Category Archives: Political Corruption

Peter Binose: How deep does the election fraud go in St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

Racist_Ralph_Gonsalves

How deep was the election fraud of PM Ralph Gonsalves?

Perhaps we should along with this consider “How high is the mountain, how deep is the sea?”

How deep did the election fraud reach in our last three elections? We all know about the Red T shirts and bottles of strong rum. Many of us know from first hand observation that it went much deeper than that. People were given roofing and building materials. It was actually delivered to their homes, and in many cases they were given tickets to go and collect lumber and other materials from the government small works yard at Arnos Vale adjacent to the airport runway.

Much was state owned materials. Delivery was made right up to 4am on the mornings of elections.

“Lumber, galvanised roofing, cement,  sheep, goats, chickens,  washing machines, cookers, refrigerators, 100 dollar notes in envelopes…

You name it, they got it.” 

It was claimed that many of the distributed items were for damage caused by certain past storms, but hundreds if not thousands received items when they lost nothing and had no damage.

The chosen recipients were known as supporters of the party in power. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Peter Binose: Politicians, political bullies and other cowards

Racist_Ralph_Gonsalves

Rubbish Caribbean Politicians and Marxist Pretenders!

by Peter Binose

Politicians who are haters, political bullies and distributors of malice and spite are always cowards.

They like to pick on small sections of society, little groups and little people. They know that little and disorganised people can be no threat to them so they are able to administer hatred, spite and malice without it affecting very much their support during the election process.

And in any case they can always re-buy them with a few trinkets at a later date, even on the very morning of an election.

Now I actually believe that the current leadership and the people who they insult and treat with absolute scorn and disdain fall into those very categories. What we can be sure of is that all our silences in the face of assault are acts of complicity. Its the very kind of acceptance that brought about the slavery of our forefathers.

Politicians who think with their epidermis or their genitalia, or their ruling class ancestry or clan and family, entitle them to be our masters – are the problem we should not tolerate.

One does not banish this spectre of bad behaviour by invoking it ourselves. If we would not vote against someone on the grounds of ‘race’ or ‘gender’ alone, then by the exact same token we would not cast a vote in their favour for the identical reason.

Yet see how this obvious question makes fairly intelligent Vincentian people say the most alarmingly stupid things and act in the most ignorant ways. If we are willing to accept scum behaviour from scum politicians perhaps we deserve to be ground under the boot of these political bullies. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Opinion: Owen Arthur wants and needs Barbados economy to continue in crisis

Owen Arthur Mia Mottley fight

“Arthur has a history of using Mia Mottley when it is in his interest to do so and seeking to destroy her when it looks like she and the BLP have victory in sight.”

Arrived via Denmark or Sweden, and signed “Victory is in sight!”

Owen Arthur is known to say “sorry” because he believes it is a cool thing to do. He often says, “blame me” but that too is sarcasm.

He has already made it clear that Clyde Mascoll is his “quo leader.”

Mia thought they were in love... while Owen was getting ready to give her a shove!

Mia thought they were in love… while Owen was getting ready to give her a shove!

The one thing you can say with certainty about Owen Arthur, is that he never reverses himself on anything. Owen Arthur is driven by a type of obsessive hatred for Mia Mottley. Even if it means sacrificing himself, that is fine with Arthur as long as it destroys Mia Mottley in the process.

Owen Arthur has one unfulfilled obsession and that is to make sure that Mottley never leads Barbados and that Mascoll (his quo-leader) emerges to become the leader of the BLP and the next Prime Minister of this country.

Arthur’s interest is not served by being on an “Eminent Person’s Committee.” That would allow the Government to put Barbados on a stable economic path and spoil his plans.

Any economist of note who Mia consults will also immediately become an offense to Arthur because it means competition for Mascoll. In order for Arthur’s plan to work, he needs the crisis in the economy to continue, since it will also serve as the distraction he needs to execute his plot.

For the ‘Old Fox’, the plot is simple!

