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CCJ Debate Continues Today...Sanction Against Malahoo Forte to be Lifted

Published:Thursday | October 29, 2015 | 10:00 AMEdmond Campbell

THE UPPER House of Parliament issued a notice yesterday that debate on three bills for Jamaica to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court will continue today.

But even as Parliament makes plans to resume debate on the bills, Leader of Government Business in the Senate A.J. Nicholson has written to President of the Senate Floyd Morris, signalling that he should lift the suspension of Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte from the Senate.

According to Nicholson, since Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding has received from the Privy Council in London a copy of the letter that had been demanded of Malahoo Forte, there should be no reason for the sanction to remain for the opposition senator.

"Since everything, then, concerning Senator [Malahoo] Forte's movements has been cleared up for all Jamaica to see, and we are now in possession of the letter - albeit not as a result of the senator obeying a legitimate order to make it available - there appears to be no impediment to a resumption of the conduct of the people's business in the Upper House," Nicholson said in his letter to Morris.

"There, therefore, appears to be no reason why it should not be agreed on all sides that the pursuit of the conduct of the people's business would justify the removal of the suspension order imposed upon the senator, to coincide with the sitting of the Senate tomorrow (today)," the leader of government business said.

CALLS FOR APOLOGY

Calls have come from the Jamaica Labour Party for govern-ment senators and Morris to apologise to Malahoo Forte for suspending her while she was on a "bathroom break". Opposition senators have said they would not participate further in the CCJ debate until government senators and the president apologised to Malahoo Forte.

However, since that time, Morris, assisted by Marshall to the Houses of Parliament, Kevin Williams, has produced video evidence challenging claims that Malahoo Forte had gone to the bathroom.

In this regard, Morris said he would not apologise, a sentiment also expressed by Nicholson.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com