Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has detailed that should the Virgin Islands (VI) fail to elect a party with the majority in the 2023 General Elections and there is no agreement among the parties as to who will be the Premier, it would then cause Governor John J. Rankin to select a leader.
Coalition Gov't an experiment - Premier
“I want you to vote not only for the District Representative but for all the At Large candidates…. The other parties' only pathway to a government is the At Large and through a coalition. They know that none of them can win on their own,” he told persons gathered at the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) grand final rally on April 22, 2023.
Dr Wheatley added that the other parties contesting the elections have promoted the concept and idea of a coalition; however, he reminded that it is the only way they have a pathway to form a Government which would be an experiment.
“The PVIM endorsed Honourable Julian Fraser. Julian Fraser endorsed PVIM. I had a debate with them [and] Ronnie was going left [and] Hon Julian Fraser was going right. Honorable Skelton said when I'm the Premier, this is what I'll do, Julian Fraser said when I'm the Premier, this is what I'll do.
“Well, which one of you is going to be Premier buddy? You didn't work that out before the endorsement. So the first thing that's going to happen if you elect a coalition government, it's going to have a big fight,” he added.
Gov has power to select a leader - Dr Wheatley
Meanwhile, the Premier detailed that the Governor's Office recently sent him a memo reminding him what the Constitution says about forming a new government.
“And it says… the party with the majority forms a new government, the one who can command the majority in the House of Assembly. The Constitution also says, if the members were elected, if they cannot agree on who's the leader? Do you know what happens then? The governor selects the leader.”
The Premier tasked the people of the VI to look in the Constitution and added that if they cannot select a leader, the governor will have to power to select one.
“Do you want the governor selecting your leader, people of the Virgin Islands
? So, you want to know what you have to do? You have to vote VIP all the way!” he said while reiterating that persons should vote for all in the VIP’s At Large team of Hon Carvin Malone, Hon Sharie B. de Castro, Hon Neville A. Smith and Zoe J. Walcott.