Intimidation rap levied against JLP - Walker calls for action - Peralto to probe allegation
By Balford Henry, News Editor
CHAIRMAN OF the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Senator Ryan Peralto said yesterday that the party would carry out its own investigations into the incident which triggered the resignation of the Returning Officer for Central St. Catherine, before responding to Director of Elections, Danville Walker.
Mr. Walker had written the JLP Chairman on Friday, suggesting that remarks made by JLP Deputy Leader and candidate for Central St. Catherine, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, in a meeting with the former Returning Officer, Vera Ro-ofe, and other candidates, were "unfortunate and irresponsible". He suggested that the party take the strongest action against Miss Grange.
The Director agreed with Mrs. Roofe that Miss Grange's reference to the fact that a former Returning Officer for the constituency was killed in 1980 over the issue of removal of polling stations, during a meeting on a similar issue last week, was intimidatory.
But, Mr. Peralto yesterday chided the Director for the way he handled the matter and said that after the JLP has completed its own investigations, it would decide how to proceed on the matter.
Senator Peralto said that the matter was before the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC), of which he is a member. He said that it was first raised at last Wednesday's meeting and it was decided that the Director would get a full report on the matter and report back to the EAC.
"I am not pleased that we have ended up now dealing with the matter in public before the EAC has had a chance to see his report and make a decision. In the circumstances, we are not going to deal with it publicly, until we have done our own investigations and make a report to the EAC," the JLP chairman said.