(CMR) The UK has decided not to impose direct rule on the British Virgin Islands, despite the former premier's recent arrest on cocaine charges and an unrelated report that found widespread corruption in the overseas territory.
The report recommended that the BVI's constitution be suspended and its government dissolved amid corruption concerns; however, the foreign secretary Liz Truss will allow a new administration to implement reforms in the next two years.
The former leader of the BVI, Andrew Fahie, was arrested in April for alleged drug smuggling and money laundering in the US.
The corruption inquiry that began in January 2021 and whose results were released a day after Fahie was arrested was commissioned amid claims about corruption and misuse of taxpayers' money but was not directly connected to the arrest of Fahie.
According to BBC, Ms. Truss, in outlining her reasons for not imposing direct rule, pointed to changes that have been made since Sir Gary's report in April, including the removal of Mr. Fahie from his role and the creation of a new government of national unity, which has begun criminal investigations.
Ms. Truss said she believed the BVI's new government should be allowed to “demonstrate their commitment to reform” and implement the 48 recommendations made by Sir Gary and the measures the administration has proposed.
But she added: “If it becomes clear that this approach is not delivering the reform the people of the BVI want and deserve, we will take action. This may require the swift implementation of the final report recommendation [imposing direct rule].”