Jones offended by selling of votes
RONALD JONES says he is deeply concerned about the buying of votes in the just concluded general election and the “stench” it has become in Barbadian politics.
He was speaking to the media shortly after he easily retained the Christ Church East Central seat, defeating challenger Desmond Sands by just under a thousand votes in last Thursday’s poll.
It was 20 minutes before midnight when returning officer Michael Sealey announced the result, with Jones receiving 3 259 votes to Sands’ 2 264.
“I did not expect the challenge that came but I always show respect for the opponent,” a tired-looking Jones said shortly after reaching the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex where the count took place.
But his success was tempered by a concern about what he said were some undesirable practices in the election.
“This election in East Central and to some extent in wider Barbados has changed the nature of politics in Barbados and if somebody does not step back, it is going to be collision,” Jones told the media.
“The use of money has now become like stench in politics in Barbados and I don’t mean money in the normal promotion of your posters and brochures and advertisement.”
Jones, the Minister of Education in the previous Democratic Labour Party Government, added: “It has now become so offensive that young men and young women have joined the throng of those who collect all of these names and all of these IDs and they tell you essentially what they want you to pay for their X.
“It is not something that I have practised. I will never practise that but it is practised right across much of St Michael. One saw it very present today (election day) in Christ Church East. One saw it with its real nakedness in St James South. One saw it in St Philip South. I mean these are the realities,” said Jones.
Sands, a first-timer at the polls, was not present at the counting centre. (PH)