Arthur will continue to pick at Mia Mottley in the hope that she becomes distracted and responds. A brawl that pulls in bees from both camps and creates a spectacle and confusion would be good for Arthur. Once Mia falls for the trap, “check mate” and game over for her. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

BFP Reader warned in 2010: Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort built on a flood plain – Death and disaster predicted 3 years ago!

Buccament Bay Resort Flood Plain Death (click on photo for large)

“Alot of tricks. That Buccament Bay project in SVG is a disaster waiting to happen, it is constructed in a low lying flood plain between two mountains.

I expect to read any day that torential rains have washed the entire project, people and all, into the bloody sea.

Cellate and ICE Group could not build a pig pen for me.”

Barbados Free Press reader Gorillaphant comments July 25, 2010 on BFP’s Buccament Bay Resort: Harlequin alleges fraud, unsafe materials use…

Although BFP hasn’t heard from Harlequin Resorts solicitors, we see that Peter Binose and some other news outlets who published Peter Binose’s letter received some nasty communications indeed.

In for a penny, in for a pound and all that – and let the truth out.

“The greedy developers and government valued money over everything. They gambled with Joselle Small’s life – but it was Joselle, her husband and family who lost.”

Over three years ago on this very website, BFP reader Gorillaphant declared what any fool could see for hisself: Buccament Bay Resort is built on a flood plain between two mountains, so close to the sea and sea level that death and disaster was bound to come.

It was only a matter of when, not if.  Continue reading

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Filed under Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Harlequin Buccament Bay flood tragedy – Caused by Vincentian Government’s and developer’s greed and stupidity

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort.

Ricky Small cries for his dear wife Joselle, who was taken by the raging waters at Buccament Bay Resort: a tragedy predicted by writer Peter Binose. (photo courtesy I-Witness News, link at bottom of article)

“Several times over the last couple of years water has run through peoples houses in the village, something that had never happened before Harlequin resort was being built, this should have been a warning…”

“The original engineering has been compromised and the government planners are fully aware of such.”

“I knew as day follows night this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”

One Man’s Opinion…

by Peter Binose

Buccament Bay Resort was built on a known flood plane and areas that were known as swamp. Flooding of this area has been happening since the very beginning of the valley, which acts like a great funnel draining into the bay itself.

Everyone knew that, certainly the locals and most certainly the planners and government surveyors knew that.

The resort area had the richest soil of the whole island, silt carried there from present day and over millions of years. The farmers that farmed the area were used to seasonal flooding, their crops grown in the ultra fertile soil were the best produce money could buy.

Then along came a series of rich developers and they were driven from their land. Most of the farmers had purchased the land from the government. But that didn’t matter, the prime minister sought to regain the land and to sell it to developers. The farmers initially refused to give up such wonderful agricultural land, fully well knowing they would never find anything like it anywhere else on the island. Prime Minister Gonsalves took to shaming them into parting with their land by telling them they were standing in the way of progress of the island, by progress he meant destroying their farming practices and replacing them with a tourist product.

It was becoming obvious that agriculture was becoming less and less important to the ULP government, who considered tourism their crowning glory as an administration.

“I knew as day follows night this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”       Continue reading

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Filed under Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

Dirty politics in Barbados? Sex Video said to be a well-known politician… but it’s not him

1 Barbados Sex Video

At least, we don’t think it’s him…

In the past few days eight readers have sent us a sex video that is supposed to involve a well-known Bajan politician having an excellent time with a woman not his wife.

Wuhloss! Who would have imagined such a relationship could happen on this rock?

After a thorough examination of the video, several times, with rum and beers in hand, your committee of Barbados Free Press editors and staff concluded that it sure looks like you-know-who, but it’s not. At least, we don’t think it’s him.

But that leads us to the next question: Who created or discovered a slightly-blurred sex video that looks like a Barbados politician but isn’t really? Who sent it around and put it up on the chat groups with his name? Was it done with a hidden camera? It looks that way!

Why it was done is an easy question to answer, and we’re not going to mention which party might have done it. *** (We’ve changed our minds… see the end of this post.)

