Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham congratulates the new Premier, the Hon D. Orlando Smith on his victory in the general election on 7 November
Commenting on the election result, the Minister said:
“I extend my warmest congratulations to Dr Orlando Smith following his success in the British Virgin Islands elections this week. I look forward to meeting Dr Smith soon at the Overseas Territories Consultative Council and working together to strengthen the close ties between the UK and the British Virgin Islands.”
The Minister also sent a message of thanks to the outgoing Premier, the Honourable Ralph O’Neal, recognising his long service to the people of the British Virgin Islands and encouraging him to remain engaged on the issues affecting the Territory.
The Minister has also commented on the conduct of the elections which, for the first time, were observed by election observers provided by Caricom and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. In its press conference on 8 November, the head of the observer mission spoke warmly of the election process and the manner in which voting was conducted. The Minister said:
“I am delighted that the election observer mission has found the BVI elections to be fair, free and transparent. This conclusion and the presence of the observer mission have shown that the British Virgin islands have upheld the highest standards of democracy and that the result was a fair reflection of the wishes of the people of the British Virgin Islands.”