(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
Now that current Speaker of the House, Hon. Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe was named as an At-Large candidate for the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the upcoming general elections, it is being questioned whether she would be playing the customary role at the Speech from the Throne sitting, which is scheduled to be held tomorrow, Thursday, September 13.
The open question of whether the Speaker will maintain her position was raised by talk show host, Claude Skelton-Cline during his ‘Honestly Speaking’ radio program that was held on September 11.
The talk show host in referencing the announcement said, “I do take note that according to the news report and our sources, that the NDP under the new leader has named the At Large candidates, and what we do take note of, of the persons that have been name,d at least two of those persons will fall under General Orders.”
Zooming in directly on the matter of the Speaker being among the three named candidates, Skelton-Cline declared, “We will have the Speech from the Throne on Thursday -- would the existing Speaker, someone who I happen to like personally, but will she be allowed to sit in this place with this kind of announcement; with the meetings being had, the confirmation being had? If this news reporting is correct, and our offline sources tell us that it is, what becomes of that?”
Further, the talk show host called on his Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert to look into the situation. “The Governor in his role, what happens now. I know it was just made public.”
Alluding that this is a governance matter, Skelton-Cline added, “If we’re going to deal with the whole issue of governance and if we’re going to have a level playing field throughout, then we are calling upon the persons, the fiduciaries responsible for this. I am saddened, I am saddened by what I see happening with our Territory; this is just too much.”
In addition to Hon. Moses, two other candidates were named. These persons are Businessman and Chairman of the Festivals and Fairs Committee, Trefor Grant and Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School, Sandy Underhill.
However, Skelton-Cline declared that he is curious to see if these candidates would be treated different to the manner in which the VIP candidates were treated.
Recently, the Virgin Islands Party declared its District candidates, among which were the Director of Culture, Luce Hodge-Smith, Commissioner for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Kye Rymer, and member of the Public Service Commission, John Samuel. However, Skelton-Cline alleges that these candidates were sent letters since their political aspirations have been made known. Therefore, the talk show hosts questioned whether the same would be the case for the NDP candidates, which he noted includes the Speaker, high school Principal and a member of the Board of the BVI Ports Authority.
“One of them sits on the Board at the Ports Authority. We do know that letters were sent to those persons who were confirmed and announced on the VIP side; and the resignations and/or retirement has ensued; and so it is curious now that the existing Speaker of the House is on that list. It is curious now that the Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School is on that list. It is curious now that the member of the Board, many may not know – that would be Trefor Grant sits on the Board of the BVI Ports Authority,” Skelton-Cline declared.
He further added, “We do know that John Samuels was asked to remove himself from that PSC Board, and we do know Mr. Kye Rymer and we do know Ms. Smith and Mr. O’Neal what they faced when it was announced, and so what we want to see now is what will happen.”