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Premier Wheatley says Opposition Members welcomed to join his team

- says VIP Gov't is one of inclusion
Members of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. From left: Hon Stacy Mather, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull, Hon Ronnie W. Skelton, Hon Marlon A. Penn, Hon Myron V. Walwyn and Hon Julian Fraser, RA at the joint Opposition press conference on April 27, 2023. Photo: VINO
Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) was interviewed by Calistra Farrier of CaribUpdate. The interview was broadcast on YouTube on April 27, 2023. Photo: YouTube
Premier Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) was interviewed by Calistra Farrier of CaribUpdate. The interview was broadcast on YouTube on April 27, 2023. Photo: YouTube
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Emphasising that the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is an inclusive government, Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has indicated that members of the Opposition are welcomed to join his new team.

The Premier was at the time speaking on unity, governance and his agenda for his new presidential term, during an interview with Calistra Farrier of CaribUpdate and broadcast on YouTube on April 27, 2023.

Dr Wheatley was asked by Farrier if he will be seeking to bring members of the Opposition into his government, given the VIP’s slim one-seat majority, to which he indicated his willingness to work along with the Opposition, in an effort to move the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) forward.

“We are a government of inclusion and I believe that of course the Opposition has a role to play; and we have a very strong Opposition…Most of the members are either Chairmen of their Parties or former Chairmen. I would say formidable Opposition, but certainly there are persons in the Opposition who, if they were minded to, we would always welcome them if they wanted to come...I believe that we have to build the territory together,” Premier Wheatley said.

'Special work' to be done

Relating to the move in which Member of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Honourable Lorna G. Smith, OBE, now appointed Deputy Premier, aligned herself with the Party to make up the majority after the VIP had only managed to secure 6 seats, Dr Wheatley said other Opposition Members are welcomed to join to work for the development of the VI.

“Just like Lorna Smith came, if there are others who want to be part of the special work that we’re doing for the people of the Virgin Islands, we would certainly welcome it,” Dr Wheatley stated.

Hon Smith’s alignment with the VIP to form the new government on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, came as the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), which is led by Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), National Democratic Party (NDP) led by Hon Marlon Penn (R8) and Progressives United (PU) led by Julian Fraser (RA (R3) could not reach an agreement to form the next government in an effort to oust the VIP from office.

While the VIP has already announced its official Members of Cabinet, their portfolios have not yet been announced which Dr Wheatley stated would be forthcoming by the end of the week.

32 Responses to “Premier Wheatley says Opposition Members welcomed to join his team ”

  • WELCOME (28/04/2023, 09:43) Like (28) Dislike (8) Reply
    How convenient to hold on to power.
    • School children are saying that ... (28/04/2023, 10:48) Like (20) Dislike (16) Reply
      ... the VIP is desperate for one more member of the opposition to jump over so that they can dump the Snake as Deputy Premier and leave her with no party.
      Interesting times.
      Has the Snake booked her first trip away, complete with first class travel and five star hotels, yet? It can't be long.
      • @School children are saying (28/04/2023, 19:02) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
        That the reason why you know a snake is because you are one yourself. The only difference is that you have two heads. The one you are showing now and the other you are hiding. Ho look in the mirror to see if it is true
    • Rubber Duck (28/04/2023, 12:21) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
      Well they already invited the cat into their cheese shop.
    • The Opposition think we stupid (28/04/2023, 13:08) Like (14) Dislike (8) Reply
      The VIP should not have been a topic of discussion if Mitch, Fraser, Ronnie, Marlon & the others were making head way to form the government on their side. They should not have engaged in any conversation with the VIP on this matter, so they are just as guilty. All they had to tell VIP when they called is they were not interested because they are getting through with their side to form the government, but they DID NOT DO SUCH!!! Why? Well, just like a cheating marriage partner they (PVIM. NDP, PU) were cheating on each other but lying to each other to make the marriage seem like it has integrity and is working out beautifully. They need to stop taking we the people for a@$e$.
  • hey (28/04/2023, 09:46) Like (30) Dislike (12) Reply
    If Marlon had prepared his team they would not have been in the position that they are in today.
    • @hey (28/04/2023, 10:55) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
      I could not have agreed any better. He had four years to form a strong team but he waited for the last moment to do so. That is what got him in the position that he is in. You can’t/don’t know how to steer the ship, don’t sit in the Captain’s seat cause ya gonna sink the ship.
    • @hey (28/04/2023, 10:56) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
      The Premiership and extended Government is not the birthright of Hon Marlon or anyone else' let's get that clear!
    • Lilly (28/04/2023, 16:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Explain more please. I would like to hear how he could have prepared them.
  • down2earth (28/04/2023, 09:58) Like (14) Dislike (10) Reply
    “Just like Lorna Smith came, if there are others who want to be part of the special work that we’re doing for the people of the Virgin Islands, we would certainly welcome it,” Dr Wheatley stated.

    'special work' - can someone please shed light on what this is? Is it something like 'unconventional government'?

