Constituents of St George North who are offered bribes in exchange for their votes in the November 11 by-election are being urged to file formal complaints with the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF).
This was the advice from political leader of Solutions Barbados Grenville Phillips who claims to have received “credible reports” of bribery by political operatives in the constituency.
Moments after completing his nomination at the Valley Resource Centre without much fanfare, the by-election candidate suggested it would be foolhardy to accept temporary gratification in the form of small amounts of cash while accepting poor representation in the long term.
“I have heard credible reports of bribery in this election. I heard rumors before, but I can confirm credible reports of bribery in this election, and I don’t think people need to accept bribes in this election,” declared the Solutions Barbados Party leader just before 11 a.m.
“My message to the people of St George is that if you are offered a bribe, take it and then come down here to the police station and give the evidence to the police and let them charge the person that gave them the bribe and perhaps the party…. In this election, bribery could come to a halt if they do the right thing,” he added.
Phillips, who is a chartered structural engineer, declared that if elected as the Member of Parliament for the constituency, constituents would have the option of participating in a rebuilding initiative in the constituency that could pay them around $150 daily for building houses in the rural constituency.
The details of that initiative are contained in his party’s by-election manifesto.
“We plan to start a non-profit construction company and employ every unemployed person in St George North who wants to work in construction. A labourer who has no skills can make $150 a day… and it takes about six months to build a decent sized house. Therefore, a labourer could make $12 000 for each house that he assists in building and a skilled labourer could make $18 000. Why throw away your vote for $50 or $100 or $150? That is a pittance in comparison to what you could make,” he declared.
On his chances of victory, Phillips said the outcome would be a test of the constituency’s political maturity.
However, he acknowledged that in many cases, the public had been so “politically abused” by mainstream parties they would vote for the main political parties even if they were running “the carcass of a dead sheep”.
“Our aim is to make St George North the most prosperous constituency in Barbados and we can do it. We tried to save Barbados in the general election with a very good economic growth plan…. The people of Barbados voted to suck salt, so they have to suck the salt. I can’t save the people of Barbados but I can save the people of St George North,” Phillips contended. ([email protected])