As the campaign fever heightens to unprecedented levels in the PNP, there are claims of vote buying by a very senior People’s National Party (PNP) MP. He was Speaking at a divisional conference for the Portmore, St. Catherine Region 3 Sunday last. The PNP operative declared. He is Leader of Opposition Business in the House and a MP, Mr. Phillip Paulwell. This is a very powerful region which could impact the fortunes for the respective candidates Dr. Peter Phillips or Peter Bunting one way or the other. Paulwell is chairman of Region 3.
Paulwell said he got a text from a female Comrade complaining that she was offered large sums of cash to vote for Bunting. The Opposition House Leader gave a jab at the Jamaica Labour Part (JLP) insinuating that the PNP is learning from the JLP as it relates to vote buying. There is no evidence that there has been any vote buying in the JLP. No one has ever been charged. Just apparently empty rumours.
The latest allegation of vote buying is enhancing the perception of turmoil in the PNP due to the internal leadership race in the 81 year old Opposition PNP.
It is a serious violation of Jamaica’s criminal code to buy votes in any election. This is also a subversion of the democratic process. If is now over to The Political Ambudsman Mrs. Donna Parchment Brown to act … vote buying is also a violation of the Political Code Of Conduct. This code is normally signed by candidates in election campaigns in Jamaica. We hope these allegations are false. We can do without such atrocities. What is your perspective? This is ours.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper Canada.