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Mitchell says DNA marchers were paid $25

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Democratic National Alliance allegedly paid “vulnerable people” $25 to wear DNA T-shirts and to participate in the party’s demonstration last week, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell claimed.

However DNA Leader Branville McCartney shot back at the claims and said as party leader he was “unaware” of any money paid to protestors. He called on Mr Mitchell to fix his priorities and focus on immigration matters instead of the DNA.

Last Wednesday, nearly 200 DNA supporters protested in Rawson Square over what they called a “death of democracy” caused by the Christie administration.

In a statement released over the weekend, Mr Mitchell said this prompted him to begin investigations into the demonstration after reviewing footage of the protest. He said footage showed some Fox Hill residents participating even though they are not supporters of the party.

The investigation, he claimed, determined that the DNA contacted people “in and around the Fox Hill parade and asked them if they wanted to make $25 for a day’s work.”

“That day’s work turned out to be demonstrating for the DNA and marching to town in a DNA T-shirt,” Mr Mitchell said. “The reason I react to it is that I am incensed that the DNA would use vulnerable people in Fox Hill for the DNA’s political ends. I do not fault the people themselves; I fault the DNA for this cowardly action, taking advantage of our vulnerable people for political gain. I condemn it.”

Mr Mitchell labelled the DNA a “political irritant without a current political base,” adding that the third party is attempting to give the false impression that it has “widespread political support in the country.”

Yesterday Mr McCartney listed a number of national issues the Fox Hill MP should focus on, instead of casting aspersions on the DNA.

“As leader of the DNA, I am unaware of any money paid to persons attending last week’s demonstration,” he said. “The DNA is not like the Free National Movement as the minister has asserted and we are certainly nothing like the Progressive Liberal Party. We do not, have not and will not pay people to vote for us as the PLP allegedly did in the last election.

“We do not condone or participate in cronyism. These are all practices of the PLP.”

Mr McCartney said Mr Mitchell should worry about securing the country’s borders.

“During a time when our country’s borders and resources continue to be drained by the burden of illegal immigration, I find it absolutely amazing that Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell found the time to ‘review’ footage of the demonstration that was held in Rawson Square last Wednesday,” he said. “For a minister of the government to take the time to review and study the footage of a political organisation which members of his own party have called insignificant tells me that his priorities in overseeing his portfolio in the governance of this nation leaves much to be desired and suggests to me that the DNA has become more of a threat to the political establishment in this country than any third party before it.”

Mr McCartney also said Mr Mitchell should perhaps review footage of PLP rallies during the last election campaign to be reminded of the promises his government have not addressed.

He said Mr Mitchell should also review crime statistics and suggest a solution to crime to Prime Minister Perry Christie.

He added: “And what about an in depth review of the minister’s travel itinerary since taking office in 2012? Has Mr Mitchell reviewed the results of the many first class trips abroad which were funded by the public purse? A review of that information is certainly necessary and we call on Minister Mitchell to release those findings to the public via a similar statement to the media.”

Comments

Emac 7 years, 12 months ago

My God!!! How could any PLP talk about taking advantage of vulnerable people? They have been taking advantage of the gullible ignorant population for years. Dam dred! At least be fair in your statement. On the other hand, I did comment about how the demonstrators didn't seem to look sincere in their quest for fighting for democracy in the Bahamas. We as Bahamians need to admit that we are not a people who like to come together as a force for anything that truly is important to us. Perhaps the last effective demonstration was the Burma Road Riot? Other than that, as the first prime minister once stated that we weren't together when we got off the slave ships and still aren't together even now. True words coming from the most corrupt former leader in the hemisphere.

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ohdrap4 7 years, 12 months ago

did Fred investigate when nygard allegedly paid $25 for people to march for him?

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jlcandu 7 years, 12 months ago

Mr. Mitchell would say that considering that's a well-known PLP tactic to bus people into rallies and other events to make it look like they have support.

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hj 7 years, 12 months ago

The PLP has perfected the "art" of exploiting the vulnerable,buying votes,and renting crowds. Although I don't know if Fred's allegations are correct,why is he so upset? Perhaps he truly believes that these methods are the exclusive right of his party.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 12 months ago

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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TalRussell 7 years, 12 months ago

Listening to Comrade Bran on talk radio earlier today, he is either politically dumb, totally in the dark about what goes on in the DNA, or still has lots leadership schooling left to do. Either way it sure as hell doesn't reflect good on him. That is, if he wants be taken seriously about becoming Bahamaland's next prime minister. Pretty risky business for a politician who when no longer endorsed by Papa Hubert, he went down to election defeat in his own Bamboo Town constituency. Bran never did give a straight answer to the question; "Did the DNA pay protestors to show up in Rawson Square or not? He might think it's strategically clever to answer that; he had no 'personal knowledge' of protestors being paid monies? But that is not going to play well coming from a leader who sells himself off as a reincarnation of Papa Hubert, as a man in charge of his Green party?

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reverendrichlive 7 years, 12 months ago

All political parties have engaged in this sort of things, so, what let's move on....you people !

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duppyVAT 7 years, 12 months ago

I agree with rev. It happens every FIVE year cycle. So sad, shortsighted and backward for so-called "progressive" and "nationalist" governments since Independence

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B_I_D___ 7 years, 12 months ago

Yeap...the PLP are among the worst in handing out cash or 'gifts' for votes. People must be desperate and seriously wanting some 'change' if they were bought for only $25.

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licks2 7 years, 12 months ago

Fred need to fine something constructive to do. . .OH HOW ABOUT RIDDING THIS NATION OF HIS DAMN CRAZY AZZ LEADER!!

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TalRussell 7 years, 12 months ago

Comrades a quick memory recap. The issue here is not that both the PLP and red shirts are well known for practicing cash paid politics.That is more natural to understand cause that is the way they have played out their party politics for some 50 years, with the red shirts being only few years behind. In fact, if you believe the reds amount to no more than a coalition of former PLP's and UBP's, they been at it even much longer? Nothing compared to Bran's DNA party being accused of doing the same damn things while claiming to be bringing a fresh and different kind of green t-shit to the political scene. Yes, that bothers me. So, should it bother you too? This is the same DNA who spent upwards $2 million dollars to receive 13225 votes. Spent $2 million dollars to lose 100% of the number House of Assembly seats it held prior to the 2012 General Election. Has this new "refreshed" DNA party ever reveled where they got that $2 million from? Of course not. Do they need to be waiting for the PLP government pass some kind of election campaign monies disclosure act - to come clean with Bahamalander's. Of course not. You can pay attention to what Bran be saying. I is paying full attention to what he does as a leader after having spent $2 million of undisclosed campaign dollars.

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PKMShack 7 years, 12 months ago

New Leadership PLP need to go get lost and stay lost, they about to be out and we going to keep them out.

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TalRussell 7 years, 12 months ago

Comrade I got's my binoculars out but where is this new leader you envision?

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