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Aug 17, 1999

U.D.P. rejects govt.’s offer to purchase headquarters’ land

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The United Democratic Party this morning gave new meaning to the words “saturation coverage” when it convened yet another press conference. The purpose was to plead its case in the dispute with government over the valuable strip of land the party gave itself when it was last in power. The only new development reported by party leader Dean Barrow is that the U.D.P. has rejected government’s offer to let them purchase the small portion of land their building actually sits on for one hundred thousand dollars. For Barrow the current difficulty is what he perceives to be the unequal treatment the two litigants receive in court.

Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition, U.D.P.

“The government has been able to file papers unilaterally all in one afternoon, yet we have to wait for almost a week in the very same circumstance, giving the government the opportunity to move in by force. In the meantime we can’t get our application heard until Wednesday. And given the speed with which the government was able to obtain a hearing we consider this terribly unfair.”

The problem Barrow faces is that however you characterize the attitude of the courts it differs little from that which prevailed when he was Attorney General. A second and perhaps more serious hurdle is that of public perception. The U.D.P. leader argues that the free gift of six hundred thousand dollars worth of land to his party by his own government is no different than previous P.U.P. grants to NGOs like the Audubon Society, Red Cross or National Development Foundation.


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