Nominations Day for the Feb. 25 election in the BVI

Candidates, witnesses and nominators turn out before the doors opened Thursday at the House of Assembly in Road Town, Tortola, where District 4 and at-large candidates were nominated.

TORTOLA — Four political parties and two independent candidates brought the total number of candidates on Thursday — Nomination Day — to 41 for the Feb. 25 in the British Virgin Islands .

“We have come to the end of Nomination Day and it was a quiet day, a peaceful day and a good day,” Supervisor of Elections Juliette Penn said during a media briefing Thursday.

Each candidate paid the $1,000 nomination fee for a chance to be among the 13 chosen by the 14,939 registered voters to govern the British Overseas Territory in the 4th House of Assembly. In total, there are 25 district candidates and 16 at-large candidates.

Districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 will have three candidates each, while there will be four candidates in District 4. Districts 2, 6 and 8 will have two candidates each.

The Virgin Islands Party, which lost the 2015 polls 11-2, is the only party of the four in the race fielding a full slate of 13 candidates: nine in the district races and four at-large.

The National Democratic Party has 11 candidates, but none in Districts 1 and 2.

Progressive Virgin Islands Movement, a breakaway from the National Democratic Party, will field nine candidates, but none in Districts 3, 6, 7 and 8.

Progressive United, whose head was the Virgin Islands Party leader in the last election, will field six candidates, covering Districts 1, 3, 4 and three at-large.

On Election Day, there will be 18 polling divisions. Early polling will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday for police officers, the elderly, those who have difficulty reading, sick persons, elections officials and persons who are travelling — all of whom must provide a ticket as proof.

Each person will receive one ballot and can vote for five candidates — one in their district and four from the at-large candidates.

Unlike the U.S. Virgin Islands, where candidates and their supporters can campaign on Election Day, in the BVI all campaigning must end by midnight on Feb. 24, ahead of the Feb. 25 polls.

All billboards, posters, flags, stickers and radio ads must be removed ahead of the election.

There is no transition period following the elections. Swearing-in of the new government takes place once a party has a majority or in the case of a coalition, when the minimum of at least seven, headed by the person selected as premier, present themselves to the governor.

Observers from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, have been invited to observe the BVI electoral process.