Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Newly appointed Speaker of the House of Assembly (HoA), Hon. Julian Willock has issued a statement, accepting Mark Vanterpool’s resignation from the HoA, saying his acceptance now paves the way for the holding of a District Four By-election.
However, this statement by Hon. Willock was issued only after Vanterpool announced that he has changed his mind about retiring and would be seeking to be sworn in.
Vanterpool has insisted that his resignation letter was invalid.
According to the press statement from the Speaker on the issue, “On 13th March 2019, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Julian Willock wrote to Mr. Mark H. Vanterpool accepting his decision not to be sworn into the Fourth House of Assembly and to resign from representing the Fourth Electoral District.”
Quoting section 67 (3) (a) of the Virgin Islands Constitution 2007, which reads “An elected member of the House of Assembly shall also vacate his or her seat in the House-- (a) if he or she resigns it by writing under his or her hand addressed to the speaker,” Hon. Willock said he accepted Vanterpool’s resignation.
“The acceptance of his resignation by the Speaker now paves the way for a By-Election for the Fourth Electoral District of the Virgin Islands,” the missive declared.
However, in his statement earlier, Vanterpool declared that the resignation letter he presented was invalid as he had addressed it to the Clerk of the House of Assembly, and not the Speaker.
He also quoted section 67 (3) (a) of the Virgin Islands Constitution 2007, placing emphasis on the libe which reads that if a member resigns, “he or she resigns it by writing under his or her hand addressed to the speaker.”