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McKenzie accuses PNP of politicising Maduro visit

Published:Tuesday | September 8, 2015 | 9:00 AM
Desmond McKenzie

West Kingston Member of Parliament (MP) Desmond McKenzie yesterday condemned the Government for what he claimed was its "vulgar and despicable display of politicking at the weekend" when it failed to included the parliamentary Opposition in key events commemorating and solidifying Jamaica's relationship with Venezuela.

"I deem it highly unfortunate and disrespectful for the Government to have used the occasion of Venezuelan President NicÛlas Maduro's visit to the island at the weekend to engage in the kind of vulgar and despicable politicking that it engaged in," said McKenzie, a Jamaica Labour Party MP.

"How can it be that as member of parliament for West Kingston - the very constituency in which the civic ceremony marking the opening of the Simon Bolivar Centre was taking place, I was excluded from everything having to do with the event and not even paid the courtesy of an invitation to attend the ceremony?"

serious questions

He continued: "We see it time and time again, that instead of putting the nation's interest first and uniting the people of Jamaica for our advancement as a country, this PNP (People's National Party) administration is more interested in playing politics with everything and engaging in a kind of political one-upmanship that is only serving to polarise our society. The prime minister has some serious questions to answer, as there is no logical and plausible explanation as to why neither myself as MP for the area, the opposition leader, nor our spokesperson on culture were invited to that important civic ceremony, while other MPs and political affiliates of the PNP were."

McKenzie said history is replete with examples of the inclusion of an MP in similar functions.

He added: "The nation will recall that during President Obama's recent visit to the island, one of the scheduled activities was the laying of a wreath at the cenotaph in the National Heroes' Park, which saw Central Kingston MP Ronnie Thwaites in attendance and participating in those proceedings. A despicable, vulgar and callous display of politicking is the only way to describe what the PNP did over the weekend in relation to that visit by President Maduro."