‘We got your back’

FNM Long Island Association urges MP to hold firm, stay on

Amid rumblings among some Long Islanders that their elected member of Parliament Adrian Gibson should give up his seat after being charged in relation to alleged corruption at the Water and Sewerage Corporation, the Free National Movement’s (FNM) Long Island Association has written to constituents expressing full support of Gibson.

“MP, we got your back,” the association said in a letter. “Stand tall.”

It also advised Long Islanders that a petition being circulated seeking to have the Long Island seat in the House of Assembly vacated is not from the FNM constituency office.

“The Long Island constituency and constituents are not in a dilemma,” the association said.

“Mr. Adrian Gibson is our duly elected Free National Movement member of Parliament, elected September 16, 2021 for five years or until the House of Assembly is dissolved.

“Being charged in a court does not warrant a resignation from Parliament, as the MP is 

innocent until proven guilty.”

The association added, “It is a criminal offence to pretend you are someone you are not. There is only one Long Island constituency office and any unauthorized person submitting information under the constituency name and banner is involving themselves in a criminal act.”

The FNM association also said, “Petitions did not put the MP in and sure can’t take him out.”

A senior association member told The Nassau Guardian yesterday, “We just want to get the story right because the PLP was sending out one (a letter) so we just put one on our letterhead to let the people know we’re behind Mr. Gibson.”

Last week, Gibson was arraigned on 56 charges concerning allegedly corrupt actions while he held the post of executive chairman of the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC). Prosecutors filed a total of 101 charges in the case.

Former corporation general manager Elwood Donaldson, and civilians Jerome Missick, Tanya Demeritte, Peaches Farquharson, Joan Knowles and Rashae Gibson were also accused of being part of the conspiracy.

Shortly after the Long Island MP was charged, a petition circulated on social media. The petition was addressed to “the honorable speaker and members of the House of Assembly” from the “constituents of the island of Long Island”.

It stated that the undersigned petitioners demand that the House remove Gibson forthwith.

The document, which circulated a day after the arraignment, had no signatures at that point; however, it did not indicate who drafted the document.

It is unclear whether there were ever any signatures added, and if so, how many.

Under the country’s constitution, Gibson’s seat would become vacant if he is convicted and sentenced to a period exceeding 12 months.

He has no legal obligation to resign based on the fact that he has been charged.

Gibson has been quiet since his arraignment, but he did show up for the budget debate in the House two days after appearing in court.

If he misses 90 days from Parliament, his seat would become vacant.

Gibson won the Long Island seat with 55 percent of the 1,326 votes cast last September.

In 2017, he won 53 percent of the votes.

There has been no indication that he intends to resign his seat, despite calls from some quarters that he do so.

The letter from the FNM Long Island Association is largely viewed as being a reflection of the thinking of the MP – that he intends to stay on.

The party leadership has not expressed any views publicly on the matter with the leader, Michael Pintard, stating last week that Gibson is a member in good standing and the FNM will do what it can to ensure his rights are observed.

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Candia Dames

Candia Dames is the executive editor of The Nassau Guardian.

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