Thu | May 25, 2017

Opposition leader expresses regret at use of letters to oust Tufton and Williams

Published:Sunday | February 8, 2015 | 2:01 AM
Holness

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is waiting on a report from a team of attorneys to determine his next step after the Constitutional Court's ruling last Friday that his use of pre-signed letters to oust Arthur Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton from the Senate was unconstitutional.

"I wish all Jamaicans to know that it was never my intention to act unconstitutionally. My action at all times was guided by attorneys-at-law, including the claimant, in whom I had reposed the utmost trust and confidence as persons competent in advising me on constitutional matters," Holness said in a release yesterday.

"My overriding consideration, as leader of the opposition, was in discharge of my duty to safeguard the spirit and intent of the constitutional provisions which provide for the protection of the Constitution from changes which may not be in the best interest of the Jamaican people.

"My action, therefore, in accepting the advice of the claimant, regarding resignation of senators, in that manner, was to ensure the effective administration of the government for the people, the necessity of which was recognised in the judgment at paragraph 64," added Holness.

 

LETTERS RETURNED

 

He said once Williams questioned the validity of the letters signed by the senators he returned them "without exception, long before the court delivered its judgment".

"The entire situation is regrettable, including the embarrassment caused to all of us as a result.

"The ruling by the Constitutional Court is of such great importance that I have referred it to a team of attorneys to research and advise on any implications it may have on our constitutional arrangements and how it affects the spirit and intent of its framework in respect to the role of opposition and government senators," said Holness.