DPP should investigate vote-padding claims or step aside and let another person do the job, deFreitas says

Franz deFreitas, the United Progressive Party (UPP) caretaker for St. John’s City South, is also calling for the director of public prosecutions (DPP) to investigate self-incriminating statements made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Browne recently admitted that voters were transferred out of his constituency, specifically to give Labour Party colleagues an unfair advantage in the January 18 General Election.

DeFreitas says he disagrees with calls for the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) to launch an investigation into the PM’s claim, and he notes that such power is vested in the Director of Public Prosecutions under Section 82 of the Representation of the People Act.

Neither does DeFreitas support calls for members of the Commission to resign.  

If an investigation by the DPP proves that some hanky-panky took place during the elections, and was facilitated by the persons responsible for staging the elections, then they should be jailed, he says.

The UPP caretaker says he is surprised that – following Browne’s statements two weeks ago – no one, to date, has written to the DPP calling for an investigation into the matter.

However, if the DPP fails to act, deFreitas says, she should demit office and allow someone who is willing to  work without fear or favour to take over the position.

Further, those agencies that can intervene and do something should do so immediately, he says.