Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
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Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands

Premier of the Virgin Islands
Coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands.svg
D. Orlando Smith (cropped).jpg
Dr. Orlando Smith

since 9 November 2011
Style The Honourable
Appointer Governor of the Virgin Islands
Term length At the Governor's pleasure (normally 4 years)
Formation 14 April 1967
First holder

Hamilton Lavity Stoutt

as Chief Minister
Website Office of the Premier

The Premier of the Virgin Islands[1] 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.[2] Until 2007, the head of government was known as the Chief Minister.[3]

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)

No Name
Tenure[4] Political Affiliation Notes
Took Office Left Office
Chief Ministers (1967-2007)
1 H. Lavity Stoutt
14 April 1967 2 June 1971 United Party First tenure
2 Willard Wheatley
2 June 1971 12 November 1979 VI Democratic Party
(2) United Party[5]
(1) H. Lavity Stoutt
12 November 1979 11 November 1983 Virgin Islands Party Second tenure
3 Cyril Romney
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
Premiers (2007-present)
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.

No Name General Election
Total time in office
1 Lavity Stoutt 5 6,117
2 Ralph O'Neal 2 4,494
3 Orlando Smith 3 4,068
(Incumbent, continuing)
4 Willard Wheatley 2 3,085
5 Cyril Romney 1 1,055

See also


  1. ^ While the territory is commonly known as the 'British Virgin Islands', her official name is simply 'Virgin Islands'.
  2. ^ The Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 Archived 22 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. (SI 2007/1678)
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.

Further reading

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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