MEXICO CITY: The British Virgin Islands' Acting Premier Natalio Wheatley said on Wednesday (May 4) that he has been nominated to take over as premier, in light of elected premier Andrew Fahie's drug arrest in Miami last week.
Wheatley said in a Facebook Live address that efforts are underway for Fahie to resign.
"I never contemplated that leadership of the British Virgin Islands would come so soon, or under these circumstances," Wheatley said. "There is a tremendous work to be done, and the fate of the British Virgin Islands hangs in the balance."
Fahie, 51, was arrested at a Miami airport along with the managing director of the territory's Ports Authority, Oleanvine Maynard, according to a complaint by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Fahie's arrest came the day before a commission of inquiry recommended that the British Virgin Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, have its constitution and assembly suspended due to dishonesty in governance.
His defense has called for his immediate release on the grounds that he has diplomatic immunity by virtue of being the elected leader of the British Virgin Islands.
Wheatley said he had been nominated by the country's leadership body to take over, but will need to be formally appointed and await Fahie's resignation before he can take up office.