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NDP welcomes any investigation into source of $1.3 million

NDP welcomes any investigation into source of $1.3 million


President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace says he welcomes any investigation into the $1.35 million received by the NDP just prior to the December 2015 general elections.

Speaking on the New Times radio programme on Nice Radio last Thursday, Eustace vehemently denied that anything wrong or illegal had taken place in acquiring the money, which he said was for the election campaign.

“We haven’t done anything wrong. We sought different sources of funds to fund our campaign. That is one of the sources that brought us some money and that money we used during the election campaign.”{{more}}

During the last sitting of the House of Parliament Prime Minster Dr Ralph Gonsalves disclosed that over a million dollars had been deposited in the bank account of a person in the upper echelons of the NDP.

Subsequent to that, the SEARCHLIGHT reported in our edition of August 16 that local and international investigations were ongoing into the source of the funds which were deposited in the RBTT bank account of a lawyer close to the party on November 24, 2015, just a few days before the December 9 general elections.

The party leader noted that the money went through all the normal processes at the bank and there was no problem with getting the money from the bank.

Eustace, however, said that the Government should, instead of carrying out investigations into where the $1.3 million came from, investigate why, according to Eustace, persons here have been selling United States dollars for as low as XCD$2 for USD$1. The exchange rate of one US dollar is normally $2.7169 Eastern Caribbean (XCD) dollars.

“I hear it every day this is happening and you hear that from the public all the time. That a lot of US are being circulated and they are being traded at rates much below their value,” he stated.

Eustace, in his statement last week, also noted that the XCD$1.35 million was just one of the contributions they received during their election campaign.

According to Eusatce, the entire conversation about the money was only started because it debunked a statement that he claimed had been made, which he considers racist, that only Portuguese can raise money.

Eustace, who is also Leader of the Opposition, also questioned why investigations were not being carried out in relation to money used by the Government to import materials from Jamaica to distribute as part of the Lives to Live programme.

“What investigation is the Government taking in relation to those matters,” Eustace questioned.

The party leader also stated that investigations should be carried out into why money from PetroCaribe was used to pay part of the loan for supplies in the Lives to Live programme, which, according to Eustace, were for the Unity Labour Party (ULP) purposes, and not for use by the general public.

“That’s the investigation I want you to carry out Mr Prime Minister. Not about the $1.3 million which we got as a contribution for our election campaign, for the latter part of the campaign.” (CM)