A scandal is brewing inside the Opposition People’s National Party, PNP, over the misappropriation of millions of dollars in campaign funds donated to the party to contest the February 25 general elections.
PNP Treasurer, Norman Horne, is accusing senior members of the party of using what he describes as significant sums for the sole benefit of their personal campaigns.
Horne says the actions of the senior PNP members, who he did not identify, has cost the PNP dearly.
The PNP Treasurer made the stunning revelations last month in a report he submitted to the July 23 and 24 meeting of the party’s powerful National Executive Council, NEC.
Nationwide News has obtained a copy of the damning report.
For some time there have been unsubstantiated rumors that several senior PNP members, including some former Cabinet Ministers, had solicited millions in campaign financing for the party and did not turn over the funds to the party’s treasury.
In his report at the of July to the PNP’s NEC meeting held at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, Norman Horne, confirmed those reports.
Mr. Horne is calling on those senior PNP members implicated to do the right thing and hand over the significant sums to the party.
He says the actions of the senior members cost the PNP the February 25 Election and has made it difficult for the party to collect money for the upcoming Parish Council polls.
Norman Horne told the PNP NEC – that as the party sought to fund its election campaign earlier this year, a number of times information received from potential donors was that contributions had already been made to senior Party members for the benefit of the Party.
But he says – “only a few members reported or accounted in full, or even in part, for the receipt of these donations to the Treasury or the Party Executive.”
Mr. Horne says the actions of the senior members heavily affected the Party’s income and had a negative effect on the national campaign.
He suggested that some senior PNP members had bank accounts which had contributions from donors and those accounts far exceeded the money the party had access to.
The PNP Treasurer said “financially speaking, there was not one central bank but several banks; some of which had more resources than the Party Treasury”. This gives credence to reports that there were parallel campaigns taking place by rival factions in the PNP in the run up to February 25.
Mr. Horne says had money donated by the private sector to senior party members been turned over to the party, necessary funding could have been strategically diverted to marginal constituencies, which seemed to have needed just a little more financial support for the losing PNP candidates to have won.
He says had this been done it is highly likely that the PNP would have won the election and been in power today.
The PNP Treasurer also gave the NEC bad news as parish council polls loom.
He said regrettably, the party’s financial forecast and indicators from the testing of the donor market have gradually and consistently worsened since its defeat in February.
Mr. Horne says consequently, there is a mounting objective-concern that the PNP will not be able to meet its budgetary target in relation to the parish council polls.
He says to this end, all Comrades who collected money from private sector and other entities, should make a full, transparent, and confidential account of all funds collected on behalf of the party.
He says it’s in the interest of the movement that the balance of the money be transferred to the Party’s central account so that it can be applied to all outstanding debts.
Mr. Horne says the balance would then be used to fund a budget for the upcoming Parish Council Election.
In a thinly veiled swipe at those who’ve robbed the PNPs coffers, the party Treasurer closed by appealing to comrades to bring back integrity to the movement, by placing the party’s interest before their own.
When contacted by our news center on Sunday about the explosive report which he tabled before the NEC – Mr. Horne declined to comment saying the report was an internal party issue.
Our sources say Horne has been coming under pressure from some senior members of the party to amend the report due to its potentially damaging consequences. .
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