11 November 2011

British Virgin Islands elections yield victory for opposition

by Merrick Andrews, Editor
 BVI News 

The members of the National Democratic Party government. The Premier Dr. D. Orlando Smith (centre) was sworn into office along with four other ministers at a ceremony held at the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011. * Photo credit: BVI News

Newly sworn-in Premier of the British Virgin Islands Dr. D. Orlando Smith has promised the people of the territory that his government will not make any decisions without the input of the people – a mandate he admitted his 2003-2007 government failed, thereby leading to their devastating 11-2 defeat at the polls four years ago. But given that the people have overwhelming given the National Democratic Party (NDP) a second chance after the Party’s 9-4 victory in Monday’s general elections, Smith said the NDP has learned their lesson.

“As we did at our many campaign rallies we once more make a solemn promise to you that we will not make decisions in seclusion or exclusion. We will strive to always seek your advice, we will welcome your input in decisions we will have to make on your behalf,” Smith said in front hundreds of supporters during a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 9 for the new government ministers.

Smith said to rebuild the BVI together “we must and will keep the lines of communications open”.

“ I truly believe that we all want a better Virgin Islands but we all have different opinions and ideas on how to get where we need to be. We will keep you apprised of plans and activities that we carry out on your behalf. We hope in turn that you will continue to respond to us and to let us know what we’re doing right and what you think we’re doing wrong. We learnt the hard way of doing otherwise four years ago and will not repeat that error again,” Smith said.

Premier Smith was sworn in as the Minister of Finance. Other ministers sworn in were:

Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources – Dr. Kedrick Pickering, the seventh district representative

Minister of Health and Social Development – Ronnie Skelton, territorial at-large representative

Minister of Education and Culture – Myron Walwyn, territorial at-large representative

Minister of Communications and Works – Mark Vanterpool, fourth district representative