MAKING A POINT: The United National Congress’ candidate for the November 4 St Joseph by-election, Ian Alleyne, left, speaks to workmen at the St Joseph Government Primary School during a visit to the job site on Tuesday. –Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY
ALLEYNE UNDER ATTACK
PNM writes Integrity Commission on 25 projects undertaken by UNC St Joseph candidate... Ian: I’m just a middleman
Ria Taitt Political Editor
The People’s National Movement (PNM) has written the Integrity Commission, calling for a probe into the Government’s alleged use of State resources and State facilities to prop up and promote the election campaign of its candidate, Ian Alleyne.
In its letter to the commission—dated October 30 and signed by the party’s general secretary, Ashton Ford—the PNM pointed out the United National Congress (UNC) candidate has been boasting on his Facebook page and has “repeatedly taken credit for the commencement of infrastructural works in the constituency during interviews on the electronic media”.
Attached to the PNM’s complaint is a copy of Alleyne’s Facebook page, in which he declares: “This is Ian Alleyne. All those who thought I couldn’t perform, think again. After only a few days I am already getting certificates of comfort to residents of St Joseph. Now that is performance.”
The PNM’s letter also attaches a full-page UNC advertisement featuring Alleyne standing against a backdrop of people working on infrastructural projects, and brazenly declares: “10 days, 25 projects, one incredible performance, Ian Alleyne getting the job done”. The PNM cited the 25 projects in the letter.
PNM Political Leader Dr Keith Rowley, speaking to the Express last night, explained the complaint was against the Government since Alleyne was “a nobody, a man aspiring to office”, adding, “and that is why it is vulgar because the Government has allowed him access to, and direction of, State resources and he is campaigning on that basis. That is the basis of our complaint (to the commission)”.
Accusing the Government of misbehaviour in public office, Rowley said: “The Prime Minister sat down (in a meeting) and let Ian Alleyne speak about Government projects, for which the Government is responsible, and for which the Government is doling out taxpayers’ money, with no proper procurement procedure. And the ruling party is putting an ad in the newspapers claiming that Alleyne delivered these projects in ten days.”
Rowley said what is worse is the Attorney General was saying there was nothing wrong with that. “We reject Government’s vulgarity in this matter,” he said.
Stating there were legal precedents, Rowley said: “Right now as I speak to you, I have lawyers looking into this matter. There is no limit beneath which this Government would not sink.”
In its letter to the Integrity Commission, the PNM stated while it supported the fair distribution of resources and development of the country and of the constituency of St Joseph, “the PNM is of the firm view that there must be transparency in public procurement and equality of treatment, and is deeply concerned that the delivery of works and projects in the constituency of St Joseph by Mr Alleyne and persons in public life is being viciously manipulated... particularly when the works and projects are being done at the very last minute and solely for the purpose of winning an election”.
The letter said the 25 projects must have been the result of a co-ordinated effort by people in public life, whose continued employment in public office would depend upon the success of the UNC at the polls, which can quite potentially be adversely affected by a loss in the by-election for St Joseph.
The letter said these various people in public life had, among other things, failed to be fair and impartial in exercising their public duty by either instituting or fast-tracking works in the constituency of St Joseph in order to solicit votes for their own political party, the UNC and its candidate, who was afforded preferential treatment.
The letter noted that the projects which involved the laying of pipelines, the construction of box drains and pavements, paving, drainage, installation of street lights and the construction of basketball courts, could only have been commenced and initiated by the Ministry of Works, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Ministry of Sport and the various agencies which fall thereunder.
“All these entities would be led by ministers or chairmen and boards. All persons in public life, who have a personal interest in the advancement of the UNC,” the letter stated.
Speaking to the media yesterday on the issue following the swearing-in ceremony of councillors and aldermen in the Diego Martin Corporation, Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert said: “That is wrong, immoral and unethical and I don’t think the voters in St Joseph will fall for that. The UNC is wasting its time trying to bribe voters, if you want to call it that. But they are going to be defeated, badly beaten and perhaps they will understand that you can’t bribe voters like that. It is ridiculous.
“You had Mr Volney there for three years who says he wasn’t given the resources and the support. In comes that candidate (Alleyne) and in a week or two, he is getting things done, so he says, that Mr Volney couldn’t do in three years. And Mr Volney was an MP and a Cabinet minister. It won’t work. I think they are going to get a backlash.
The 25 contentious projects
Aranjuez West (laying of pipelines,
construction of box drains and pavements)
1. Nanan Street
2. Henry Street
3. Mangra Street
4. Oudai Street
5. Rambhaju Street
6. Samaroo Street
7. Sooknanan Street
8. Jagessar Street
Valsayn North (work on bridge continued
desilting; embankment of river drainage
9. St Joseph River
10. Prince Charles Circular
11. Grove Road
Mt Lambert (laying of pipeline, paving)
12. 1st Street
13. 2nd Street
14. 11th Street Extension
15. Mt Lambert Circular
16. Savannah Street off Johnny King
Mt D’Or (improvement work to footpath at
Mt D’Or, Champs Fleurs improvement work, demarcation for laying of water lines, repairs and installation of street lights)
17. Mt D’Or, Champs Fleurs
18. Mt Hope Road
19. 6th Street, Mt D’Or
20. Mendez Drive
21. Quarry Drive
22. Andrews Drive
Curepe (construction of basketball court)
23. Curepe savannah
Aranjuez South (desilting works)
24. Mowlah Canal
Bamboo #1 (box drain construction)
25. Bamboo Ext, aka Jones Town