June 23, 2021

Did Louis Straker refer to electoral bribery?

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Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 9.50.21 PMBy Peter Binose

I picked up one of my newspapers from a pile in my London office which happened to be a copy of the Searchlight newspaper dated Friday, March 27, 2015, I scanned it looking for something ‘I didn’t know what’. When a heading sprang out at me “Will Sir Louis resign his position at NPL [National Properties].” I don’t know why I hadn’t read the article before, but I was blown away by what I read. I am still quite amazed that none of the journalists in SVG picked it up and ran with it. It just shows me what a useless bunch many of them are, even the editors failed to comment on such a blunder in the words relayed to their reporter. So I looked at the Searchlight staff and directors. I was surprised to find that Gonsalves had who I believe is his nominee on the board of directors, his old Marxist comrade and political partner in the old MNU Marxist Party, Renwick Rose.

The 2013 – 2014 Board of Directors comprises:
Ms. Corletha Ollivierre (Chairman)
Ms. Clare Keizer CEO & Editor
Mr. Sebastian “Bassy” Alexander
Dr. Adrian Fraser
Mr. Renwick Rose
Sir Errol Allen
Ms. Roxann Knights (Company Secretary) – See more at:
http://searchlight.vc/index73.htm#sthash.yv0UolF8.dpuf

Perhaps Renwick Rose is not his direct nominee, but Rose is/was a fellow Marxist Comrade to Gonsalves and I believe he owes Gonsalves a duty of care which is better known as solidarity among fellow Marxist’s. Remember the central car park a government owned car park next to the Financial Building in Bay Street Kingstown. The car park was taken away from the capitalist organization the ‘Saint Vincent Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce’when Gonsalves refused to allow them to renew their lease and he then awarded the car park to a company headed by Renwick Rose, the name of that company which now operates the car park is ‘Solidarity Inc’., what smack in the face that is for capitalism, see the how word solidarity is very special to Scientific Socialist’s.

I also doubted Errol Allen but to a much lesser degree than Rose. Allen was a Director of the National Commercial Bank (SVG), also Director of International Financial Services Authority (SVG) Ltd. After the bank was sold Allen was made Chairman of the Board of the new bank BOSVG. I do not know if he owes Gonsalves solidarity, but I would imagine both those first two positions would have been political appointments in which Gonsalves had a hand. Although Allen was somebody before he worked at the bank, and he became more than just someone after he left, but he was still there when the bank was bankrupted by the Gonsalves government. So perhaps Gonsalves owes him more solidarity than he owes Gonsalves.

But back to what Straker told the Searchlight Newspaper. Straker was asked if he should resign his [highly paid job for the (very old) boys] directorship at the Government owned corporation National Properties Ltd [NPL] [that is raping the state to build the Argyle airport] now that he was endorsed by [Gonsalves] the ULP by the National Council to be the Candidate for the Central Leeward constituency. The questions asked of him were framed by the fact that directors of other government corporations and agencies were asked to resign their directorships.
His answer was thus; “ My situation is different to the [government owned] Housing and Land Development Corporation [HLDC].” At the time of Phillips removal the Prime Minister [Gonsalves] said he was removed because he is a candidate for Central Kingstown in the next general elections. “I didn’t want somebody who is likely to be a candidate to continue to chair a board” Gonsalves said. However Straker, 71 said his situation is different. “It’s a little different from Housing. As you know Housing dispenses patronage [the power to control appointments to office or the right to privileges] and things that they can give out to affect the election”
Ref: Searchlight Newspaper, Friday, March 27, 2015. P24.

This to me is a clear message that the State owned company NPL do not bribe the people prior to an election but the state owned company HDLC do. Worse than that HDLC are able to control appointments to office and privileges, [“and things that they can give out to affect the election”] and if they are dispensing perhaps building materials etc., if that is true and I believe it may well be, it must be a serious crime against state and country. Because it’s even worse than a political party bribing the people. It’s a ‘State Owned Company’ acting perhaps in an ‘Ultra vires’ manner on behalf of a political party. That brings the whole validity of free and fair elections into question in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Remember Sir Louis Straker is not just a man off the street talking, this is a man close to the Prime Minister [he recommended Straker for his reward Knighthood], and this is a man that is close to central government and a member of the inner circle of the Unity Labour Party. If he talks he should be talking with certain knowledge and information and should be believed.

So why has no one picked this up before? Why?

HDLC do not currently have any money of their own, they took money from private people to build those people homes and houses, have they used any of that very money to influence and bribe the electorate? Have they? I ask that question because they are so short of money and owe money to subcontractors and house buyers. And I ask that question because this is such a serious allegation by Sir Louis Straker.

This is such a serious matter that the police must [not should, must] make an immediate investigation, and I even think that outside agencies from the US, UK and Europe should be notified and involved, this cannot be just treated as an internal matter, it’s beyond that.

I doubt any of it will get past the DPP, so outside agencies are important.

What a shame we do not have a whistle blowers organization, because if people are alleged to have committed a crime, this would be an ideal case to pay a reward for information leading to a conviction.

Of course I am not a member of the judiciary; I am not a judge or a police officer so what I write is taken from the word of one man in a statement that appeared in a newspaper. No one has refuted what he said, no comment from the ULP, the ULP Government or the Prime Minister. So we must wait for some of those people to start some dialog on the subject. At the moment Straker is a Knight of the Realm of Queen Elizabeth II so we must sit up and listen when he talks.

I am sure Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves could talk for hours on the subject should he wish to. But as he is so close to the subject as leader of the ULP, Minister of Police and Minister of the Judiciary and just about everything else, that is why we should bring in the outside agencies as soon as possible.

DISCLAIMER: The opinion, belief and viewpoint expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinion, belief and viewpoint of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com or official policies of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com.

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