Friday, August 31, 2007

The First Days of the new BVI Government: Dancia Penn Appointed as Deputy Premier, the First Meeting of the National Security Council

After the Virgin Islands Party gained the victory over the National Democratic Party ruled by Dr. Orlando Smith, the five member cabinet of the new ruling party (VIP) was sworn on Thursday. Under the new Constitution of the British Virgin Islands, the head of the party Ralph T. O'Neal was sworn as Premier, - a post that was previously titled chief minister and belonged to Orlando Smith. The legislative council now is called the House of Assembly.

The new BVI Premier Ralph O'Neal has listed the top priorities of his administration as tackling crime and making higher the standard of living for BVI residents.

The first formal day of work of the new BVI government was Friday, August 24. On Tuesday, August 28, the Governor David Pearey, acting on the advice of Premier Honourable Ralph O'Neal, appointed Honourable Dancia Penn, OBE, QC, on the post of the Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands. Dancia Penn had already been sworn as the Minister of Health and Social Development in the new government.

Another institution introduced by the BVI Constitution 2007 is the National Security Council, which held its first meeting at the Governor’s Office on Monday, August 2007. The meeting was chaired by his Excellency the Governor David Pearey, and attended by the Premier Ralph O'Neal, Honourable Dancia Penn, and some ex-officio members.

The National Security Council has to provide advise to the Governor on the issues concerning internal security, and to make greater sharing of responsibility for security matters between the elected Government and the Governor, constitutionally responsible for internal security matters.

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