By Janeka Simon and Ernice Gilbert (VI Consortium) As election fever grows in the British Virgin Islands, Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands Albert Bryan Jr. is receiving sharp criticism from some for his decision to weigh in on BVI politics.
Mr. Bryan recently visited his BVI neighbors where he endorsed the campaign of the Virgin Islands Party, which won the last election and served as the ruling administration until the arrest of former party leader and BVI Premier Andrew Fahie on drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering charges last year.
Following Mr. Fahie’s arrest and removal as premier, the VIP administration was dissolved in favor of a Unity government, in the face of the threat of losing democracy in the BVI to temporary direct rule from the UK. The threat came after a scathing Commission of Inquiry Report found deep issues with governance, including potential corruption in almost every aspect of public administration in the territory. To stave it off, the Unity government, which comprised members of Parliament from both sides of the aisle, took the helm with Premier Dr. Natalio Wheatley at the head.