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Unity Gov’t had to ‘act quickly’ to prevent suspension of Constitution– Premier

Unity Gov’t had to ‘act quickly’ to prevent suspension of Constitution– Premier

Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) says the suspension of the Virgin Islands (VI) constitution was the CoI recommendation on which the other recommendations rested, and as such, his Unity Government had to act fast in negotiations with the United Kingdom (UK).

The Premier made the statement during this Monday, June 20, 2022, episode of Tola radio's ‘Da Morning Braff’ radio show with host Floyd Burnett aka 'Heritage’ where he reminded that the VI is still a territory of the UK.

VI still a 'territory of UK' - Premier Dr Wheatley


“We are not an independent country, we are a territory… and our constitution is an order of the UK Parliament, and that constitution can be suspended at any time… that’s something that people need to understand,” he reminded.

“The United Kingdom, based on this recommendation, was prepared… of course, they had not made a decision as yet, and it was important for us to act quickly, but the recommendation was for the constitution to be suspended partially,” he added.

The Premier noted that the partial suspension was for the Cabinet and House of Assembly to be dissolved and for the Governor to have executive and legislative authority over the VI with an advisory council.

“The United Kingdom can do that without consultation, in fact, they have been through the Commission of Inquiry process gathering all the information, and right after the report was published… The Right Hon Amanda Milling was in the BVI by Monday,” for consultations he said.

“So in that process… we had to act quickly to give the United Kingdom an alternative to suspending the constituting and implementing these reforms themselves,” he added.

Premier Natalio D. Wheatley, during this Monday, June 20, 2022, episode of ‘Da Morning Braff’ radio show with host Floyd Burnett aka 'Heritage’, reminded that the VI is still a territory of the UK.


VI people serious about implementing CoI Recommendations- Premier


The Premier said the Unity Government proposed that the people of the VI be the ones to implement the recommendations.

He said the first order of business would have been for the VI to persuade the UK parties that the people of the VI were serious and capable of being able to implement reform.

“And It’s important to us because for the last 70 years and even beyond that, we have been fighting for the right to have our own House of Assembly, to have executive authority on ministerial government [and] to have our own Minister of Finance and control our own finances,” which he said will come through democracy in the best interest of the people of the VI.

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