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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesMAJORITY SENATORS SAY GROUP IS INTACT

MAJORITY SENATORS SAY GROUP IS INTACT

A rift that threatened to split the 24th Legislature’s majority bloc of senators was patched up Monday with a hug between Sens. Adelbert Bryan and Norman Jn. Baptiste.
The embrace came at a "press conference" in the Senate chambers in Frederiksted called by majority leader Sen. Celestino White to shoot down rumors that the coalition of senators was about to unravel. Reporters had no opportunity to ask questions of the participants.
Two weeks ago, predictions by radio-show pundits, which were picked up by other media outlets, said that Baptiste and Sen. Norma Pickard Samuel would bolt from the eight-member majority.
That was followed by Bryan publicly stating that naturalized citizens should not be able to hold elected public office in the territory. Baptiste, who late last year separated himself from the Democratic Party to join the majority, hails from St. Lucia.
Despite the rumors of a breakup, however, Samuel and Baptiste said they weren’t going anywhere.
"Sen. Bryan made his remark and I took exception to what he said," Baptiste said. "But isn’t Sen. Bryan entitled to his opinion?"
And while Samuel conceded that there are differences among majority bloc senators, she said it didn’t mean the end of the group.
"We have issues and we had issues but we are trying to work them out," she said, without identifying them. "If you have conviction, there shouldn’t be compromise. I brought my concerns to the table and I was assured the concerns would be worked out."
Bryan stood by his remarks about naturalized citizens and launched into a lengthy negative assessment of the media in the territory and in general. He said the media’s coverage of the majority bloc’s possible breakup diverted attention from more pressing issues such as education. Such coverage was aimed at dividing the local African community, he said.
Bryan also noted that in order for a person to become president of the United States, he or she must be a natural born citizen. He also said both he and Baptiste have a right under the Constitution to air their views.
"Baptiste has a right to do what the Constitution says. Likewise, Bert Bryan has the right to express himself," Bryan said.
White said Monday's presentation was merely a report on the status of the majority, not an overview of the bloc’s accomplishments to date. That, he said, would be done at the 24th Legislature’s 100-day mark.

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A rift that threatened to split the 24th Legislature’s majority bloc of senators was patched up Monday with a hug between Sens. Adelbert Bryan and Norman Jn. Baptiste.
The embrace came at a "press conference" in the Senate chambers in Frederiksted called by majority leader Sen. Celestino White to shoot down rumors that the coalition of senators was about to unravel. Reporters had no opportunity to ask questions of the participants.
Two weeks ago, predictions by radio-show pundits, which were picked up by other media outlets, said that Baptiste and Sen. Norma Pickard Samuel would bolt from the eight-member majority.
That was followed by Bryan publicly stating that naturalized citizens should not be able to hold elected public office in the territory. Baptiste, who late last year separated himself from the Democratic Party to join the majority, hails from St. Lucia.
Despite the rumors of a breakup, however, Samuel and Baptiste said they weren’t going anywhere.
"Sen. Bryan made his remark and I took exception to what he said," Baptiste said. "But isn’t Sen. Bryan entitled to his opinion?"
And while Samuel conceded that there are differences among majority bloc senators, she said it didn’t mean the end of the group.
"We have issues and we had issues but we are trying to work them out," she said, without identifying them. "If you have conviction, there shouldn’t be compromise. I brought my concerns to the table and I was assured the concerns would be worked out."
Bryan stood by his remarks about naturalized citizens and launched into a lengthy negative assessment of the media in the territory and in general. He said the media’s coverage of the majority bloc’s possible breakup diverted attention from more pressing issues such as education. Such coverage was aimed at dividing the local African community, he said.
Bryan also noted that in order for a person to become president of the United States, he or she must be a natural born citizen. He also said both he and Baptiste have a right under the Constitution to air their views.
"Baptiste has a right to do what the Constitution says. Likewise, Bert Bryan has the right to express himself," Bryan said.
White said Monday's presentation was merely a report on the status of the majority, not an overview of the bloc’s accomplishments to date. That, he said, would be done at the 24th Legislature’s 100-day mark.