pushing its might is right, white is right power to take control of the BVI and the BVI people caught flat footed??

    1. Is the BVI small population deeply divided??? Is the 70:30, expats to locals contributing to division(I’’m just asking the ???)?
    2. Is the Willie Lynch divide and rule conditioning still working in the BVI? Is meritorious manumission still being used in the BVI? Are some Virgin Islanders behaving like Benedict Arnolds and Neville Chamberlain? Is the Stockholm Syndrome affliction prevalent in the BVI?
    4. Are BVIslanders more interested in commercialism than social, political , cultural, etc issues? Is this focus opening the door, making it easy/easier for others to encroach and take control?
    5. When did the UK take full control of the BVI? When did the BVI become part of the Leeward Islands Federation? When was the BVI Legislature suspended in and reinstated? What action(s) preceded the Legislature reinstatement? When did the BVI become a colony of the UK , a dependent territory, overseas territory??
    6. When was ministerial system of government ushered into the BVI?
    7. When did the BVI get off of Grant-in-aid ? What was the last major capital project has the UK funded? Who funds the Governor’s tropical sojourn holiday in the BVI?

    8. How has the UK done as the Administering Power’ in guiding the VI towards a full measure of self-government?
    9. Is the VI constitution a modern, non-dependency?
    10. Why is the UK dishing out dependency model constitution?
    11. Having bolted from the territory , why is the UK so interested in the territory?

    12. Why after centuries of control neither commissioner, administrator or governor have been a person of African descent, a woman or another minority ?
    13. Does the UK have ulterior motives with their urgent interest in the BVI, ie, employment, belonger status, etc.
    14. Are Virgin Islanders fully engaged in the political process? Do they think the process is self executing?
    15. Should Virgin Islanders come together, setting aside political philosophy to resist the Governor’s power grab?
    16. The Governor already almost absolute power?
    17. What is the risk of VI people not doing anything about the power grab?
  • The Frig….. (10/01/2024, 19:10) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was inquisitively reading all the interesting comments for and against Governor Ranking, bold , brazen, bombshell and shocking push and proclamation for more power. But Socrates, again, you are damn use full frig… posing a series of probing questions which people probably don’t want to entertain and honestly answer. Nevertheless, the questions must be honestly answered, if we want to keep things real. The Frig…out to continue reading about the whining, belly aching, etc.

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.