Responding to statements made by Premier Rufus Ewing in the last House of Assembly meeting, the Governor’s Office said, “The governor has always operated within his limited constitutional powers.”
Premier Rufus Ewing
Ewing has been complaining about what he describes as restrictions in the 2011 Constitution. He has also repeated on numerous occasions that his government has been “democratically elected” and must be given the same powers as the 2006 constitution.
In the November elections, Ewing's Progressive National Party (PNP) only received 44% of the district votes and 44% of the islands-wide “at large” votes. In fact, the PNP party won only two of the five at large seats. However, the ten small election districts allowed the PNP to obtain a one seat overall majority, thus becoming the government of the day.
The premier said in the same ministerial statement to the House that “the rules are not in our favour”. He has disagreed with a number of decisions made by outgoing Governor Ric Todd and only last week was quoted as anticipating trouble from the incoming Governor Peter Beckingham.
During his speech, Ewing said he is so frustrated with what he described as the status quo that he is ready to quit. However, minutes later, Ewing apparently changed his mind and pronounced himself a leader and a person who would not give up.
This came on the heels of his opening statement when the premier said that, while he had been raised to be honest and law abiding, “In the current socio-economic and political context… these qualities do indeed at times appear to be pointless and are the root causes of frustration because rules are not in our favour.”
Islanders are, however, largely ignoring the posturing by the premier and are instead complaining about the everyday functions of government. Lack of school supplies, supplies for issue of drivers’ licences, continuing delay in the issue and renewal of work permits are plaguing residents, who are expressing their dissatisfaction on radio talk shows.
Some are blaming the lack of supplies on the chief financial officer, while others are saying the problem stems from a lack of direction from PNP ministers and the added expense of numerous ministerial trips abroad.