Armed with more knowledge and experience from a rocky four years in office, Virgin Islands (VI) Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has referred to his first term as a legislator as a learning experience under ex-Primer Andrew A. Fahie and the Unity Government.
“The four years which have passed were very much a learning experience, very instructive just about anything that could have happened did happen,” the Premier told journalists at a May 2, 2023, press conference on matters in the Territory.
He added, “and that institutional knowledge that I now have will be brought to bear in the position that I am in now, to give the people of Virgin Islands better leadership and better governance,” he said.
While in office, the VIP government was faced with not only the COVID-19 pandemic which spanned about two years, but a simultaneous Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Governance.
While in office, the VIP government was
faced with not only the COVID-19 pandemic which spanned about two years,
but a simultaneous Commission of Inquiry into Governance.
Pandemic & simultaneous CoI
Over the term, the VI also saw the arrest of the then Premier Fahie
on drug conspiracy charges and a threat to democracy and the local constitution being suspended over the findings and recommendations of the COI
“We've learned a lot about what happened for the past four years, and if I had to go back and do certain things differently, I would,” Dr Wheatley added.
He however noted that although he wants to, he cannot go back so the only thing to do is to move forward in a way that he believes is right for the territory.
During the campaign trail, Dr Wheatley admitted mistakes were made by the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) Government and his admission caused his political opponents to have a field day lambasting him and the party.
"I am not saying I will never make a mistake again...because I am not perfect," Dr Wheatley stated at the recent press conference.
“And based on those experiences, I have a great deal of confidence that a lot of those mistakes we won't repeat and whatever mistakes we do make because we're human beings, we will try our best to correct,” the Premier added.