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Leacock alleges ULP bribed voters to secure victory

Leacock alleges ULP bribed voters to secure victory
Vice President of the NDP and Representative for Central Kingstown, St Clair ‘Major’ Leacock

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While there was a general swing towards the New Democratic Party (NDP) in last week’s general elections, a leading member of that party has alleged that the reason this swing did not manifest itself in the constituencies of Central Leeward and North Leeward may be due to bribery.

Vice President of the NDP and Representative for Central Kingstown, St Clair ‘Major’ Leacock made this allegation while speaking on Nice Radio on Wednesday, November 11.

And although he gave no proof to substantiate his claims, he suggested that the NDP may have to consider using a similar strategy.

The Central Leeward and North Leeward seats are the only two seats in which the Unity Labour Party (ULP), which won the poll by nine seats to the NDP’s six, saw a positive movement in its margin over the 2015 results.

Leacock said it may be asked: “Why didn’t the swing manifest itself in Central Leeward and North Leeward?”

The ULP won the Central Leeward seat with first time candidate Orando Brewster, by a margin of 503 votes. In 2015, Louis Straker of the ULP won that seat with a margin of 313 votes over Benjamin Exeter of the NDP.

“Well there’s enough concrete evidence of the allegations that millions of dollars was pumped in the Center and the North. The ‘bag ah money politics’,” Leacock stated.

He said that he was not being “pejorative, bad mouthing or ill speaking anybody.”

However, “if you come with the thousands and the millions of dollars, your five hundred dollars, your US dollars, your money wrapped up in your jersey and your cap and a promise and you can’t penetrate the Kingstowns, and you seemingly didn’t do so in the countryside, I don’t know what could have allowed people in Central Leeward, save and except the fact that the statistics show that Barrouallie (a town in Central Leeward) is the poorest place in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Leacock continued that whether the ULP was able to penetrate the poverty of the people and convert that into votes, others would have to speak to that.

He continued: “You have to feel even more so” for [Patel] Matthews in North Leeward, “Where he had to fend off all those millions of dollars of bribery.”

After the final count, Carlos James of the ULP was determined winner of the North Leeward seat by a margin of one vote over Roland “Patel” Matthews of the NDP. In 2015, Matthews beat James to the tape won by 12 votes.

The people in Fitz Hughes and Petit Bordel, two villages in North Leeward, are some of the strongest NDP warriors, Leacock said, and they along with North Windward “will pelt the first blow for the New Democratic Party”.

“We will have to go inside our privacy and think again how we will wheel and come and deal with that big set of money,” Leacock said, and whether the NDP will have to “beat them at their own game”.

“It’s not the best way to go, but we gotta get into Government by all legal means possible and it seems now that we have legitimized or baptized the giving out of money,” he also said.

Those persons who live in the country know, he said, “They move from Love Boxes, to boxes that love people.”
Leacock claimed that policemen were also exchanged for votes.

“…Promoted people up for Commissioners; these people have families, promoted up to Inspectors, Sergeants, Superintendents, they have families, promote them to station sergeants and sergeants the day before elections, they have families,” he stated.

He mentioned that police officers were recruited a week before the general elections.

The ‘Major’ concluded that this is the time for the NDP as the “most popular party” not to retreat “one square inch” but to be robust and engaging.