MP for the Marigot Constituency and Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, has denied claims that he is using his position to obtain scholarships under a program initiated by the Marigot Development Corporation (MDC).
Last week the MDC said it had secured $6.1-million for 16 students to study in the US and among them, two were Linton’s children.
Detractors were quick to pounce.
“Linton not once you can think of the people you represent and put their interest before yours?” one person wrote on Facebook. “You take two scholarships for yourself (your children) one time, you couldn’t say one for me and one for another poor person from marigot (sic) child?”
Another wrote on another social media platform, “At least the politician from Marigot could have allowed one other student from Marigot to get help instead of sending his both kids.”
But Linton said on Q95 last week he has absolutely no say in how the scholarships are given out.
“Scholarships are at the sole discretion of the schools and the schools alone, it’s strictly a merit based system,” he stated. “The Parliament Representative has no scholarships at all to give out or to hand out to anybody under the program, he cannot give any scholarship to his children or to anybody else.”
He said the program gives students the opportunity to prepare themselves and to seek entry into US boarding schools and “based on merit, based on their academic achievements, based on the quality of their interviews, in their interaction with the school’s admissions personnel, decisions are made about the extent of the financial support that is given to them to go to the schools, that is all.”
He stated that supporters of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) have gone on social media and suggested that there were “scholarships available for Marigot children and Lennox Linton took two for his children instead of taking one and leaving one for another child.”
“For the Labour Party to be concocting this story now about Lennox Linton trying to suggest that I am using my position as Parliamentary Representative to benefit myself and my family is really unfortunate and the perpetrators of this must stop it,” Linton remarked.
DNO made several attempts to contact Michael Pascal, President of the MDC on Monday morning but was unsuccessful.
However in response to a blog post on DNO, Pascal wrote, “Politicians in Marigot, La Plaine or any other constituency have no say in who gets scholarships. Scholarships are at the sole discretion of the schools and the schools alone, it’s strictly a merit based system.”