By Sonje Greenidge, Journalist
Updated 1:56 PM AST, Mon Jun 20, 2022
(PLTM) - Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. Natalio Wheatley reiterated that the status of the Virgin Islands as a Territory that does not enjoy the privileges of formal independence- means that the Constitution is an Order of the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament and is therefore subject to suspension at any time.
This morning on “Da Morning Braff” radio show, Dr. Whealtey sought to explain the difference between how the Constitution of an independent country varies from the Constitution of the Virgin Islands. In doing so, he provided a rationale for how the United Kingdom possesed the authority to call for the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to be established firstly, by the former Governor Augustus Jaspert, and the authority to make a decision based on its findings.
“We had to act quickly to give the United Kingdom (UK) an alternative from suspending the Constitution, and of course implementing these reforms themselves,” Dr. Wheatley stated.
Dr. Wheatley also stressed that the first order of business after the publishing of the CoI report, was to persuade Governor John Rankin, and other UK government officials of the local governments commitment and capability to implement the recommendations.
In describing the limitations that are imposed on the Government of the Virgin Islands as an Overseas Territory, Dr. Wheatley said: “That is the reality of our status.”
He also mentioned that the United Nations (UN) has declared in a Charter and in their Resolutions from as early as 1960 or 1961, that colonialism must be rooted out throughout the world.
On this premise the United Nations (UN) established a committee specifically for nations who have not yet attained complete self-governance, to report to the United Nations (UN) on their progress towards self-determination.
He stated that the Virgin Islands and other Overseas Territories are obligated to provide the committee with regular and routine reports on the process towards self-governance, which representatives from the Territory have attended every year in recent times.
Dr. Whealtey explained that contrary to popular belief, independence is not the only form of self-governance. Self-governance can be manifested through “integration” which some French Territories are endeavouring towards, and “free association”.
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