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Boundaries Report

Wednesday, November 25 – Boundaries Commissioner Ms. Monica Joseph today submitted the Boundaries Commission report to His Excellency the Governor Mr. David Pearey. Ms. Joseph has been in the Territory since October 12 conducting phase one of a two-phase process.  The first phase involved conducting public consultations on the principle of an increase in the number of electoral districts.

Speaking at the 10th sitting of the second session of the First House of Assembly (HOA) of the Virgin Islands, the Premier said, “It is the policy of this Government to bring about an increase in the number of elected members in the HOA from 13 to 15 and that the additional two members should come from an increase in the number of electoral districts from nine to eleven.”
Public meetings were held in all nine districts to give the electorate an opportunity to share their views.

During the meetings it was revealed that the purpose of the proposed increase is to include an additional minister in Government.  Section 47(2) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 makes provisions for an increase in the HOA.  The section states, “The number of Ministers referred to in subsection (1) may be increased by a law made in pursuance of section 63(2) which increases the number of elected members of the HOA; but in no circumstances may the number of Ministers exceed two-fifths of the total number of elected members of the House.”

Upon a review of the report by His Excellency, the report will then be submitted to Cabinet for consideration.  Once approval is received from Cabinet, the second phase should begin in early 2010 when a full boundaries exercise will be conducted, thereby producing recommendations for the definition of new boundaries.

The appointment of the commission demonstrated Government’s commitment to building the Territory’s democratic institutions and processes.  

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