Second District Representative Honourable Melvin Turnbull has alleged that there is an ongoing attempt by Premier Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley to persuade members of the Opposition to join the Virgin Islands Government.
Turnbull made the claim at a recent Opposition press conference after criticizing the premier for failing to make decisions that are critical to the territory.
The Opposition legislator referenced the failure to have the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) formed, blaming Premier Wheatley for creating the issue which stems from the composition of his Administration.
Turnbull believes that the premier’s decisions are linked to his fear of losing a member of his team and ultimately the government, if that individual is not in agreement with his decision and as a result decides to cross the floor.
Due to this uncertainty that stems from the results of the April 2023 General Election, Turnbull revealed that there are ongoing attempts by the premier and his supporters to have members of the Opposition join the Virgin Islands Government.
The 2023 General Election resulted in the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) retaining 6 seats, the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) 3 seats, the National Democratic Party (NDP) 3 seats and Progressives United (PU) 1 seat.
Needing just one seat to form the majority to create a new government, a surprise move by At Large Representative Honourable Lorna Smith sealed the deal for the VIP to be sworn in under the leadership of Premier Wheatley.