All we can say is, politics is a dirty game everywhere, but especially in Barbados where there are no rules about conflicts of interest, there are no procurement standards for spending government money, and there is no Freedom of Information Act that would at least give citizens a hope of finding out the truth.

Do you want to clean up politics in Barbados? We have to start by stopping the feed at the piggy trough. Being elected shouldn’t be a guarantee of becoming a millionaire, but that’s the way it is ’bout hey.

As long as the rewards of being elected are that large, and the chances of being caught so small, the politicians of both parties will continue to use every dirty trick to discredit others and to get themselves elected to the piggy trough.

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Afra Raymond on Heritage Radio: Public procurement, government corruption and Christmas

afra raymond CMMB

Fearless anti-corruption fighter Afra Raymond was not appointed a senator (surprise! surprise!), but he says he didn’t expect it despite the rumours.

Check out an excellent interview on 101.7FM where Afra speaks his mind as always.

Afra Raymond.com: Audio – Heritage Radio Interview of Afra Raymond

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Sir Hilary Beckles should dump the ‘Sir’ in protest of the CLICO scandal.

Clico Parris Theft

($3,333,000 cheque money laundered by Prime Minister David Thompson for CLICO’s Leroy Parris. Where is Sir Hilary Beckles’ outrage?)

Sir Hilary Beckles Barbados

“It’s not easy for the titled elites to act on principles that conflict with their vanity”

by Just another Destroyed Policyholder

Some 23 years ago, Sir Hilary Beckles was more than vexed at the Barbados Mutual insurance company – rightly accusing the elites of the day of raping policyholders’ funds and using them for their own schemes and personal wealth-building.

Beckles recently recalled the time and said “It had exploited them. It took their money, it took their investments and they were used as a pool of resources to assist the elites of this country,”

And how is that so different from what we saw with the CLICO and CL Financial collapse? The now dead Prime Minister David Thompson and his DLP were thick as thieves with Leroy Parris and sucked the CLICO well dry so there was nothing left for little policy holders. Don’t forget, former PM David Thompson was Clico’s lawyer, and he signed a secret contract and kept it secret from the Oversight Committee he later appointed as Prime Minister! (See BFP’s Leroy Parris has no shame)

David Thompson money-laundered 3.3 million dollars from CLICO International Life Insurance Limited, but the money was actually destined for former CLICO executive chairman Leroy Parris. Oh… by the way – Parris is godfather to Thompson’s child and turn about too! (see BFP’s Former PM David Thompson law firm money-laundered millions from CLICO to Parris: How much came back to Thompson & DLP?)

People go to jail for less in other countries.

But this is Barbados. David Thompson, the same lawyer who helped set up the CLICO employment contract in 2005, received secret “campaign donations” from CLICO and Parris. After Thompson was elected Prime Minister, CLICO got land use approvals and Thompson had the use of the Clico executive jet.

Then when the CLICO – CL Financial house of cards came tumbling down, Thompson fought off judicial management of the company, appointed some toothless “Oversight Committee” without real authority or power to do anything, and gave Parris a nice job in charge of the Caribbean Broadcasting Company – managing what news the public heard about the CLICO debacle.

Prime Minister David Thompson knew about the secret agreement because he witnessed and signed it. He probably set it up as Leroy’s lawyer. Then years later when the “Oversight Committee” that Thompson appointed couldn’t find any contracts with Parris, Thompson stayed silent to protect his friend and himself.

Where does Beckles stand on that rape by the elites of Barbados? We don’t know because SIR Hilary is one of the elites now and, as he says, he’s adopted a more moderate tone. Heh heh…  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption

Bold-faced thieves, reckless public officials will destroy post-independence Caribbean

Once again our old friend Afra Raymond does his research and sounds the clarion: Everything Caribbean nations have achieved is at risk because of crooked politicians, bad lawyers and corrupt judges…

The Threat to Integrity – part 4

by Afra Raymond

by Afra Raymond

I am fully in support of a vigorous and conscientious Integrity Commission (IC).  I do not want to see the IC abolished or sidelined.  The IC must realign its limited resources to ensure a decisive impact on the conduct of Public Officials.  The proposals contained in its 2012 Annual Report show clearly that the Gordon Commission has started to seriously grapple with that challenge.

