FRIDAY, MAY 18: An MP has defended his record in his Pembroke South East constituency.
Ashfield DeVent, who has been replaced as the PLP candidate by Rolfe Commissiong, said that he had worked tirelessly as the MP for the area.
He added: “When I was Works, Engineering and Housing Minister, all the Bermuda Housing Corporation units in the area had major renovations done on them.
“We got new lighting, painting and other renovations.”
Mr DeVent spoke out after Tillman Darrell, who stood against Mr DeVent at the 2007 general election for the UBP, said he was considering standing as an Independent because the two main parties had failed the area.
And Mr Darrell said not enough had been done to combat a sense of “hopelessness” among young people in an area heavily scarred by the recent upsurge in violent crime.
He added that he wanted the issue of Bermudians being banned from travel to the US because of minor convictions, especially drugs convictions, addressed and said that Government could do more to pressure American authorities.
Mr DeVent said: “The idea of hopelessness – many people in that area know that when there is a group of people selling illegal drugs in the area, then that’s a big problem.
“If he’s not prepared to deal with that problem, then he’s joking.”
He added: “I have lived in the area, grew up in the area and come from a single parent family and I have never found myself on the wrong side of the law.
“It’s more important to tell young people that when they pick up that spliff it could limit their ability to travel. We have to give them strong messages and underline that’s a decision they have to make.”
But he added: “There are a lot of people in that area doing very well – young people as well as older people.”
Mr DeVent also did not rule out also standing on an Independent ticket – which would mean a five horse race alongside Mr Commissiong, the OBA’s Jeff Baron, Independent candidate Raymond Davis, also known as Khalid Wasi and Mr Darrell.
Mr DeVent, a respected former broadcaster, said: “I have it still in the back of my mind, particularly because of the area and the problems it has had with drugs and guns.
“It’s very important the people there have a choice of candidates with some real level of integrity, although I haven’t made a decision yet.”