Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull has warned residents to carefully consider the actions of Lorna Smith who recently became Deputy Premier after breaking ranks with the National Democratic Party (NDP) and forming an alliance with the Virgin Islands Party (VIP).
“The people of the Virgin Islands
should also know that you cannot tell me one thing for eight weeks and then in the morning you’re having negotiations to form a government and not even have the decency or respect to have a conversation with the chairman. That is something I would put in the minds of the Virgin Islands
people for us to consider because we cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results,” Mitch argued.
Mitch said that while the NDP, PVIM and PU were trying to stand by the integrity and the anti-corruption they campaigned on, Smith acted with self-interest to gain more political power.
“Even at this very moment, we could have still been in a position to form the government. But one of the things that the PVIM campaigned on is integrity, one of the things I heard the NDP campaign on is integrity and anti-corruption. One of the things the PU campaigned on is integrity. What the people of the Virgin Islands
must understand is that, yet again, we had decisions made for self interest and self preservation. The people did actually give us a chance to form a government but decisions were made with self interest and self preservation to put themselves in a position of power,” Mitch said.
Smith’s alliance with the VIP has been the biggest political fallout since the April 24 election, as the move pulled the proverbial rug from under the feet of the now-Opposition members who were working together to deny the VIP the opportunity to form the government. Recently, NDP Chairman Marlon Penn announced that fervent moves are being made to remove Smith from his party, as he too was shocked and betrayed by her decision to partner with the VIP.
Despite the expressions of disappointment, Smith stands by her decision and continues to urge the community to put the elections aside as she is now focused on working to advance the BVI.
With a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the area of international business and the financial services sector, Smith is set to serve as Minister of Financial Services, Labour and Trade, which is a newly created portfolio.