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PNP's Burke attempts to end rumours about US$5m contribution

Published:Wednesday | September 7, 2016 | 9:04 PM
People’s National Party General Secretary Paul Burke.

People’s National Party General Secretary, Paul Burke, is seeking to put an end to rumours that a foreign country contributed US$5 million to the PNP’s general election campaign.

Yesterday, Radio Jamaica reported that it had been told that a former member of the cabinet received the money but only handed over a portion to the PNP treasury and kept between US$1.5 and US$2 million of the amount.

However, in a release last night, Burke said he could not let the report go unchallenged.

According to him, silence and failure to reject outright fabrications will only allow unsubstantiated and unfounded rumours to become fact in the minds of some.

Burke says the rumour started circulating earlier this year with an allegation that US$1 million had been contributed.

He says by the end of the February 25th General Election, this amount had grown to US$3 million and then to US$5 million by sometime in April.

However, he says, as far as he knows, no former government minister or party officers, received any such contribution on behalf of the PNP from any overseas government.

Burke says common sense would show that the PNP could not have been challenged for resources during the last weeks of the election campaign, if the rumour were true.

The Office of the Contractor General is already investigating a separate allegation that it was customary for Chinese companies to pay an agent fee to a person named by a government minister in the PNP administration.

It’s alleged that this fee, which amounted to millions, was paid but not turned over to the PNP in the lead up to the last election.