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News / Virgin Islands / January 29, 2019

Governor Albert Bryan is moving early to keep an important campaign promise. During his first State of the Territory Address on Monday night, Mr. Bryan made an announcement many see as long overdue: A bill that would allow attorneys general to serve for six-year terms —  giving them autonomy to work on the behalf of the people — and removing the governor’s power to replace an attorney general without cause.

Currently, an attorney general serves at the pleasure of the governor and can be replaced at any time. This setup has oftentimes prevented attorneys general from effectively performing their duties, and it has been blamed by political observers as the cause for corruption in many governments.

“No longer will the attorney general be beholden to the politics of any particular administration, rather the attorney general will serve in the best interest of the people and this territory, regardless of who is sitting in Government House,” Mr. Bryan said during his address.

The governor did not give an indication as to when the bill would be introduced, but the timeline is not expected to be protracted.

The announcement, which was received with loud applause, is a campaign promise fulfilled by the governor. It also gives a indication of how Mr. Bryan intends to lead; by taking away such power from himself, it speaks to the governor’s desire to play by the rules, and demonstrates a level of humility that was lacking at Government House.

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January 29, 2019