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COI eroding electorate’s confidence in government

COI eroding electorate’s confidence in government

Political commentator Claude Skelton Cline has said he believes the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) is eroding the electorate’s confidence in its government.

The Honestly Speaking radio host made the comment while observing that Premier Andrew Fahie was grilled over policy and administrative matters before the COI recently.

“This exercise of the Commission of Inquiry, whatever else it may be, one of the things that it definitely is, is that this exercise continues to erode the people’s confidence in its elected officials and its government,” Skelton Cline said.

“It’s taken everybody – elected officials, persons who might be close to the elected officials – painting all of us with one singular brush, the reputational hazard and every other derogatory implication that can be had,” Skelton Cline argued.

According to the host, this seems to be very much a part of the COI’s goal.

Skelton Cline’s business with government over the years has also come under the COI’s microscope.

Wheatley annoyed after watching Premier at COI

Meanwhile, government minister Vincent Wheatley, who was a guest on the Honestly Speaking show at the time said: “It’s like saying you’re a thief, now prove me wrong. Now you prove me wrong, after I said you’re the thief.”

“That’s how it comes across to me,” he added. “I’ve already condemned you, now prove me wrong.”

Wheatley said he was annoyed after watching the Premier give evidence before the COI last week and argued that the COI was ‘totally unnecessary’.

According to the Minister, while the outcome of the COI will not, in most instances, be a bad thing, the BVI could have fixed its own issues without being labelled as corrupt or being made to appear as if it is on trial.

He said the COI’s outcome will likely highlight areas in the BVI’s governance that need to be strengthened. He also predicts that the COI will recommend new areas that need to be introduced and possible legislation or policy that needs to be brought into effect.

“It could have been done differently, not under this thing where we are going to see if you’re criminals, if you’re corrupt and all this other thing there,” he said.

“A lot of things they’ve identified as deficient, we too have recognised those things, and are putting measures in place to strengthen our democracy, strengthen our institutions, filling in these gaps to make sure we’re more accountable, we’re more transparent and [demonstrating] good governance is the order of the day,” the minister stated.


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