United National Congress (UNC) candidate for La Horquetta/Talparo Jearlean John has lambasted the Prime Minister and Political Leader of the People’s National Movement (PNM), Dr Keith Rowley, for accusing her of trying to bribe residents of the area for votes.
In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, John said she, along with several others, were not “giving away anything” but rather bringing relief to families whose homes were flooded during adverse weather conditions.
On Tuesday night Dr Rowley alleged that the UNC was attempting to secure votes in Monday’s General Election by “handing out by the truckload fridges, stoves, washing machines and microwaves.”
However, according to John, “You see the Prime Minister could comment on what he saw on social media but, he did not see the crisis on social media because La Horquetta will only mean something to him on the 10th.”
The UNC candidate said she was approached by several groups willing to provide relief to the families who suffered losses during rainfall over the weekend.
“People’s lives were floating away and women crying, men crying because they worked hard for what they have,” John stated.
She added, “All these items were donated and Dr Rowley could get items too if he could use his prime ministership for good but he only use it to bully people.”
Neisha George is one resident of Ladybird Avenue whose home was flooded.
The mother of two told Guardian Media her home was under as much as five feet of water after only half-hour of rain.
She told us she lost her refrigerator, television and couch set.
George said she was sitting to the front of her house when she was approached by the UNC La Horquetta/Talparo team offering to assist with cleaning up her home. She was also one of the families to have received a fridge and stove from John.
Not wanting to comment on this particular incident, chairman of the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour, Dr Bishnu Ragoonath reminded parties to adhere to the code of conduct they all willingly signed.
“Within the code of political conduct, there is a statement that says that candidates should allow for free and fair elections and in that context, they should not engage in giving things or seek to bribe or manipulate potential voters,” according to Dr Ragoonath.
Former Government Minister Devant Maharaj has since written to the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) calling for an investigation into the Prime Minister’s bribery claim against the UNC.
Maharaj said as a member of the UNC he was deeply disturbed by the allegations. In his letter to the EBC Chairman, Mark Ramkerrysingh, Maharaj noted that Dr Rowley would not make such a statement without evidence.