Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Election Financing: Who Bought Whom?

Must Read

Tropical Depression Could Approach Northern Leeward Islands As Hurricane

Tropical Depression Ten has formed in the central Atlantic Ocean and could approach the northern Leeward Islands as a...

Saint Lucia Wins Against Saint Vincent In Continental Cup

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic, September 15, 2019 - Saint Lucia's men outdueled St Vincent and The Grenadines in the...

RFHL One Step Closer To Closing Scotia Transaction

Press Release:- Port of Spain, Trinidad: September 10, 2019 – Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) is now one step closer...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

PRESS RELEASE:-Electoral fraud and vote rigging are illegal practices in the electoral process. In many democratic states, such practices carry severe punishment, including imprisonment. In many Caribbean societies, there have been several  post-election claims electoral fraud and vote-rigging.

This has continued to plague various administrations as such actions are contrary to the principles of democracy. As a result,  many electorates contend an overwhelming sense of betrayal and discontent  regarding the electoral process.

During the past few weeks since elections here, rumours of electoral fraud have circulated on social media, coming especially from people in the hierarchy of the current opposition.

 A snap election being called; numerous citizens lost the  opportunity to exercise their democratic choices due to the limited time-frame. Those who had the opportunity to so, ensured that regardless of the circumstances their rights as citizens would have been historically recorded.  

However, just one month after elections, the former Prime Minister posted on his social media page that the election was riddled with incidents of bribery, vote-rigging, election fraud and other unethical practices.

This raised many concerns  as many citizens believed that their votes should count – and the claims by the former PM triggered further prejudice and hostility towards the incoming administration.

Felicia Browne, human rights advocate, maintains that even before an investigation or finding of wrongdoing the taint from a suggestion of impropriety can do irreparable  damage to the targeted individuals, parties and even constituencies. In  a small society,  such claims and allegations can have serious consequences for individuals and their communities.

We have seen in many Caribbean societies, where political violence has stemmed from allegations of bribery and vote-rigging.  We should begin to address such practices through effective policies that will not only protect the rights of citizens but  also allow politicians and their supporters to participate in a  safe and just election. No voter`s vote should be worth more than another’s.

Votes are sacred in that they allow every citizen the right to determine their government without fear or prejudice. Though the claims (including highlighting names of individuals without their consent)  by the former PM should be taken into consideration for further investigation, we  should be cognizant of the dangers that linger when we place such sensitive information in the public domain.

These are very serious accusations and the law ought to take precedence rather than personal grievances. Every citizen has equal rights such that no politician is greater than the ordinary man or woman; nor the laws of the land.

Browne adds that international organisations like the OAS and CARICOM Elections Observers have consistently provided recommendations towards having safe, violence-free and fair elections; some of which should be implemented in our state laws. Campaign financing and declaration of assets of  potential and elected candidates should be given full consideration during constitutional reforms.

According to Browne,  citizens should not bear the blame for unethical practices while political officials are immune to reprimand. They should also be held accountable for any form of unethical practice during their tenure in office.

Additionally,  an ethical commission should be established to oversee and provide guidelines on political practices.


- Advertisement -


Saint Lucian Woman Accuses British Couple Of Indecent Assault

A Saint Lucian woman has filed a formal complaint with the police against a British man and his girlfriend for indecent assault. The virtual complainant...

PM Supports Conversion Of Debt Into Investment In Resilience

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has voiced support for the conversion of debt into investment in resilience, in cases like the Bahamas. The Bahamas was recently...

Opposition Leader Unhappy With State Of Economy

Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre, asserting that the government has ignored warnings from his party, has told reporters that he is very unhappy with...

Saint Lucia To Review Building Codes, Hurricane Shelters

Saint Lucia is to reassess building codes and hurricane shelters in light of the devastation caused in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian. Infrastructure Minister Stephenson...

More Articles