The derailment of the IC between 2004 and 2009 is a clear example of what can happen to an Independent Commission if we do not maintain vigilant oversight.

This matter is of the greatest interest for those of us campaigning for Public Procurement reform so as to get effective control over all transactions in Public Money.  The arrangements we are proposing include new Independent Commissions/Officeholders.  It is therefore critical that we learn the lessons from this debacle so as to safeguard the bodies we are proposing.  The stakes are very high for our nation’s Integrity Framework, which must be strengthened, with swifter resolution of allegations.

To continue in the current manner is to drag the system into further disrepute, encourage even more bold-faced thieves, more reckless public officials and we can expect complete loss of the residual respect for the post-independence civilization we have tried to grow.  That would be an ugly and violent future for our society, so this episode requires stern and conscientious examination. Continue reading

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Filed under Corruption, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Afra Raymond: The threat from Trinidad & Tobago’s Appeal Court

trinidad integrity law

Politicians everywhere love those state-controlled enterprises that are exempt from the rules applying to wholly owned state-enterprises. Why, you ask? It’s all about politicos being able to profit from your tax dollars while hiding the profits.

It’s been a constant battle trying to craft integrity laws because the moment a country puts them in place the politicians discover a hundred ways they are exempt.

In Barbados, of course, we don’t bother with Integrity Legislation because we’re happy that the politicians and government employees are able to steal. With about 60 % of the islands workforce somehow employed by the government it all works out. Well, everything works out except the mathematics of keeping the whole thing afloat.

Our old friend Afra Raymond has a problem with the Trinidad & Tobago Appeal Court ruling that undermines Integrity Legislation.

We only wish we had the same problem in Barbados. For in Barbados, we have no integrity or conflicts of interest laws at all!

Take it away, Afra…

afra raymond

Integrity threat from the Appeal Court

by Afra Raymond

On 27th June the Appeal Court ruled that -

  • TSTT is not a State Enterprise. The members of its Board are not subject to the Integrity Provisions.
  • It is only the members of the Boards of those Statutory Bodies which exercise public functions that are subject to the jurisdiction of the (Integrity) Commission.

Telecommunications Company of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) is a company established between the T&T State and the British-based multinational, Cable & Wireless. C&W holds 49% of the shares in TSTT, while the State holds about 42% of the shares together with the right to nominate 5 of its 9 Directors.

That unanimous ruling has serious consequences for the viability of our nation’s integrity framework.

The intended purpose of that framework is to ensure a satisfactory level of transparency and accountability in the way Public Money is transacted and Public Functions are discharged.  There is still a strong case for this Integrity Framework as a necessary ingredient in the Good Governance of our nation. The Integrity Framework includes the Auditor General; the Integrity Commission; the Investments Division of the Ministry of Finance and the two Parliamentary Accounts Enterprises Committees.  Ours is the most vibrant Caribbean economy and the State is clearly the largest player, so the proper management of that sector is critical. Given the continuing rise in the waste and theft of Public Money, there will always be a need for an improved, more effective Integrity Framework to oversee these huge, controversial operations…

…continue reading this article at AfraRaymond.com

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Political Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados DLP Executive involved in political influence loan scandal

Reynold Austin Barbados DLP

Photo: Reynold Austin – President DLP (Canada)

Noted Jamaican-Canadian businessman says DLP Executive Reynold Austin obtained US$750,000 business loan on the basis of political assurances

It doesn’t much matter whether we’re talking a corrupt BLP government or a corrupt DLP government – it’s the “Same old, same old ’bout this place”. Once elected, party officials rush to turn political influence and government authority into personal profits.

