Premier of the Virgin Islands
|Premier of the Virgin Islands|
|Appointer||Governor of the Virgin Islands|
|Term length||At the Governor's pleasure (normally 4 years)|
|Formation||14 April 1967|
|Website||Office of the Premier|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the British Virgin Islands
The Premier of the Virgin Islands is the head of government for the British Virgin Islands. As a British Overseas Territory, the Premier is appointed by the Governor on behalf of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. Until 2007, the head of government was known as the Chief Minister.
Up until 2007 the office was known as Chief Minister of the Virgin Islands, but a constitutional change in 2007 renamed the position as Premier. Only two persons have held the office since 2007, and both also held the office at some point prior to 2007. Accordingly every person who has been appointed as Premier so far has also been appointed at Chief Minister at a previous point in their political career.
The current Premier is Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith, OBE. He is serving since 9 November 2011.
History of the office
Since the 1967 constitution was adopted, only five different people (all men) have served as Premier or Chief Minister, and each of them except for Cyril Romney has served at least two full terms. Also, each of them has served as the Leader of the Opposition.
H. Lavity Stoutt won the most general elections of any leader (he won five), followed by the current Premier, Orlando Smith (three). Stoutt, Smith and Willard Wheatley are the only leaders to have served two consecutive full terms (Ralph T. O'Neal also served two consecutive terms, but the first of those was the remaining part of a term after Stoutt's death).
(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)
|Took Office||Left Office|
|Chief Ministers (1967–2007)|
|1||H. Lavity Stoutt
|14 April 1967||2 June 1971||United Party||First tenure|
|2 June 1971||12 November 1979||VI Democratic Party|
|(1)||H. Lavity Stoutt
|12 November 1979||11 November 1983||Virgin Islands Party||Second tenure|
|11 November 1983||17 November 1986||United Party|
|(1)||H. Lavity Stoutt
|17 November 1986||14 May 1995||Virgin Islands Party||Third tenure. Died in office|
|4||Ralph T. O'Neal
|15 May 1995||17 June 2003||Virgin Islands Party||First tenure|
|5||D. Orlando Smith
|17 June 2003||23 August 2007||National Democratic Party||First tenure|
|1||Ralph T. O'Neal
|23 August 2007||9 November 2011||Virgin Islands Party||Second tenure|
|2||D. Orlando Smith
|9 November 2011||Incumbent||National Democratic Party||Second tenure|
All Chief Ministers or Premiers have served at least two terms except for Cyril Romney.
|Total time in office
- List of current heads of government in the United Kingdom and dependencies
- Politics of the British Virgin Islands
- Governor of the Virgin Islands
- While the territory is commonly known as the 'British Virgin Islands', her official name is simply 'Virgin Islands'.
- The Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 (SI 2007/1678)
- The Virgin Islands (Constitution) Order 1976 Archived 2009-05-03 at the Wayback Machine. (SI 1976/2145), as amended by 1979/1603, 1982/151, 1991/2871 and 1994/1638
- Duration of terms are calculated as commencing on the date of the election; not the actual subsequent date of appointment by the Governor, which is usually a few days later.
- Wheatley led a coalition of himself plus the VI Democratic Party in the 1971 election and then another coalition of himself plus the United Party in the 1975 election.