General Elections were held in the British Virgin Islands on 14 April 1967 for all seven seats in the Legislative Council. The number of seats was increased from five prior to the election.
The British Virgin Islands elects on territorial level to a unicameral legislature. In the Legislative Council, there are seven representatives elected for a four year term - one elected per district. The Council also includes an Administrator, a Speaker, one Legal Official, one Financial Official, and two Nominated Members (one nominated by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister).
The election was the first general election after the passing of the new Constitution earlier in the same year, which introduced Ministerial Government into the British Virgin Islands for the first time. Elections under the prior Constitution introduced in 1950 to restore the Legislative Council had merely elected legislators. It is probably fair to say that 1967 marked the introduction of true direct democratic rule in the British Virgin Islands. But, notwithstanding the introduction of Ministerial Government, the resulting Legislative Council is still referred to as the 6th Legislative Council in deference to the five prior Councils elected under the 1950 Constitution.
Political Parties & Candidates
Prior to 1967 there had been no political parties in the British Virgin Islands. The election was therefore contested by three, newly created, political parties:
- The BVI United Party, led by Conrad Maduro
- The VI Democratic Party, led by Qwominer William Osborne
- The People's Own Party, led by Isaac Fonseca
The BVI United Party contested all seven available seats. The other two parties only contested five seats each.
The result was a victory for the BVI United Party which won an overall majority of four seats. However, the party President, Conrad Maduro, did not win a seat and so was unable to become Chief Minister despite leading the party with the highest number of seats. Accordingly, H. Lavity Stoutt was appointed as the first Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands. The VI Democratic Party won two seats, with the People's Own Party winning the remaining seat.
Lavity Stoutt was appointed as first Chief Minister and first Minister for Education. Q.W. Osborne was appointed as the First Leader of the Opposition. Ivan Dawson, despite not being a member of the BVI United Party, was appointed first Minister for National Resources and Public Health. Cyril Romney, was also appointed as the first Native BVIslander to act as Financial Secretary after the election.
Voter turnout was 73.2%.