Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The holding of the by-election to fill the vacancy that now exists in District Four, with the retirement of Mark Vanterpool, needs to be disposed of quickly, says Premier, Hon. Andrew Fahie.
Speaking to BVI Platinum News recently, Hon. Fahie said that the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) will be contesting the by-election, adding, “Our preference is that the Territory should dispose of this matter sooner rather than later. We have so many international issues that we’re dealing with and so many that have been left for us to deal with.”
As to how soon the election will be held, he said, “I don’t have the final say. I believe after Tuesday, when the Speaker is sworn in and the House has been fully convened, then those discussions can be had based on the law."
“It is quite a task for the electorate to be going through this again so soon,” Hon. Fahie told this publication.
Days after retaining the District Four seat in the February 25 General Election with 442 votes, the National Democratic Party’s (NDP) Mark Vanterpool announced his retirement from representational politics, prompting Governor Augustus Jasper to announce that a by-election would be held in a matter of weeks.
Speaking in the capacity of Chairman of the VIP, Hon. Fahie said that it is likely that Mrs. Luce Hodge-Smith, who contested the same district seat with the VIP in the recent General Elections, will once again run for the seat.
She trailed behind in the General Elections with 385 votes, just 57 votes less than Vanterpool.
“Most likely it would be her, but the way the Virgin Islands Party is structured, the Constitution is clear on the process which you go through. So, We’ll go through the process and hopefully it would bear her out,” he stated.
He further added, “I am confident that they would, but we have a process that we follow. So, although you’re pretty much sure, we still want to make sure that we cover the process and everyone is involved.”
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Party (NDP) has not yet decided who will replace Vanterpool as their District Four pick.
Chairman of the Party, Myron Walwyn told BVI Platinum News, “We don’t have any new developments right now.”
Meanwhile, the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) has not ruled out the possible return of their candidate, Karl Scatliffe to the race.
Chairman of the PVIM, Ronnie Skelton, speaking of Mr. Scatliffe who amassed 38 votes in the General Election, said, “He was our candidate in the Fourth, so until he says he ain’t running, he’s running.”
This publication was unable to reach Chairman of Progressives United (PU), Hon. Julian Fraser, to confirm whether their candidate in the recent General Election, Dr. Vincent Scatliffe, would be tossing his hat in the ring again.
Dr. Scatliffe managed to win 24 votes in the last election.