    A native Virgin Islander to the Nth generation
  • Political analyst (28/04/2023, 10:26) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    An active strong opposition is vital to keeping the government fair, balanced, transparent, focused, etc. to doing the right things at the right time for the right reason(s). On the other hand, the government has a 1 seat majority and a series of unplanned events can disrupt its majority and that could easily result in a potential change in government, ie, death, crossing of the floor, resignation, firing, serious illness, etc. Consequently, to build some cushion, to avoid any one member wielding disproportionate power and influence, and to improve governing stability, it would be advantageous for government to increase its governing majority. What is a good balance? 7:6 is not ideal. 8:5? or 9:4? are better.
    • RealPol (28/04/2023, 13:39) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      Indeed, it is about addition, not subtraction.. A governing political party should build on election through performance. A 60-70% majority is a good working ratio.
    • NPolitico (28/04/2023, 17:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      An 8:5 ratio is a comfortable margin to operating in a confident, stable environment. Would a senate offer more checks, accountability, and slow non-emergency actions down. On another note, was surprising move by Hon Smith, was the rush to form a government almost immediately after the polls close. A 7-14 day grace period should be in place to effect a proper turnover between the incoming government and out going government if needed. The out going government would not be permitted to make any non- emergency, nothing that changes the form and function.
  • Hotmess (28/04/2023, 10:40) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    @ hey. Facts he should of run with his team to vip. He( Marlon) for deputy, Smith for finance and Byron for junior minister. Work with them and get this done for your districts. Now you gone back in opposition to sit down.strupes
  • WOW (28/04/2023, 10:54) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    Election is over and time to move on with the country Business they all did what they did so why up and cry and bid don’t cry move on we see what you all had wanted just power but god had a different plan
  • Sigh (28/04/2023, 11:41) Like (36) Dislike (17) Reply
    I hope Hon Mather crosses the floor instead of staying opposition with those miserable individuals.
    • jah know (28/04/2023, 12:13) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
      He should tell us who asked him to leave the room.
    • @sigh (28/04/2023, 13:52) Like (6) Dislike (12) Reply
      I feel the same way. He is the only one I feel good about on the opposition and rooting for. He don’t need to be sitting next to a bunch of bitter miserable den of vipers aka lying snakes. But of course that is his choice. Anything that MITCH AND FRASER IS INVOLVED WITH EXPECT CONFUSION AND KAREN BEHAVIOR.
    • @ Sigh (28/04/2023, 20:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      He is not a grasshopper. He was raised to stand up for what is right . Furthermore if you listened to the press conference ,you would have heard how the Premier and his crew were disrespectful to him election night. Why would he wa t to be part of them.
      Opposition is need to hold the government accountable and he will do .
  • Rubber Duck (28/04/2023, 11:45) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    What kind of party is the NDP these days given that they only managed to put up 9 candidates. And their lack of arrangement with the Skelton clan meant that the votes against the Vipers were split allowing the Vipers to win on minority votes in 2 seats and thus become the biggest party.

    If anyone is to blame for this debacle its Marlon Penn who should now resign and let someone else lead the NDP.
  • Hmm (28/04/2023, 12:27) Like (44) Dislike (9) Reply
    Mr. Mather is needed on the green team.
  • No! (28/04/2023, 13:58) Like (17) Dislike (10) Reply
    Sowande, did the opposition stutter when they told you no? Ok. You keep Larna in YA carna...that should hold you now! My loyal and very integral opposition members, stay put. A train wreck about to take place!
  • Underground street source (28/04/2023, 14:05) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is saying it is time for Penn to give up leadership of the NDP for real. Another cup of juice from the underground street source isssss, Marlon handed Myron CARTE BLANCHE AND MYRON IS GOING TO TAKE MARLON DOWN. Hey Marlon you were warned by lots of people but you didn’t listen. My brother, logic always comes before feelings.
  • Political Strategist (28/04/2023, 14:14) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Westminister system is flawed system. The minority has little or no power power or influence. The government controls what, how much, when, where resources are allotted to an area, a district. Government is expected to take care of districts that it won and sub-optimized districts won by opponents. The legislative and executive branches are one and the same, ie, BVI. The presidential system too has it flaws. For example, in the US Electoral College promotes the perception of winning, ie, greeting the most votes yet not. winning, creating minoritarian rule. Further, the filibuster in the US Senate offers some minority influence but also creates minoritarian rule. The Electoral College is so popular that other countries are running with breaknevk speed to adopt. The BVI should move towards proportional representation, ie, a party should get the number seats based on the percentage of seat. Under the this arrangement, the VIP winning 6 of 13 or 46% should get 6 seats; NDP and PVIM each winning 3 of 13 or 23% should get 3 seats each; the PU winning 1 of 13 or 7% gets 1 seat. Let’s say PVIM had won 4 seats or 41% vice 3, it would have been alotted 5 seats and so on.
  • Sowande again.. (28/04/2023, 15:10) Like (13) Dislike (9) Reply
    Thats the real Premier, talking like the boss. All who wish are welcome...Amen.. They will.
  • Lucy (28/04/2023, 16:24) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    Why is the Premier inviting members of the opposition to "join his team". Does have a hidden agenda?
  • QPPOSITION (28/04/2023, 16:47) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply

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