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May 18, 2017

COLA Says P.U.P., U.D.P. to Blame for Integrity Commission

Geovannie Brackett

The second statement concerns the Integrity Commission, which is now asking for only one year’s worth of declarations from persons in public life including Ministers of Government. It bowed to apparent pressure over whether the law justified having five years’ worth of declarations on the table. But COLA says it believes the law offers no wriggle room and that both parties are to blame for the state of affairs. President Geovannie Brackett called on the Prime Minister to fix this part of his legacy and for the Opposition to do more than talk.

 

Geovannie Brackett, President, COLA

“The law is the law and it should not be applied selectively to a few. If the Prime Minister wants to leave a legacy of justice, he needs to start to use the machete that he would have used nine years ago – he needs to start using that machete today. We have seen whereby – if he has nothing to hide, he himself should actually be examining himself. We need to know where the politicians are financially, year by year, from the time they came into power in 2008. They have not been filing and we have not been having an Integrity Commission. I think the Prime Minister needs to re-examine the legacy that he will leave behind. We put both political parties in the beginning of the press release on blast because we felt that both political parties in some shape of form have contributed to the status or situation that we are at the moment. We want to say that it is time for a change. And if the P.U.P. have said they want to challenge it legally, we believe, we support that; but we want to go all the way, not just courts, because sometimes you go to court and you lose and nothing comes. What we would like to see from the Opposition is to put their boots on the ground and hold this government accountable. Partner with all stakeholders, and start to push a serious agenda of advocacy. Because you will see, this Government is a very strong government; when they are hell-bent on something, they won’t break unless you put force on the ground, and so what we need from the Opposition is not just a legal battle; but we need strong advocacy into applying the law as it is.”

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