Today’s scandal involving a DLP executive member is only today’s scandal. CLICO was yesterday’s scandal. Tomorrow there will be something new, and when the BLP forms the government after the next election there will be more scandals coming – only BLP in their flavour instead of DLP.

“It is a scandal that the DLP executive Reynold Austin marketed his land development project on the basis of his position with the ruling DLP Government…”

Without Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information and accountability laws, the buying and selling of political influence and government authority will continue to carry no penalty.

denham jolly Jamaica Canada

Photo: Jamaican-Canadian businessman Denham Jolly

Look how brazen these people are!

In this case, noted Jamaican-Canadian businessman Denham Jolly was happy to make a loan in 2011 to a Barbados development project pushed by the President of the Barbados DLP (Canada), Reynold Austin, upon assurances that the project was important to the Democratic Labour Party government.

In other words, the DLP (Canada) executive tied the success of the business project directly to his insider status with the governing party. Jolly was happy with that. Only when the property development was unable to make loan payments did Mr. Jolly complain.

“Denham Jolly should also apologize to Bajans for taking part in an act of political corruption.”

Jolly told the press that DLP executive Reynold Austin “approached me in the spring of 2011 for a business loan for Pickering Court Development. He assured me that it was a great investment because it was a centrepiece for the Government and the enhancement of their re-election.”

Why should a privately-owned property development be a “great investment” because it is a “centrepiece for the Government” and “the enhancement of their re-election”?

How does a privately-owned piece of property increase in value due to an association with government?

That’s an easy question for any Bajan because we’ve seen decades of worthless scrub and agricultural land turned into millions when a government bestows building permissions upon land owned by political friends.

It is a scandal that the DLP executive Reynold Austin marketed his land development project on the basis of his position with the ruling DLP Government, and the stated value of the land to the government and therefore ‘enhanced’ value of the loan-provider to the Government and the Government’s re-election.

Reynold Austin should immediately resign from his executive position with the DLP, and if he does not the DLP should relieve him of his position. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption

Saint Vincent’s very own Gestapo: The Vincention Mongoose Gang

m16-barbados-cotton

“Why would heavily-armed men who are dressed for jungle warfare, be used to carry out police functions in a metropolitan city?”

“Just a political force carrying out its political orders to cause as much panic and fear as possible, while showing the regime’s might to opponents.”

by Peter Binose

Are men dressed in army jungle warfare dress – men who carry no identification on their tunics or jackets, no numbers, no names, no ranks – considered police officers?

Or, are they military officers? Whatever they are called they are a political army, answerable only to this current Marxist led regime.

Why would such men, carrying loaded weapons by way of automatic pistols in hip holsters under their tunics, be used to carry out police functions in a metropolitan city when they are dressed for jungle warfare?

Why?

Why does Saint Vincent need an armed paramilitary force, a force who frighten and brutalise Vincentian people if not physically, certainly mentally? Clad in military uniform, sometimes carrying armed assault rifles, ready to fight a jungle war in Kingstown. What are we coming to? What has this communist led regime done to us? Continue reading

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Filed under Human Rights, Military, Political Corruption

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves: How many travel writers will you jail?

Kenton Chance Wikileak

St. Vincent’s racist Prime Minister is on the record very upset that two BBC journalists ‘snuck’ into the country by telling Immigration authorities they were visiting as tourists when they were really working on a story about Harlequin and Dave Ames. Had the BBC journalists been filming a feel-good travel or investment article, Gonsalves wouldn’t have had a problem with them.

Too bad the BBC story was about how Harlequin collected hundreds of millions of pounds from British pensioners but only built a handful of promised holiday homes before running out of money.

Gonsalves threatened that Panorama tele-journalists Paul Kenyon and Mathew Hill committed crimes punishable by imprisonment.

No word on what PM Gonsalves thinks about Harlequin’s Ponzi scheme, but he is sure upset at the reporters for mentioning it!

How dare dem bloody reporters come snooping around and then expose the story of how SVG  and its politicians let a twice-bankrupt double glazing salesman get away with using the country to promote a pyramid scheme!

