The ruling Unity Labour (ULP) Party’s candidate for North Leeward, Carlos James, has accused area representative Roland “Patel” Matthews of the New Democratic Party of “playing politics” with the tragic deaths of three constituents Sunday night.
Three members of a Spring Village family died when a car plunged over a cliff in Coulls Hill Sunday night.
They are George Johnson, 89, Venola Ollivierre (also known as Icylma Johnson), 65, and Denzil Johnson, 22.
Two other persons, Kemral Williams, 24, said to be the driver of the vehicle, and Neville Charles, 45, were hospitalised.
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Speaking on radio on Monday, Matthews said he blames the government for the deaths, noting that he has highlighted the fact that the road where the accident occurred needed repairs.
He said nothing was done even after someone died there in a similar incident last year.
But James said in a statement on Tuesday that the Matthews’ comments are “unfortunate, untimely and in poor taste”.
James noted that when there are multiple deaths from accidents of this nature the entire nation mourns.
“I believe that the deaths are not simply a personal tragedy — as in the case of Spring Village, an entire community is mourning,” he said.
“This is no time to play politics, not when people have lost their lives. I know what it feels like to lose someone you love. My heart goes out to the families, their loved ones and friends,” James said.
“No true representative, no dignified man, would use people’s pain as a way to earn political points by blaming the government for an accident of this nature.
“The vile utterances of Mr. Matthews lacked empathy and displayed not an ounce of decency, leadership or compassion for the people he claims to ‘represent,’” James said and urged continued pray for those affected.
But Matthews fired back in a post on Facebook on Wednesday, saying, “I was ridiculed and called all kind of names for standing up for the people who duly elected me to serve them. My question is … does the ulp candidate for NL believe that I am stupid and dotish [stupid] for standing up for the people of NL?”