Ex-premier accuses OBA MP of abusive language on election day
A former Attorney-General and former One Bermuda Alliance MP was today accused of a breach of the peace outside a polling station during October’s General Election.
Alex Scott, a former Progressive Labour Party premier, said he had been the campaign manager for his son, Lawrence Scott, who was defending Warwick South East, when they were “approached by Mr Moniz” who confronted them.
Mr Scott said he and his son were subjected to verbal abuse outside the polling station, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on South Road, in front of the polling officer.
Mr Scott said: “As Bermudians say, he was in our faces and cussed us out.”
He added he and his son had reported an incident to the police and given interviews.
Mr Scott said Mr Moniz had “taken great exception” to his son’s protective mask, which was marked with “Scott 24” - the constituency number.
He added Mr Moniz, who had recently stepped down as MP for Smith’s West, had also objected to a tent set up near the polling area.
Mr Scott said: “His profanity was we had to take these things down. I pointed out there was nothing in the Act about having one’s name on it. There was no party logo. It was not presenting any political party.”
He added: “It was not in any way private. It was in the open and a breach not only of the public peace but the parliament election Act. Your behaviour is supposed to be responsible when in the area where folks are voting.”
Mr Scott said a young man who heard of the confrontation had been angered by Mr Moniz’s language and had shared a post on social media.
He added: “We could have had a nasty scene right there.”
Mr Scott said he treated former premiers “cordially” and that Mr Moniz’s conduct was improper, both as a former Attorney General and because he was talking to an ex-premier.
He said: “My expectation of Mr Moniz was that he should have been far more responsible. It would appear now this incident has now worked its way out there into the public.”
Mr Moniz last night said he had spoken to Mr Scott on election day about the branding of the tent and a pair of flags, but denied any abusive language or behaviour.
He said: “There was no confrontation. I was asked to go there because there had been problems all day with the PLP breaking the requirements of the Parliamentary Elections Act and having propaganda at the polls.
“I turned up and there were candidate-themed tents and masks they were wearing as well as two flags that were flying.
“I approached Lawrence Scott and said I had a complaint and I could see he had propaganda and, in my opinion, it was in breach of the Act – he said to prove it.”
Mr Moniz said that during his conversation with Lawrence Scott, Alex Scott became involved.
He said: “He said something a bit rude and I responded in the same tenor to him.
“Alex Scott said to me ’your day is done and you should leave’. I said to him that perhaps his day is done.
“That was all. That was the height of it.”
Mr Moniz said he spoke to the Returning Officer at the polling station about the problem and the flags were removed.
He added: “There were three police officers there. One of them was 30 feet away from me.
“She saw nothing that disturbed her whatsoever. She didn’t do anything and she wasn’t asked by anybody to do anything – she wasn’t asked by the returning officer, she wasn’t asked by Lawrence Scott, she wasn’t asked by Alex Scott.
“All of this is something he made up later – all fabricated after the fact.”
Mr Moniz added that even without the PLP logo, the tent and flags was propaganda in his opinion.
He said: “If I see a green and white flag with a PLP candidate’s name on election day, that says to me ’PLP’.
“If the OBA have a red tent with the name of an OBA candidate on it, the PLP are going to complain and say it’s not right.”