One problem though: does Prime Minister Gonsalves intend to apply the same rules to every travel journalist who comes to SVG as a tourist and then writes nice things about the island? Or is Gonsalves only concerned about the law when investigative journalists expose the truth?

If Prime Minister Gonsalves wants to put some journalists in jail he should start with every travel and finance writer who took a free trip from Harlequin and declared they were on holiday when they arrived in SVG. They are the ones who printed the flowery stories that set the trap for thousands of trusting Britons to lose their pensions. If any journalists deserve jail, it is that bunch.

Of course, it’s a good thing that the BBC journalists are of the white race because Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is probably going soft on them. You see, Ralph Gonsalves is a racist who dislikes mulattos and brown people – and said so.

Further Reading

I-Witness News Citing possible jail time, BBC reporters staying away from SVG

Cartoon: SVG journalist Kenton X. Chance with PM Gonsalves. See BFP’s More WikiLeaks hit the fan!

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Filed under Culture & Race Issues, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Race

Who was charged for photographing their ballot? Who paid them: DLP or BLP?

Barbados Election Corruption

File under “Disappearing news stories in Barbados”

by passin thru

Early afternoon on February 21, 2013 – Election Day – the news media in Barbados was full of stories of vote buying triggered by the arrest of a voter for using a cell phone to photograph their marked ballot. The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation called their original story “Arrested for photographing ballot” but that’s the last we heard of the arrest from the news media.

We see all sorts of news stories and editorials criticising the concept of vote buying, but no specifics with names and details of the event. It looks like the powers that be are allowing general stories about the practice but no specific proof can be shown the public. That’s because it is bad for business if the party that bought the vote is revealed. What if it’s the guvment? Woaloss!

You can still see the original CBC news because Barbados Free Press copied it into their own story Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both? Good move, BFP!

Voters take photos of their ballot so they can prove how they marked their “X” to the person who is paying them for voting a certain way. It’s a crime because it totally destroys democracy. Some of the election contests are so close that only a few votes purchased can make the difference. This time around one of our Members of Parliament was elected by a mere 10 votes over the rival. A few more close contests like that and a few more votes bought and the BLP would be forming the government now… or maybe the votes were bought and the DLP bought more?

You see how destructive it all is?

Vote buying is destructive not only because it corruptly changes the results of democratic elections, but because it undermines public confidence in the democratic system, in our government and ultimately in our country.

We know one thing: a voter was arrested – but we were never told their name!

Will this be another one of those disappearing news stories that Barbados is so famous for? Patriotic Bajans of all political colours cannot, must not, let this happen!

Who was charged for photographing their ballot? What is their name?

When do they appear in court?

When can Bajans hear the evidence against them?

This is much too important for Bajans to let the news and the political parties let this story fade away. We can’t depend upon the news media or the political class.

Bajans should demand to know the truth.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, News Media, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Barbados vote buying scandal starts at the top with BLP and DLP leadership

barbados-offshore-money

“How did the two political parties, both claiming to be rather financially impoverished, raise a conservative estimate of over twenty million dollars to pour into a three week campaign?”

“Deals are commonplace and state agencies are used to distribute largesse.”

Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group.

The Mahogany Coconut Group submits that the real vote buying is in the upper echelons of our society. What we witnessed on Election Day was some voters getting cash, cell phones, iPods and a bill paid here and there. The real votes were bought by those shadows – black and white – who Dr. Don Blackman referred to a few decades ago! Of course Dr. Blackman talked only about white shadows but the corporate landscape has dramatically changed over the years – we now have shadows of all colors and ethnicities.

While we shout from the roof tops about what took place on elections day, we bury our heads in the proverbial sand by refusing to ask one simple question: How did the two political parties, both claiming to be rather financially impoverished, raise a conservative estimate of over twenty million dollars to pour into a three week campaign?

We ask Dale Marshall (BLP) to tell us about the successful “cake sales and car washes” that raised their money.

