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The Electoral Commission of St Lucia has denied receiving any report of ‘election fraud’ from former prime minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
Commissioner Michael Flood told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) on Friday that the commission could only investigate the matter unless a formal complaint is made.
“How could the commission act, when we have had no official complaint?’ he questioned.
Dr. Anthony said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that despite the issue was brought to the attention of the Electoral Commission, no efforts were made to investigate the claims and allegations.
“Not even the guardians of our electoral democracy, they moved to condemn, investigate or simply ask for evidence,” the former prime minister stated.
But Flood said if an investigation is launched, it could fall right back on Anthony’s doorsteps.
“I could quote one of their campaign managers saying to me personally, that on election day, they had a budget of $48,000 to be used between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. To do what?”
The commissioner said it has become a norm for persons particularly on the losing side, to always claim that there was election fraud, but no formal complaint is ever made and no evidence provided.
“Over the years, election after election, there have been rumours that people are being paid to vote. But when you ask them to come forward with the evidence, nobody can provide that. These are just allegations we use every election,” he added.
The commission, he said, is always concerned about anything that would jeopardize the integrity or democratic process of the country, and would hate to see these allegations have an effect on society.
When contacted today, Chief Elections Officer, Gaspard Jn Baptiste told SNO that while he cannot speak on behalf of the commission, his department was never issued a formal complaint either from Dr. Anthony or the SLP regarding alleged ‘election fraud.’
On Thursday, Human Rights Advocate Felicia Browne criticised Dr. Anthony for his handling of the matter, stating that suggestion of impropriety can do “irreparable damage to the targeted individuals, parties and even constituencies”.
However, Dr. Anthony said he has evidence to prove that there was ‘widespread bribery’ on election day.
The former prime minister highlighted that there are laws against influencing electors to vote or not to vote, and believes that people should be exposed for their alleged wrongdoing.
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