(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
Founding member of the incumbent National Democratic Party (NDP), Hon. Ronnie Skelton, with backings from two prominent businessmen, has reportedly started serious discussions to form a new political party.
Skelton, Health and Social Development Minister and At-Large Representative, has been holding meetings with several individuals, who he wants to have on his ticket for the next General Elections.
Reports are that some of the persons who are being courted include prominent senior counsel, Me. Gerard Farara, QC, former NDP District-3 candidate, Mr. Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith, Second District Representative, Hon. Melvin Mitch Turnbull, Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Wade Smith, Mr. Franklyn Walters, and former Health Minister under the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government, Dancia Penn-Sallah, QC, among other persons.
BVI Platinum News understands that the last meeting was held on Saturday, September 29.
When contacted last week about reports that he is forming a new party, Hon. Skelton, who chuckled initially, told BVI Platinum News, “It’s not quite so, but whenever it is so I will make my announcement.”
Skelton, who once served as Finance Minister and who many view as an astute businessman, went up for the post of Chairman of the NDP back in July, but lost to Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister of Education and At-Large Representative. The vote count at the party’s Convention was Walwyn - 68 and Skelton - 51.
Hon. Turnbull was also on team Skelton for the post of Deputy Chairman, but lost to Hon. Marlon Penn. The vote count was Penn - 69 and Turnbull - 50.
The NDP has been battling an internal rift in recent years with long time party leader, Premier Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith announcing that he was not going to seek re-election.
The party’s infighting has intensified following the outcome of the July Convention with several founding members considering plans to part ways with the party.
According to reports, Hon. Walwyn has already started the process of selecting new candidates.
This picture mirrors that of VIP, where over a year after losing the Chairmanship to Hon. Andrew Fahie, Hon. Julian Fraser moved to form a new party, Progressives United (PU). He too is on the journey of courting persons to join his party, while the VIP Congress in recent months has ratified several new candidates.
Residents are watching keenly as the two major political parties NDP and VIP undergo a transition to new leadership.
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RichardThis is disgraceful. Losing party leadership post has driven them crazy, so they decided to apparently run off to form their own party. Both Mr. Frasier and Mr. Skelton are sore losers and power hungry. They would rather destroy their original party despite having been members for decades. Shame on them. I don't trust either man with this move, and I will never vote for either one.
#3Frazer will be better off joining with Ronnie. As it is now he is very unpopular and will be in isolation. I do think that he will be good for the BVI but he and the bvi people just not connecting..
LMBTo me it shows a greater sense of integrity. He created that party but on grounds of principle and choosing country over party politics, they are willing to part ways amicably with the party they founded.
@LMBNonsense!!!!! Let me tell you why! Hon. Walwyn contested elections with the NDP in 2011 and 2015 and both times it was him and the younger candidates that held the strain and brought NDP to victory. The youth arm of the party gravitated towards Myron and he did a lot of heavy lifting and talking for the party on the trail. These guys that are filled to the brim with integrity had no problem then with him being an integral part of the party's election victories, but how dare he be leader of the party. They have no problem with Dr. Smith losing total control of his Cabinet/Government and everything haywire. So many problems lately with Government and not a word from the 'integrity team', but as soon as they lose the leadership elections, all hell broke loose. Who are you guys fooling? If they had an ounce of love or integrity for this Territory they would have banded together a long time ago and cordially asked Dr. Smith to step the hell aside because it's obvious that he could no longer manage leading the Government. They sat back and let things slide but now we are to believe they love the country that's why they want a new party? We are watching closely and we are not stupid.
John K.Fraser may want to rethink the name of his new party, Progressives United, which becomes PU using the first letters of each word in the name. A lot of say "P.U." when something smells. Using the whole name Progressives United Party would become "PUP"... better early on, most of us like puppies.... but after a few years of failure "cute puppies" become "just plain dogs". Believe me, I am just looking out for Hon. Julian's future. You have to be careful in name selection. So it can't come back to "bite you".
Savagei see what you did there lol pup
DragonLooks great to me, make it happen!
ElizabethOh finally. I was so afraid I won't have a mortal soul to vote for this election. Lookie here! Lookie here. This is what I talking about. Come down Hon. Skelton, our next Premier. We are giving you five votes. Get your At Large crew together. Make them strong with a heart for country and to serve.
Eyes Wide ShutCongrats hon. Skelton, there is much you can still do for these islands. We need strong, committed and careful leaders, with this i will say the team thus for look good however, there are some weak areas. OJ is a good guy but where has he been? No talk, no actions for how many years? Sorry to say but OJ is a team filler in my estimation.
Franklin walters for the 9th???? Really he dont speak to people, and he behave as if he is better than most!!! Franklin is a loss case. But the rest of the team is highly electable!!! Last but not least/// get shanna smith on this team...#shanna smith# winning ladies# success.