(BVI News) Premier Dr. Natalio Wheatley had a choice of dissolving the House of Assembly (HOA) and calling fresh elections once the United Kingdom (UK) government released the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report last year.
This was the position expressed by Governor John Rankin this week while dispelling the notion that the only choice left to elected leaders following the COI report’s release was to form the coalition Government of National Unity, as they ultimately did.
Governor Rankin told the media: “That’s my understanding. It would’ve been possible for a dissolution to the House of Assembly to be sought and I would have had to exercise my responsibilities under the Constitution. But the members of the House of Assembly chose to form a Government of National Unity and committed to the implementation of the COI recommendations, and so that’s the process in which we’re now proceeding.”
The COI report – which highlighted a myriad of governance anomalies in the territory – called for a temporary and partial suspension of the territory’s constitution and the implementation of direct UK rule through the governor for two years in the first instance.