ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, Tuesday February 26, 2019 – The British Virgin Islands will have a totally new administration after voters yesterday elected to elevate the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) from opposition to government.
The VIP, led by Andrew Fahie, took eight of the 13 seats in the House of Assembly, with seven of the winners having contested an election for the first time.
Of the other five seats, three went to the National Democratic Party (NDP) which had formed the last government, and the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement and Progressives United took one each.
In a statement on the VIP’s Facebook page this morning, Fahie said the party was humbled by the faith the electorate had shown in it to “take on the challenges of development; of bettering the lives of you the people and building an enduring community”.
“The work on your behalf starts today. But for now, I want to thank all of you for the support you have given and the encouragement you have shown. We will be forever grateful, and we will work hard to never let you down….The team of candidates I was blessed to work with was the best collection of talent we have put together since my involvement in politics. As your Premier-elect, I look forward to the next chapter; and I look forward to fighting for ordinary people every day,” he added.
The polls were historic in more than one way. Apart from a record number of parties in the race and a record number of first-time candidates winning their seats, the general election was the first one in which an electronic tabulating system was used. Additionally, the failure of the NDP leader Myron Walwyn to retain his seat marked the first time the party has not had its leader sitting in the House of Assembly.
Voter turnout for yesterday’s general election was put at 65.26 per cent.
Walwyn’s predecessor, outgoing Premier Dr Orlando Smith, had chosen to call the general elections early rather than hold a by-election to find a replacement for the representative for the Fifth Electoral District, Delores Christopher, who died on October 16, 2018, less than a year before general elections would have been constitutionally due.
The polls would have been due by August 22 this year.