The Premier was accused at a recent press conference of not listening to the concerns of the people and not involving them in the process of the constitutional review that is set to be taking place soon.
Premier Wheatley, in denying those claims, noted that he is the elected leader of the government and is here to represent the interests of the people.
He reminded persons that the Commission of Inquiry (COI) recommended that the constitution be suspended partially and temporarily and argued that this proposal did not represent democracy.
Dr Wheatley said the United Kingdom (UK) has the power to suspend the BVI’s constitution based on laws that are in place and said they would be making all of the decisions that are needed if this was to happen.
“That’s not democracy, that’s a dictatorship and that’s something that we were seeking to avoid. The actions we have taken have preserved democracy and we’re doing that on behalf of the people so that people can go to the House of Assembly and say whatever they want to, sometimes,” Premier Wheatley said.
He continued: “They (legislators) have the ability and the power to have a voice because we successfully negotiated with the United Kingdom to stay their hand and not suspend our constitution.”
The Premier further argued that the people of the BVI should not go without representation and said he was only concerned about the people and this was the reason he was serving in office.
In the meantime, Premier Wheatley argued that he was suitably qualified to take up a post anywhere else in the world and was not simply dependent on his electoral seat for survival.
“I’m talented enough and I’m skilled enough to survive anywhere in the world and work anywhere in the world. Yeah, I’m not concerned about trying to maintain a job as an elected member. I’m concerned about preserving democracy that my fore-parents fought hard for,” Dr Wheatley said.
Premier pointed out that he was also trying to preserve the legacy of former leaders of the BVI such as his grandfather Willard Wheatley, H Lavity Stoutt, Ivan Dawson, Ralph O’Neal and Terrence Lettsome.
Dr Wheatley also argued that leaders of the BVI must possess the quality of maturity that will secure the best interest of the people of the BVI and said it is not an easy task.
“As a leader, you have to know when to be able to negotiate and you have to know when to be able to say enough is enough and to fight. And I pray to God every day for the wisdom, for the knowledge, for the understanding to be able to lead in a way that’s responsible and not reckless,” the Premier said.
He added: “It’s made more difficult, in my view, by persons who are irresponsible and unreasonable and if those persons had their way, I guarantee you, we would be in a dictatorship, right now, without the people’s representatives having any voice whatsoever.”