Tue | Jan 23, 2018

PNP's Kelly says gov't threatening democracy with vote-buying scheme

Published:Wednesday | November 23, 2016 | 10:11 PM
Eugene Kelly
Members of team PNP (from left) Scean Branswell, Venecia Phillips and Eugene Kelly

Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

Eugene Kelly of the People's National Party (PNP) has accused the Andrew Holness administration of 'threatening' the country's democracy with a "vote-buying scheme" ahead of Monday's local government elections.

He made the assertion during this evening's televised political debate against members of the JLP.

"Rain don't (sic) only fall in JLP constituency. The $600m-vote-buying scheme is a threat to our democracy," he said of the controversial bush-clearing work that has been causing political tensions.

IN PHOTO: Richard Creary, Delroy Williams, ,Milton Brown

JLP representatives at the debate tried to defend the bush work programme.

Richard Creary maintained the administration's argument that the programme is important because of the heavy rains in recent weeks.

Venesha Phillips of the PNP argued that the pace of improving Papine Market in St Andrew could have been quicker if she had received funds that the Holness government has fund to support the bush clearing work.

That was rejected by Senator Delroy Williams who said Phillips, who sits in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, could have accessed other funds from the corporation.

The PNP has said it is writing to the Contractor General Dirk Harrison about the bush project.

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown has also written to Holness demanding information on the project as part of her probe to determine whether the Political Code of Conduct has been breached.

JLP general secretary Dr Horace Chang said the timing of the programme and the elections is 'coincidental'.