A return of the British takeover will be difficult without constitutional reform
If the UK were to take over, a return to cabinet government and the House of Assembly (HOA) after the proposed two-year period would be “difficult” without constitutional reform being established.
This is according to Sir Gary Hickinbottom who – after chairing a year-long Commission of Inquiry (COI) exercise in the BVI – recommended in his follow-up report that Ministerial Government of the Territory be halted for at least two years and that the governor lead the BVI with the support of an advisory board in the interim.
Considering the challenge he anticipates when ministerial government returns to the reins, Sir Gary proposed that work on the constitutional review should begin urgently and be concluded quickly.
“Although I know that these reviews often take longer, I propose that the constitutional review begin as soon as possible and conclude its work within one year, with the governor having the option of extending this period by up to six months. “said Sir Gary. mentioned.
In his report, Sir Gary further said that this early and rapid review would aim to ensure that abuses such as those he identified did not happen again.
He further recommended that the constitution enable the people of the BVI to fulfill their aspirations, including those for self-reliance in the context of modern democracy.
“This will require a constitution strong enough to ensure that the principles of good governance are upheld in government, but also allow for the progressive development of the BVI’s own political institutions,” Sir Gary said.
The last constitutional revision took place in 2006 and led to the implementation of the 2007 constitution.
According to Sir Gary, the IOC has demonstrated that the current constitution cannot bear the weight it has to bear.
He said that while there may have been significant differences in the reasons for this, no one has suggested the current constitution is working.
The UK has yet to decide whether or not to follow Sir Gary’s recommendation to impose a temporary direct rule on BVI. The National Unity Government led by Dr Natalio Wheatley – a cross-party administration formed to appease the UK – has since submitted an alternative proposal to direct government. Great Britain is currently thinking about it.
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