We ask Ronald Jones (DLP) to tell us more about the “$500 here and there” that was given to his party by well wishers.

Let’s face it; elections are now big business and the corporate shadows are well entrenched in both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. Anybody who believes that car washes, cake sales and a five hundred dollar donation here and there, can raise this large amount of money, needs to seriously wake up from their slumber! Continue reading

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Barbados Prime Minister and Attorney General confirm vote buying during 2013 election

Adriel Brathwaite Barbados

“Attorney General Adriel Dermont Brathwaite said it was distressing that some Barbadians were selling their votes.”

Two Political Parties have the money to buy votes

Newly-sworn-in Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite confirmed Friday to the news media that “some” Bajans sold their votes during the recent general election.

A different way of putting it would be that “some” political parties bribed voters with cash – for it is surely true that unless there were ready buyers, there wouldn’t be any sellers of votes.

So let’s cut the B.S. by our Attorney General and tell it like it is: members of the political class bought the votes of willing sellers during the February 21, 2013 election.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart also said he was concerned about reports (as in more than one) about people buying votes. The CBC said about PM Stuart: “…throughout the day he has heard stories of people exchanging money for votes. The Prime Minister said this is an ugly practice which digs at the roots of democratic structures.”

The first question of many is…

Who sold? Who bought? Who are the ‘Some’ mentioned by the Attorney General?

Missing in all the news and commentary about vote buying is the name of the person arrested Thursday for photographing their marked ballot in the voting booth. BFP covered the election day story as Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both? but no details have appeared in the oldstream news media since then. Strange… or maybe not so strange.

What constituency did this arrest happen in? Did the arrested voter mark their ballot for a DLP or BLP candidate? How many other instances of vote buying/selling is Attorney General Brathwaite aware of? After all… he spoke in the plural. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both?

Barbados Election Corruption

Voter arrested for photographing ballot – only one caught of many!

Did the voter support the DLP or BLP candidate?

by Passin Thru

Why photograph your ballot? To prove your vote so you can receive payment!

Police made an arrest today after a voter was seen about noon using a cell phone to photograph their marked ballot while voting. This arrest absolutely proves that the rumours of the past three elections are true: people are being paid for their votes. But this was only voter arrested and obviously this was not the only person bribed to vote. How much were they paid? Who paid them? How many other voters were paid for their vote?

The practice of paying for votes strikes right at the heart of our democracy. This person should be jailed for the full six months penalty and all inquiries should be made with the party and candidate supported by the arrested voter. The voter’s jail sentence should be doubled if he or she doesn’t tell the name of the person who paid them for their vote.

The results in that constituency  should be nullified and a new election should be held.

Biscuits and Tinned Beef

In ‘de good ol day’ candidates would drive through the village handing out tinned beef, biscuits and rum. The corruption is a little more sophisticated these days with voters required to document their vote via cell phone camera. That was the rumour and now we know it is for truth.

Was the voter putting his mark on the DLP or BLP? Bajans deserve to know!

Arrested for photographing ballot

One person is in police custody following an incident in a polling booth where the individual reportedly took a cell phone picture of the ballot after it was marked with an x for one of the candidates contesting the 2013 general election.

The incident occurred after allegations surfaced that some individuals were paying Barbadians for their vote in the 2013 election.

CBC understands that the incident occurred just after midday and that the individual is likely to be charged with breaching the requirement of secrecy in an election.

Legal officials have told CBC that the penalty for such an offence on summary conviction is six months in jail.

… thanks to the CBC for the news story and the photo!

Also see CBC’s Cash for Votes

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics

Kammie Holder: Can government be trusted? The need for Freedom of Information in Barbados

It is a shame that Kammie Holder did not run as an independent candidate this time around – because he’s just what Barbados needs: someone who genuinely cares about this country and the people yet hasn’t a bit of desire to be a professional politician.

Next time… Kammie please run!

Further Reading

For a list of Kammie Holder’s previous articles at Barbados Free Press see here

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Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics