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Opposition walks out of HoA after motion passed to amend Order Paper

-Premier Wheatley said move was to allow public officers to supply answers to over 100 questions
Opposition Members of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA), this afternoon walked out of the House after the HoA voted to move a lengthy question and answer segment to the end of the order paper. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Opposition Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) outside the House of Assembly. Photo: Team of Reporters
Opposition Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) outside the House of Assembly. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI– Opposition Members of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA), this afternoon, October 31, 2023, walked out of the House after the HoA voted to move a lengthy Question and Answer (Q&A) segment to the end of the Order Paper.

During today’s Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Fifth House of Assembly, the Opposition objected to the motion for the Q&A segment to be reordered.

Opposition Leader Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) and Opposition Member Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) said the Opposition was not going to tolerate the motion.

House Speaker Hon Corine N. George-Massicote said that given there was no compromise between the two sides of the House, the matter would go to a division of votes of the House.

Premier moved motion to amend Order Paper

Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had originally moved a motion for the Q&A segment to be moved down on the Order Paper to add an item, Resolution for Supplementary Appropriation (Act) 3 of 2023.

The move sparked criticism from the Opposition Leader, Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), who said it showed the Government had no respect for the Opposition.

The Premier argued, however, that the matter was the opposite and that “it was out of no disrespect to the members of the Opposition we are reordering the order paper. Actually, it’s the opposite, it’s a great deal of respect for our public officers who have expressed their concerns formally that the amount of questions posed by the Opposition Members has made it onerous for them to complete the task in a short period of time,” he said.

The Premier added that the relegation of the Q&A section was only done so that the Opposition and the public could get accurate answers to the questions.

Opposition loses votes in HoA & walks out

Following more criticisms from Opposition Members, the matter was moved to a division of the House, where the Government side prevailed at the end of the vote with the amendment of the paper, resulting in the Opposition walking out of the House.

The Members who walked out include the Opposition Leader Hon Skelton, Hon Myron V. Walwyn (R6), Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), Hon Stacy M. Mather (AL), Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), and Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2). 

Our news center will bring more details as they become available. 

42 Responses to “Opposition walks out of HoA after motion passed to amend Order Paper”

  • Opposition need to cool out (31/10/2023, 18:15) Like (32) Dislike (56) Reply
    The Opposition is sickening. How you going walk out and abandon doing the people's business. So what if the questions come at the end. You will get your chance to ask. The Jury Act is an important piece of legislation. Man up and stop acting like children. Set a cry babies who just want to grandstand. Get back in the House and do the people's work!
    • History (31/10/2023, 21:47) Like (9) Dislike (11) Reply
      For those who have short memories like some of the present Opposition Members as well as and some of you posting comments against the government for this action please be mindful of two things:
      1) Ronnie, Myron, Mitch, and Marlon were all members of the NDP who made this action a regular when they were in government at every session of the House of Assembly. So how come all of a sudden the shoe is on the other foot it is a problem. They are only reaping what they sowed.
      2) The action is legal as it is allowed under the laws of the House of Assembly once the majority agrees. It does not mean the questions will not be asked but it will be done later in the proceedings of the House of Assembly. The rules do not need everyone's approval, just the majority.

      This is nothing new nor nothing illegal. The Opposition needs to sit down in the House and do the people's work and stop this unnecessary show hoping to gain political points. We the people are hurting and need representation, NOT A SHOW!
    • @Opposition needs to cool out. Pls stop (01/11/2023, 06:47) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      Pls put country first. Be honest..Come on-- nothing positive or progressive is happening in the BVI..We are in reverse.. High prices or out of control prices, minimum wage too minimum..out of balance, a simple relief just to increase the non taxable income to $18,000 for those making less than $30.000. I heard Vincy PM gave a helping the people speech / programme and that sounds like the same speech and programme our premier needs to adopt..
  • jah (31/10/2023, 18:15) Like (34) Dislike (34) Reply
    Set of fool no wonder they couldn't form a government
    • good (31/10/2023, 20:07) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      Can they stay out!
    • @jah (31/10/2023, 21:49) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
      You are so correct. They could not come together to form the Government. But they can come together to cause confusion and mischief. They know they do not trust each other so what games the Opposition here playing.
      • B (01/11/2023, 09:23) Like (11) Dislike (10) Reply
        You guys have bad memories, they did come together, but the one in the corner jumped ship.
        Because her power increased.
    • WOW (04/11/2023, 07:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You is so right from the day election finish they cannot get over it
  • my yute (31/10/2023, 18:24) Like (25) Dislike (30) Reply
    These set of fools what have they achieved by walking out, they have no credibility as they could not even formed a government when they had 7 seats
  • ... (31/10/2023, 18:25) Like (38) Dislike (39) Reply
    I admire how the government stick together the opposition is nothing but confusion
    • Kermit the Frog (31/10/2023, 21:57) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      Ah confused. The wall man telling people Skelly is no leader. He also tell people Smurf is ah waste ah time as a leader of NDP. Smurf telling people Skelly loss it and he too soft. The mischiefmaker 2nd district one trying to get his party to move Skelly to make he leader & he saying deh wall man going jail. None of them trust Fraser. Ftaser telling people deh wall man going balo. Deh list is long n factual how dem truly feel about each other in deh opposition. So wah show dem putting on for deh camera to try to fool deh people dem. Misery really likes company. Ah gon bac to sipping meh tea buddy. Deh ole people does say dem mek deh dog sick wid dem highpocricy.
  • Malone x (31/10/2023, 18:32) Like (19) Dislike (13) Reply
    Dis boy think he running a pig farm he think the BVI is his . The devils chiken coming home to rooft. He running the government like papa Doc De Duvalier
    • @malcom x (31/10/2023, 20:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      John f Kennedy style
    • Enough is enough. (01/11/2023, 03:29) Like (23) Dislike (4) Reply
      Opposition had no choice. Our leaders our own act like Gods without mercy...Sad to say, we need the Gov and Britain intervention now to save us from our selves, we are gradually sinking in deep waters and our captain of our ship, showing no concern.
  • HE LIE (31/10/2023, 18:38) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
    • @HE LIE (31/10/2023, 22:00) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      I support the government but I do not support what Lorna is doing with the Trade Commission Act nor do I agree with the Opposition walking out. The trade commission takes out the politics from Trade licenses. What she is doing sounds good to some but it does not look good nor does it represent good governance. The Opposition needs to grow up and do the people's business.
  • Ah Luv it (31/10/2023, 18:39) Like (24) Dislike (19) Reply
    • bvi (01/11/2023, 13:25) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      The only people got boycott is the foolish people who voted for them
  • Maturity (31/10/2023, 18:41) Like (34) Dislike (10) Reply
    I like to see that the opposition are all on the same page
  • circus (31/10/2023, 18:42) Like (21) Dislike (9) Reply
    Settah clowns
  • forget about NDP, PU and PVIM (31/10/2023, 18:44) Like (19) Dislike (30) Reply
    Ayo form one UNIFIED PARTY and ayo got the government next time for sure. HANDS DOWN/LANDSLIDE
  • BVI love (31/10/2023, 18:47) Like (27) Dislike (23) Reply
    We call on the people of the bvi to join in and stand in solidarity with the government of the day in their pursuit of being the legitimate government elected by we the people to serve for the next 4 years
    • But (31/10/2023, 20:29) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      They weren’t. It was quits until Lorner got outta the corner and joined Sowande
  • Local (31/10/2023, 18:50) Like (21) Dislike (19) Reply
    Listen Ronnie and crew we don't care if you all walk out because they will never be a next opposition like the one VIP had when Andrew was opposition leader you all weak. A bunch of boneless men.
    • @local (01/11/2023, 18:36) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
      Correct! Andrew ran to the White House and caused the COI and the doldrums we are in now! Him and these clown brigade….
  • my 2cents (31/10/2023, 18:52) Like (17) Dislike (27) Reply
    The opposition acting like children as this chicken walkout did not happen in a vacuum, they got pressured from crazy Cindy and others on talk shows to do something. It has now backfired as the government business still went forward
  • Strupes (31/10/2023, 19:15) Like (13) Dislike (10) Reply
    Big children
  • pat (31/10/2023, 19:49) Like (19) Dislike (15) Reply
    Ronnie needs speech classes
    • @ pat (01/11/2023, 07:55) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
      And Myron too as he speaks like an angry black man just out of incarceration
  • A VOTER (31/10/2023, 20:07) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Opposition acted like a bunch of fools. Where they come from with 100 plus question.. they not there to do the peoples work. Studing crazy Cindy and uneducated Zan lewis who need to go where he came from and report there.
  • Ok let’s look at the bigger picture (31/10/2023, 20:13) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    So when they walk out and did nothing for the rest of the day our tax dollars still have to pay them right?

