Governor John Rankin has denied influencing any decisions made after the release of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report last year that preceded a reshuffle of government ministers.
Following the report and Premier Andrew Fahie
’s unrelated arrest in the United States, two ministers — then-Health Minister Carvin Malone and Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley — were asked to step down. Then Opposition legislators Marlon Penn and Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull where given those two ministerial posts to help form the coalition Government of National Unity with
However, the governor has insisted he played no role in that Cabinet reshuffle.
“Let me assure you, I have had no say at any point or attempted to influence who is appointed as a minister within this territory,” Governor Rankin said at a recent press conference. “I have not done that to date, and I would not intend to do that after the general election.”
While responding to a question about his position on the coalition government should continue after the upcoming general elections, Rankin attempted to steer clear of that arena.
“My stance is that I’m hopefully a wise enough governor not to get involved in party political issues within this territory,” he stated. “It is not for myself as governor to express views about any particular political party.”
Governor Rankin stated that he welcomes a commitment from any subsequent government to the implementation of the COI
recommendations, but said he would not get involved in the specific questions of who should be a minister or which party should be in power.
“That is for the people of the British Virgin Islands in the upcoming election to determine, not for me as governor,” the governor insisted.