US Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Albert Bryan Jr has applauded BVI’s elected leaders for establishing the National Unity Government (NUG) in order to prevent the United Kingdom from suspending the constitution and snatching power away from BVIslanders.
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom (UK) threatened to impose direct rule on the BVI after a Commission of Inquiry
) found that the principles of good governance were ignored by successive administrations. In an effort to retain power, elected leaders formed a coalition government — the NUG, led by Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley — and promised to improve governance by implementing the recommendations imposed by the COI
Speaking at the 50th staging of BVI/USVI Friendship Day on October 22, Governor Bryan said BVI’s elected leaders showed firtitude and wisdom as they did what was necessary to keep power in the hands of locals.
“The entire Cabinet, when you talk about courage — the courage to go against the political norms and form their own coalition because they understand that the independent rule of the people is more important than their own personal, political agenda,” Governor Bryan said as the audience applauded.
“When we govern anywhere, especially as people of colour, we have to recognize that the tremendous burden of wisdom is to have the courage to do the things that are right even when they are not politically popular. That is our mandate,” Governor Bryan stated.
He also said he believes the current leaders of the BVI have the BVI’s best interest at heart and hailed BVI residents for electing leaders who are able to show courage, wisdom, and understanding in difficult times.
Although power hasn’t been snatched from elected leaders, the UK is still closely monitoring the BVI government and promises to take over the territory if elected leaders fail to implement the principles of good governance that were recommended.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley is expected to lead a contingent to the UK in the coming weeks to seek the removal of the Order in Council which the UK put in place to take over the BVI if orders aren’t followed.
Below are scenes from the 50th staging of BVI/USVI Friendship Day held on Saturday, October 22.