Categorized | National News

Gibson Accuses PLP of Crown Land Bribery

A heated exchange erupted yesterday in the House of Assembly after Long Island MP Adrian Gibson claimed the previous administration promised Long Islanders crown land in exchange for votes.

Mr. Gibson made the claim yesterday during his contribution to the 2017/2018 Budget Communication debate in the House of Assembly.

“I understand that the former administration either gave away or pledge to give away swards of crown land in Salt Pond in exchange for votes prior to the last general election,” Mr. Gibson said.

“I will invite the prime minister and his esteemed team at the Office of the Prime Minister to look into these allegations.”

Refuting Mr. Gibson’s claims on the opposition’s side was Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly Glenys Hanna- Martin, who branded the allegations as “egregious.”

“His claim that the government gave crown land to get votes, I don’t care how it is couched, it is not acceptable to make that kind of assertion.  That’s an allegation of bribery which is a criminal offense and I ask the member to withdraw that claim,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.

“It’s not appropriate to make a claim especially if it’s unfounded.  My opinion is that it is an abuse of power.  The member ought not to make such an egregious assertion whether it is his opinion or not, unless he can document or support it.”

The Long Island MP in his defense reiterated that he used the term “pledged,” meaning it was promised as opposed to the action already occurring.

Mrs. Hanna-Martin then accused him of cloaking his words.

“I hear members all around saying this and we can go down this road, but it’s not going to be nice.  What they’re saying is that if you couch a scurrilous allegation of a criminal act against members in her or whoever and say it’s my opinion or that I understand, you can get away with that.

“We had a whole discussion on privilege about what was said outside this house.  This member is sitting in here and alleging the former government engaged in criminal activity in Long Island,” Mrs. Hanna- Martin said.

After a roughly two-minute-long exchange, Mr. Gibson withdrew his comments.

House Speaker Halston Moultrie also expunged the comments from the record.

Gibson’s claims come weeks after several Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidates indicated that they believe voters being paid by the Free National Movement (FNM) may have played a crucial role in their resounding loss in the general election.

PLP candidate for Elizabeth Alex Storr said there were several factors you could point to as reasons for the loss, but he heard stories of money playing a factor.

The PLP’s interim leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis reiterated Mr. Storr’s claims, and said there was chatter about persons being paid to vote in his constituency and he had statements from persons who were offered money.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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