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Vote-buying pleas fall flat in by-election

Published:Monday | December 1, 2014 | 2:24 PM
Ian allen photo

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter


A young Jamaica Labour Party member today refused to entertain a request from organisers that he buy votes on behalf of Faye Reid Jacobs.

Colin Virgo who unsuccessfully contested the South Manchester seat in 2011, bluntly told two female party workers that he would not be giving them money to induce anyone to vote.

"The people must make up dem mind if dem want change.

Me Not buying any vote," Virgo said.

It is illegal under Jamaican laws to induce persons, with cash or kind, to vote.

However, that fact appeared to be lost on the party worker who pointed out to Virgo that a group of men nearby was prepared to mark ballots for Reid if they are paid.

"A so we a go get fi win cause the other side a do it," she pressed.

Virgo as well as Generation 2000 president Floyd Green are manning a cluster of poling stations at Coke View primary school at Waterworks in the Central Westmoreland by-election.

Reid is facing the PNPs Dwayne Vaz in the by-election being held to fill the vacancy left by Roger Clarke, who died in August.

With the JLP seeking to win the tough seat designated as safe for the PNP, the party worker told Virgo that a few bucks could do the trick.

Her pleas, however, fell flat as Virgo responded saying: “If yuh buy it today how much you expect you will have to pay next time? Darling me not into dat."

By this time a small group of persons had congregated around Virgo.

"Dem need fi do supme mek me come out a di wilderness.

How yuh fi run election and nuh have money?" one man quizzed.

All this time, the female party worker was pleading with Virgo, who in addition to telling her that he has had to personally fund his presence in the constituency, said he is firmly against the vote buying.

"If Westmoreland win the whole Jamaica gain," the woman said.

But Virgo was unmoved.

Annoyed, the woman walked away while muttering some choiced words.

"Thats why we never going to win. Dem too mean, dats the problem, dem too tight," she said.


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