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BLP MPs condemn buying of votes

Parliamentary representative for St. Thomas, Cynthia Forde, has condemned the use of money to buy votes on polling day.

Forde issued this condemnation yesterday while speaking at a press conference at party headquarters on Roebuck Street, the City.

The St. Thomas MP suggested that something should be done lest Barbados is “sold to a drug baron or the highest bidder”.

“I think that should be something that should be coming on the table for discussion. I am not going to stay in public life and people are buying votes. Electors in St. Thomas voted without a single dollar being passed.

“Something is wrong with the psyche of Barbadians who say they were well educated. We have reached a stage where something has to be done.”

Commenting on the recent general election, Forde argued that the Barbados Labour Party fought a valiant fight and one of the best organised campaigns in the last 15 years.

She charged that minibuses were provided at 5:30 p.m. by a person or persons unknown to transport electors to the polls, as part of a questionable exercise.

Forde expressed the hope that the person who was caught photographing her ballot should be prosecuted as well as the candidate for whom the elector voted.

She maintained that morality should be the order of the day in the highest court of the country.†Her parliamentary colleague, St. Joseph MP, Dale Marshall, also weighed in on the issue.†The former attorney general argued that “the hypocrisy of the government knows no bounds”.

“We know the constituencies which were manipulated by dollar bills on election day. Therefore for Democratic Labour Party to come out with this sanctimonious attitude that they decry the buying of votes and they are looking for stiff penalties — their own people will feel it.

“The BLP could not afford it in a campaign which was predicated on the buying of votes. Our campaign was predicated entirely on the ventilation of the issues and getting people to exercise their constitutional rights. The results of the elections would have turned out differently if the spectre of money did not enter the picture at the end to get people to the polls,” the St. Joseph MP said. (NC)

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