Nibbs: ABLP helps, not bribes

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A member of Parliament for the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) said he does not consider giving gifts during elections an attempt to bribe or induce the electorate to vote in favour of his party.
The Barbuda Affairs Minister Arthur Nibbs is therefore denying suggestions that the ABLP sought to bribe residents on the sister-isle by giving gifts of cash and kind leading up to the Barbuda Council elections held two days ago.
He said the party’s efforts are misunderstood.
“I don’t understand what people are saying in terms of inducement. If you go campaigning and you find there are people with basic specific needs, somebody is having a difficulty with their light bill up for disconnection, or somebody cannot meet their child school fee on time and at the same time you’re campaigning, and you are in a better off position than them, you’d walk away without assisting and still expect people to vote for you? Come on, it doesn’t have anything to do with any bribery,” he stated.
Nibbs said there was nothing “untoward” about the ABLP helping residents as he noted the party has a history of doing so.
“The Labour Party is known for being generous to people and to assist them. It is a need that you’re meeting. So, what I must do if it is on the eve of an election? It is just like Christ when he asked the man if he met his donkey stuck in the mud on the Sabbath if he wouldn’t clear it out and go water it and feed it. So, because it is election and I meet people with basic needs I must not help them? Come on, give me a break,” he stressed.
On Monday, George Rick James of the Free and Fair Election League said he heard of efforts to induce the electorate.
But, he said he could not call it bribery if the people who received gifts did not complain or give evidence of being bribed.
Education officer of the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) Joan Underwood said the results of the Barbuda Council elections – where the ABLP lost four of six seats up for grabs – is an indication that the people of Barbuda are thinking critically and are their own best advocates.

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