    So who really benefitting?

    This set seem to ban together for stupidness that don’t benefit the country but couldn’t ban together to form the government.

  • Lb (31/10/2023, 20:53) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    The Opposition did exactly what it was supposed to do! One minute you saying oh the Opposition isn’t doing anything. Now they finally stand up for something and you all want to to criticize them? They have no power so they can only show their opposition by voting against government measures or standing up and walking out. Same happens everywhere in all governments. If they had sat there and just let the motion pass and sit there like moomoo then we would say how soft they are.
    Any of you understand the actual issue? Any of you understand why it is important that the border Paper not be changed? The order paper is the people business. When government changes that then the people’s concerns do not get heard!
    Government wants to change the order paper just to get their hands on more money and so they wouldn’t have to answer Opposition questions about the many issues affecting us the people.
    So instead of criticizing the Opposition we should applaud them for standing up for us!
  • Guest (31/10/2023, 21:16) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Opposition walkout does not affect the quorum of the House and leaves the Government's 7-6 majority intact. Hence this might not be the best strategy. Its baffling how you all allowed Zan Lewis to lead you all down this road. A Motion of No Confidence (MONC) will allow you to remain in the House and debate the issues. A Government Member is not going to get up and walk out with you all. But during a MONC one could flip.
  • 2023 (31/10/2023, 21:19) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    somehow some of our people do not understand the seriousness of the situation our people are in with the pending invasion of the United Kingdom

    My goodness mr politician it is because of you guys the people of this territory got overshadowed in this C. O. I and before you all come together just look at the conduct with House of Assembly

    Hear this well; when it come to matters associated with money not a man walks out of that sitting especially if it involves a raise in pay for mr politician

    i hope walking out rectified whatever the problem is

  • lodger (31/10/2023, 21:44) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    This sleight of hand has been done so many times by both sides over the years. Its the ruling party flexing its muscles. How could moving the questions to last give any more time for civil servants to find the answers. Most questions , awkward as they may be, wont now get asked or answered. BVI business as usual.
  • only now (31/10/2023, 22:13) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    All of them in HOA should have walked out long ago when a man who is arrested for corruption and could go jail enter the House to sit down as a Member.
  • question (31/10/2023, 22:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Was the whole house in the comity stages, when the time came to vote on those Law's?
  • Silly Opposition (31/10/2023, 22:50) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    Stop the stupidness Ronnie. This was a dumb move by the Opposition. How you all going to walk out in the middle of doing the people’s business. So you all just give the Government a free pass. Who cares when you ask the damn questions! Grow the hell up. Be a leader and not a moomoo.
  • Excuses Govt. (01/11/2023, 03:24) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    This Govt being nothing but excuses, and disrespect for the Authority and the people. The COI recommendations delay and failure 'too much work for public servants' Legit questions from the opposition, 'too much work for work for public servants'. So, they not suppose to work, just show up and get pay, how about if they get to their work station for 830 then they get an early start instead of walking in after 9...No matter how you look at it. It's an administrative failure that govt is responsible for.. I with the opposition with this, 'enough is enough..
  • one eye (01/11/2023, 07:58) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    The government side won in this regards
  • Ronney (01/11/2023, 08:24) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Bunch of childish fools
    Ronney such a prick
  • jack@$$ (01/11/2023, 13:15) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Childish egos on the opposition side, you were sent there to do a job not to play who can piss the furthest. That is why they're not in the government now. Their egos can't fit in the House.

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