The Special Envoy of the Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to a United Nations decolonisation seminar in Saint Lucia has spoken of the need for high standards in governance.
Benito Wheatley commented days after the BVI House of Assembly backed a resolution to remove the embattled Andrew Fahie as Premier following his arrest on drug and money laundering charges in the United States.
Fahie’s deputy Natalio Wheatley, acting as Premier after Fahie’s arrest, is the new Premier.
“We believe in high standards of governance,” the new Premier’s Special Envoy to the Saint Lucia meeting on decolonisation, Benito Wheatley, told St Lucia Times on Wednesday.
“We cannot condone the activity of any politician who does something wrong,” Wheatley asserted.
He expressed that going forward, he is sure that politicians currently in government will be trying to rebuild public confidence through their actions.
Wheatley also reiterated that the BVI does not want a direct UK rule recommended by a Commission of Inquiry (COI) Report released early, one day after Fahie’s arrest.
Instead, he said the territory wants its new national unity government to take democracy forward.
According to Wheatley, direct rule would not be in the interest of the UK or the BVI.
The more than 900-page COI report recommending direct rule highlighted issues, including poor governance and lack of transparency.
“We can make some reforms to improve governance where needed, but we don’t have to resort to direct rule. The BVI has capable people to run its affairs and the UK should be a partner in that,” the Special Envoy told St Lucia Times.
And Wheatley observed that the BVI had received ‘good support’ from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“We are family. We know they stand with us,” he stated.