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Constitutional review talks not aligned to COI report - Premier

Constitutional review talks not aligned to COI report - Premier

While expressing hopes that the territory’s long overdue constitutional review will soon begin, Premier Andrew Fahie said moving forward with the matter is not contingent on the Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) report.
Cabinet officially decided to move forward with the review back in June 2020.

“We are trying our best to see if we can get it started before the end of the year, but the two (the review and the COI report) are not mutually aligned,” Premier Fahie stated last week.

As for the COI’s report which is to be handed to the governor by next month, the Premier said he is certain there will not be any findings of wrongdoing as it relates to his administration.

He said: “We do agree that there will always be room for improvement, but we are confident as a government that this government has done nothing wrong and has done nothing that will yield any impropriety. But … we will just see what the report says because we have to continue to defend the good name of this territory, and that we will do.”

Just recently, political commentator Claude Skelton Cline, a known advocate for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government, bemoaned the fact that nearly five years have elapsed since the BVI first raised the issue of a constitutional review, yet no real action had been taken to date.

The talk show host said at the time that he was holding both the former National Democratic Party (NDP) administration as well as the governing VIP responsible for the failure.

“We should not be waiting for England, we should not be waiting for no report from no COI, we shouldn’t be waiting for nobody. We should be a proactive people, mindful, determinate, about who it is we are going to be as a people and what do we want for ourselves,” Skelton Cline said on his Honestly Speaking radio programme recently.

It has been fourteen years since the Virgin Islands Constitution Order of 2007 came into force.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has announced that it has earmarked funds to make the long-overdue constitutional review a reality.

At Cabinet’s meeting on February 17, leaders agreed that the overall budget for the establishment of the Constitution Review Commission and associated activities will not exceed $300,000.

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