ST. VINCENT: What was supposed to be a radio discussion of the youth policies and programmes of the two major political parties in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) may end up as a court battle.
The Unity Labour Party (ULP) has announced that Luke Browne, its candidate for East Kingstown in the Dec. 13 general elections, is “considering legal action” on the heels of accusations against him and his family by Vynnette Frederick.
The development comes after Frederick accused Browne and his family and of being involved in alleged illegal registration of voters in East Kingstown, which is represented by NDP president and Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace.
The two politicians, the youngest candidate of their respective parties, were guests on Hitz FM’s “As the Youth See It” on Thursday, Nov. 25, when Frederick made the accusation.
“Mr. Browne intends to discuss the matter with counsel as he firmly believes that this is a salacious attack on him that must be addressed,” the ULP said in a statement.
“This morning, evidence coming to hand to the New Democratic Party has required me to speak immediately on a matter of fundamental importance to our democracy,” Frederick had said on Hitz FM.
She said the Brownes are “involved in a conspiracy to subvert justice and to rig the general elections in the constituency of East Kingstown”.
Frederick left the programme after the moderator interrupted her as she was about to present “evidence” of the Brownes’ alleged involvement in reported illegal registration
“…there are attempts by the opposition to frustrate the registration exercise in East Kingstown upon the suspicion that anyone going to register supports Luke,” Browne said after Frederick left the programme.
The NDP, in a press release on Thursday, identified three cases in which it said that Browne “illegally transported registered voters living in other constituencies into the constituency of East Kingstown polling stations EKL and EKB to knowingly transfer into the constituency of East Kingstown in your attempt to rig the vote in the constituency”.
But Browne said he was “shocked to hear the allegations”, according to the ULP’s press statement
“I have never falsely or illegally registered or caused any person to be so registered. Vynnette knows that. Vynnette lied, and, I’m offended. She called my honour and integrity into question. I believe that her salacious statements broke the law. I am meeting with senior counsel to discuss my legal options,” the ULP press statement quoted Browne as saying.
The ULP said that the NDP has a history of lying.
“In October, their radio station was convicted of lying. And, yesterday, Arnhim Eustace was in court … defending himself against charges that he lied earlier this year,” the statement said.
The NDP does not have a radio station.
“The NDP’s record of deception speaks for itself,” said ULP General-Secretary Senator Julian Francis, according to the statement.
“This is just another lie from a cowardly politician who was too scared to discuss youth issues this morning on [Hitz FM],” he said.
Browne has told I Witness-News that he “will comment further” on the development.