Sat | Sep 23, 2023

BVI legislature approves no-confidence vote against Fahie

Published:Thursday | May 5, 2022 | 6:14 PM
"The honorable Andrew A. Fahie has lost the moral authority to be able to lead the Virgin Islands": Acting Premier Natalio Wheatley.

MIAMI, (Reuters) –

The British Virgin Islands' House of Assembly today approved a no-confidence vote against Andrew Fahie, a step toward removing the overseas British territory's premier after his arrest on drug charges in Miami last week.

"The honorable Andrew A. Fahie has lost the moral authority to be able to lead the Virgin Islands," said Acting Premier Natalio Wheatley in proposing the motion. "He cannot lead the people of the Virgin Islands any longer."

The 15-member assembly backed the measure with a vote of 10 in favor and one "absent".

The territory's constitution says that following a no-confidence motion, the territory's governor – a representative of Queen Elizabeth – shall revoke the premier's mandate.

It adds that the governor also has the option to dissolve the assembly upon the request of the premier.

The office of Governor John Rankin did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Theresa Van Vliet, a lawyer representing Fahie in Miami, declined to comment.

Fahie, 51, was arrested at a Miami airport along with the managing director of the territory's Ports Authority, Oleanvine Maynard.

The US Department of Justice says Fahie, in recorded meetings with a confidential source who was an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent, agreed to help smuggle cocaine through the territory in exchange for a portion of the proceeds.

Van Vliet, in a court hearing on Wednesday, said Fahie will plead not guilty to the charges.

Separately, a commission of inquiry last week said the British Virgin Islands assembly and its constitution should be suspended due to systematic dishonesty in governance, a proposal that would effectively leave the territory governed by London.

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