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Friday, May 27, 2022

Constitutional reform talks not to give gov’t more power

Constitutional reform talks not to give gov’t more power

Constitutional reform discussions are not an avenue to cease greater authority but are necessary to take the BVI forward, Premier Andrew Fahie has said.

“These conversations are not one in which to give any sitting government more power or autonomy over the people but these discussions are to make sure that as a people, we develop ourselves and we’re ready for whatever the next level is,” Premier Fahie said at a recent press conference.

According to the Premier, such conversations are what a mature country has.

Premier Fahie expressed that being British is something voluntary and said it is up to Virgin Islanders to continue to develop their institutions.

The territory’s leader explained that his government has been very serious about its position on further strengthening the institutions of the BVI.

As an illustration of this, he mentioned a slew of good governance legislation that his government has passed in the House of Assembly so far. These include the Whistleblower Act, Contractor General and procurement legislation, and a ministerial code of conduct, among others.

Premier Fahie said these steps toward institutional strengthening were not taken because his government was instructed by the United Kingdom to do so.

“Those are things that we promised the people of the Virgin Islands and in our manifesto and we decided to move forward because you cannot move to the next level constitutional-wise without making sure that you strengthen your institutions in every facet of the way,” the Premier said.

Virgin Islanders are entitled to self-determination

According to Fahie, no one should be afraid or ashamed to have these constitutional discussions because the BVI has always been told by every governor that self-determination is something to which Virgin Islanders are entitled.

The Premier told reporters that a constitutional review will be starting very shortly. The leader of government business further noted that the views of the people will be heard at all levels during this stage.

He urged persons to do their own research on the subject, especially independent of those who may be insinuating that he is trying to take the country towards independence.


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