Following a series of statements that can be described as damning, spokesperson for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Claude Skelton Cline is now being threatened with legal action.
This threat has come from National Democratic Party (NDP) legislator seeking another term as the representative of the Ninth Electoral District, Dr Hubert O’Neal.
Dr O’Neal’s threat of legal action is in response to Skelton Cline’s statements that he (Dr O’Neal) has been engaging in bribery to secure his electoral seat after the upcoming general elections.
“They open up a chequebook for him (O’Neal) giving $200,000,” Skelton Cline had said while addressing a gathering in Virgin Gorda on Sunday, February 10.
‘Take the money’
Skelton Cline, a clergyman, further encouraged voters to accept the bribes.
“I want you to take the money. If he ain’t come by you yet you, go by him … you track him down from wherever he is and just tell him: ‘I come for my envelope’ … We done seen some of them envelops,” Skelton Cline said, adding that persons should vote out the NDP after accepting the so-called bribes.
In a subsequent statement on Tuesday, Dr O’Neal denounced the clergyman’s claims and categorically denied ever engaging in the bribery of voters. He said such practices are ‘beneath’ him, adding that bribery is a clear violation of local election laws.
He then demanded a public apology from Skelton Cline. He also demanded an apology from his VIP opponent Vincent Wheatley, at whose launch Skelton Cline made the comments. He suggested that Wheatley ought to have denounced the comments then and there.
“I demand both apologies to be made verbally on ZBVI and written on Facebook, from where these utterances were broadcasted to the public, by 12 noon on Nomination Day 14th February 2019,” Dr O’Neal said.
He added: “Receiving no apology by the prescribed deadline will result in legal action for libel and slander.”
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