PNP to submit vote buying evidence to Ombudsman

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The Opposition is turning up the heat on the Jamaica Labour Party following allegations on the weekend of vote buying. The People's National Party (PNP) has announced that it will be submitting evidence of the practice to Political Ombudsman Bishop Herro Blair to facilitate a probe. Addressing a PNP rally on Sunday night in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, General Secretary Peter Bunting declared that unnamed JLP members were issuing money vouchers to constituents. He likened the activity to vote buying. On Monday Bishop Blair said he was prepared to investigate Mr. Bunting's claim as soon as a complaint is forwarded to him. Dr. Peter Phillips, PNP Campaign Director, told RJR News on Monday night the Opposition has evidence that efforts are being made to influence voters and will present it to the Ombudsman. Additionally, Dr. Phillips says the Opposition will be keeping the spotlight on the JLP in the event that the practice continues. "We will send it forward to the Ombudsman so he can be alerted to it in case it rears its ugly head again elsewhere," Dr. Phillips said. When our news centre contacted senior officials of the JLP on Monday night they declined to comment on the vote buying allegations. Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips has criticised Member of Parliament for Northern Clarendon, Laurence Broderick, for putting his photograph on vouchers issued under the Human and Social Development Constituency Development Fund. Mr. Broderick is insisting that he has done nothing wrong. But according to Dr. Phillips, the practice is offensive. "It is not that people benefited from the taxpayers' money, it is that the Jamaica Labour Party was using the taxpayers' money in an effort to secure political advantage from the taxpayers' money in a crass and crude way in putting their pictures on the vouchers and suggesting that this was a JLP benefit rather than a benefit to which people are entitled from the Government of Jamaica," Dr. Phillips said.
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