Vote Buying an Open Sore in Jamaican Politics

Vote-buying may be around a little while longer after the Office of the Political Ombudsman says citizens are not coming forward with evidence to substantiate complaints. The latest reports are complaints from residents of Kingston Central where the People’s National Party’s (PNP) candidate Imani Duncan Pryce and The Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Donovan Williams contested what many described a PNP- stronghold constituency.

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown says she has received numerous reports of breaches in the political code of conduct during the election campaign including vote buying in several constituencies.  However her office is unable to make a case. Authenticating the reports whether videos or photos has been extremely challenging.

Additionally, residents are fearful of coming forward. The Political Ombudsman says despite videos circulating of alleged bribery, there is still evidence of the ‘informa fi dead’ culture in politics.

But the Ombudsman says this has become an open sore in Jamaican politics and could account for people staying away from the electoral process.

Additionally she says the cycle of not being able to secure a conviction may also perpetuate the issue.

Parchment Brown says the office of the political ombudsman does not have to power to arrest or charge.

CVM TV has this report: