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Stamp out voter fraud from politics


rhondathompson, [email protected]

Stamp out voter fraud from politics

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IT WAS NOT just that one or even two of the candidates in last Thursday’s general election spoke publicly about a trend which has invaded our politics. It was the expression of disgust by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and also by reappointed Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite which highlighted the severity of the situation.
And while it may not be totally foreign, the complaints about people selling their votes are not only distressing, but need to be investigated by the relevant authorities. It is electoral fraud, plain and simple.
Over the years we have heard of this type of behaviour but given the widespread reports following last Thursday’s poll, we as a people should not simply look the other way.
The system must not be corrupted by people with no sense of right and wrong, and whose objectives and actions can only lead to the destruction of our country and its proud record of good governance.
The echo of the Attorney General that politicians must indicate it is a practice which should not only be decried, but in no way tolerated is a position we can all support. The real solution must therefore be more than talk; it must be firm and decisive action.
As a start the Electoral and Boundaries Commission must explain what its role is in dealing with such widespread allegations. Yes, they are only allegations, but coming from a number of politicians, including the Attorney General, should mean a lot to those officials at the electoral commission.
This oversight body cannot have narrow concerns and interests as they relate to the holding of elections. Its remit must be so wide that it includes ensuring that elections are not only free and fair in the polling booth, but that there are no breaches of the law, or even the spirit of the law, as long as the election date is announced – both in and out of the polling booth.
While we take note of legitimate complaints from the politicians about the worrisome practice of people selling their votes, it is obvious that in order for there to be a seller, there must be a buyer. These buyers may indeed be the real culprits.
The politicians, their agents and supporters who know of these buyers should give the facts to both the Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the police. We expect a thorough investigation to be undertaken and, given the public interest, both agencies should make public the outcome of their investigations.
What may be an Election Day manifestation can easily spread to become an everyday corrupting force. We hope that voter fraud, by any method, remains rare and that we can eradicate it from our political landscape.

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