Incumbent National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Dr. the Hon. Hubert O’Neal has threatened to sue the Virgin Islands Party contender for his district and a Spokesperson for the Party if they do not apologize for claims that he was bribing voters.
Hon. O’Neal took to the airwaves on Tuesday this week to demand an apology from the VIP camp after hearing that certain comments were made on 10 February during the launch of the VIP Ninth District candidate.
The comments were made by Claude Skelton-Cline who was chairing the rally, and Hon. O’Neal seemed to take offence for being referenced in such a manner.
What Skelton-Cline Said
During the meeting the Chair of the evening Skelton-Cline did not call Hon. O’Neal’s name but made reference using various pronouns. He said: “He moved back home and then he opened up a checkbook. If you haven’t received an envelope yet, please go get one.”
“Go get one, pay the mortgage, pay the rent, pay the car note, pay the insurance company and if they offer you drinks, drink them up. If they offer you food eat them up; then on the 25 [February] you gon vote them out,” Skelton-Cline added.
Hon. O’Neal Demands Apology
In his repeated ZBVI statement Hon. O’Neal said that he was unhappy with the comments made by Skelton-Cline and allegedly allowed to slide by the District Candidate. “Mr. Claude Skelton-Cline who while moderating the launch of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) candidate Mr. Vincent Wheatley on Sunday 10February 2019 at the North Sound Virgin Gorda uttered remarks to the effect that I was engaged in bribery of the voters of the Ninth District with an accumulated amount of $200,000 by handing out portions of this money in white envelopes for their votes.”
Dr. O’Neal denied the bribery allegations and said that he has never participated in such actions. “He also encouraged those who had not yet received their bribes to contact me for theirs. I Dr. Hubert O’Neal can categorically deny ever engaging in bribery of voters for such a practice is beneath me and it is a clear elections law violation.”
“I also demand a public apology of Mr. Vincent Wheatley the Virgin Islands Party candidate for the Ninth District who allowed these utterances to be made from rostrum and never denounced them when he rose to address the gathering. I demand both apologies to be made verbally on ZBVI and written on Facebook from where these utterances were broadcasted to the public by 12:00 noon on nomination day 14 February, 2019. Receiving no apology by the prescribed deadline will result in legal action for libel and slander,” Hon. O’Neal added.