BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY CANDIDATE NOT AFRAID TODECLARE HIS ASSETS
Edmund Hinkson, the Barbados Labour Party’s St. James North candidate, will declare his assets and liabilities to the Speaker of Parliament and to his political leader even in the absence of Prevention of Corruption or Integrity in Public Life Legislation, once he becomes a Member of Parliament.
Hinkson told a recent meeting of his constituency branch that he has nothing financially to hide and strongly supported the need to have such legislation on the Statute books of this Country. “I have practiced law for 26 years without any client ever having to report me to the Bar Association for anything. I have nothing to fear from the enactment of Integrity Legislation”, he declared to his branch members.
Hinkson severely chided the present Government for so far failing to have the Prevention of Corruption Bill passed in Parliament. “The late Prime Minister made serious allegations of corruption, which were subsequently not proven to be correct, against Owen Arthur and certain members of his cabinet. A significant number of Barbadians voted for the DLP last election based on these allegations and on that Party’s promise to pass Anti-Corruption Laws and to bring a greater level of transparency and accountability to our Country’s political governance. The DLP has broken its manifesto covenant and its election promise to forthwith enact this legislation on coming into office” he stated. “The Government has instead sent the Bill for consideration before a Joint Select Parliamentary Committee, a process which the Attorney General himself has last month stated is taken when you wish thwart the enactment of a Bill”.
Hinkson also asserted that the need for Integrity Legislation and Laws relating to campaign financing should be even more pressing now, in view of the CLICO scenario. “It cannot be right that that company took up investors’ hard-earned money and give it in such volumes to certain political parties to assist their electoral fortunes, without declarations on the matter having to be made to any authority or to the same investors”. He opined that 38,000 Barbadian investors and policy holders in CLICO were being financially sacrificed at the altar of the political financing circumstances of the very few.
Hinkson was also of the view that the present Member of Parliament for St. John, as a public figure now in her own right and as the former office manager of Thompson and Associates, had a moral duty to Barbadians to say what did she know and when did she first know about the 3.3 million dollars in legal fees received by that firm in January, 2009 which, according to the forensic report was then paid to Leroy Parris as a part of his gratuity in the absence of any CLICO Board of Directors’ approval.