Despite their coy posture, members of the parliamentary Opposition indicated that they will be doing everything in their power to unseat the governing Virgin Islands Party (VIP) and form the next government of the Virgin Islands.
Speaking at a press conference held by Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition on Tuesday, April 12, senior legislator Julian Fraser likened the Andrew Fahie
-led VIP administration to a dictator-styled government and said the territory is too small for that kind of governance.
He said this style of government is where every major decision happens on one side of the political table and there are no opposing voices.
“If you look at this Opposition we have right now, we have three political parties in the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition [Marlon Penn] does not get his way. The Leader of the Opposition consults with us. What happens in the alternative is when the Premier decides and tells the others, you either say ‘yes’ or you walk and I don’t think that is the way a country should run anymore. I think we can do better,” the Third District Representative said.
Fraser further said if Penn — the leader of one of the territory’s biggest political parties — succeeds in the next general election, he can count on the support of the current Opposition Members.
“If any reason, he should form a government and can’t muster enough support from within his own party and he must come to us for support, he can expect that. We can expect that he must do what a coalition does and it would be better for the party. It would be best for the country. We have understood each other, and he knows that both of us — member of the Second [District, Mitch Turnbull] and me who are representing two other political parties — are quite capable of letting him know it is not going to be that way,” Fraser said.
Meanwhile, Turnbull said the Virgin Islands
is currently in a state where it needs people who put the country first. He said people must be willing to put aside their pride and individual desires to do what is best for the country moving forward.
“Where the three of us sit in this Opposition, we decided that we will work together to serve this country and form the next administration. That is without a shadow of a doubt. We have seen what has happened over the last three-and-a-half years where it is one person running the show and everybody else following along singing Kumbaya,” Turnbull said.
“What we need is persons who can stand up on position and principle and challenge and then come out with the best outcome. Not because it is not your idea, and you have the title “Premier” which means we must go that especially when it is going against the voice of the people. In short, we are committed to doing what we must do to represent the people of the Virgin Islands
because it will need the minds and those of us who are committed to the country to put in somethings back into place that we have fallen short,” the Second District Representative continued.
Turnbull did not clarify if he would run with his current political party the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) or if he would run under the National Democratic Party.