The Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) does not appear to be bothered by a defamation suit that may be brewing against two top party officials.
Former Press Secretary in the Dame Eugenia Charles Administration Parry Bellot said on Wednesday, that he is thinking of taking the leader of the DFP, Kent Vital and President Johnson Boston, to court over a statement made three months ago.
“I called into the Freedom Party program to criticize the party because I thought that in the last few months before the elections, they had gone over the top with their criticism of the Dominica Labor Party (DLP) Government and saying things that they knew was not the fact, trying to degrade the government,” Bellot stated. “They were saying all kinds of things about Mr. Skerrit and I was very disappointed with that kind of approach and it looked to me that they had almost joined the UWP in fighting the government.”
According to Bellot, former leader Eugenia Charles, has always been an advocate of the DFP working with the DLP, which the new leadership has not been doing.
He noted that after expressing his grievance with the party, several listeners called in disagreeing strongly with what he had stated. However, he was most disappointed, he stated, with the party officials who he claims joined in the verbal abuse.
“They started accusing me of not being an honest person. They stated I was a bourgeoisie and I don’t care for poor people and, really attacking me.”
He admitted that Boston attempted to redirect the discussion, however, Vital interjected and stated “there’s one thing I want to say. Mr. Bellot because I know you’re listening. I want to ask you, is it not true that Mr. Skerrit is giving you $3500 every month to do his propaganda?”
Bellot said he immediately attempted to call back, but was hung up on, and says such act was “mischievous. Since then people have been saying I’m singing for my supper, and calling me 3500, but I’m not getting a single cent from Mr. Skerrit.”
Dominica News Online (DNO) sought a response from the DFP leader, who stated, “We really don’t have anything to say on this. Parry apparently wants attention and he is seeking some sort of attention. So if he wants to do what he wants and thinks he has a case, well then let him make his case, but we’re not paying him any attention.”
However, Bellot seems intent on pursuing the law suit and by extension, his quest for compensation from the DFP officials.
“It is my reputation that they are defaming. All I have at my age is my reputation and I certainly don’t have a lot of money,“ the experienced journalist stated when questioned about his motive for the legal action. “I don’t want people thinking all along I have been getting money from Mr. Skerrit. I have worked hard, very very hard for Dominica. I have always been a nationalist. Very often doing things for free.”
Bellot says that he is consulting lawyers both here and in Barbados who have advised him to have the DFP officials retract their statement, but he still intends on getting paid and says “I will not let that go.”
“I just thought it was about time that I let that be known, we cannot have politicians just say things against people they think are working against them. That has to stop,” he insists.