Francis dismisses ballot tampering claim
August 3, 2007
Francis dismisses ballot tampering claim

Senator Julian Francis says that his now infamous statement in parliament, where he suggested that he had knowledge of the number of Syrian votes he got in the last election, was made following great political work, and not electoral tampering.{{more}}

“If Mr. Eustace doesn’t do political work that’s a matter for him,” said Senator Francis as he sat beside Acting Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker, during a press conference earlier this week. He also shared his views on a radio call in programme last Monday.

Francis was responding to Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace’s letter to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, which was sent last Friday.

In the letter Eustace threatened to boycott the constitutional review process unless four matters relating to the 2005 general elections were addressed including Francis’ statement during the 2006 budget debates.

Francis then claimed to know exactly how many persons in the Syrian Community in Cane Garden voted for him in the 2005 elections, where he lost in his bid to topple Eustace in the East Kingstown Constituency.

Francis dismissed as rubbish suggestions that he had examined the ballot papers to come to his determination. He explained that he had combed and coded the voters’ list, which is a must for any serious politician.

“That is what guides you in your election campaign,” he said.

He said that immediately following the election, he collected his inside agents’ copy of the voters’ list and worked with his constituency team for three nights a week, for five weeks, analyzing the list.

He said after the “painful process”, he was convinced that Eustace had beaten him fair and square.

“He cut my tail in East Kingstown good and proper,” Francis said.

“I spoke to every single Syrian who voted; it is a small community and they live in one area,” stated Francis.

Francis who boasts of a 25-year political career, and refers to Eustace as a ‘Johnny come lately’, said that although he had previously said he will not sue anyone for anything they say about him, he was going to seek a legal opinion on the matter.

“Only a child and a fool will put it in a letter at this level,” Francis said of Eustace raising of the issue of his (Francis) statement, in the letter to the Prime Minister.(KJ)