PNP reopens door to Holness' house
The People's National Party (PNP) has described as insufficient and inaccurate the disclosure by Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness about the source of funding for his dwelling and insists that it will not be drawn into any debate about national issues until Holness and the party comes clean on a range of subjects.
On Tuesday, the PNP said that it was putting the matter of Holness' house to rest after he supplied answers about the source of funding for its construction. "I am dropping that discussion about Mr Holness' house," said PNP general secretary Paul Burke. "It was never about the house."
But yesterday, Delano Franklyn, the PNP's campaign manager, told a press conference at the party headquarters that the breakdown provided by Holness for the loan-financing package for his Beverly Hills family home was not accurate, based on the opinion of experts in the construction industry.
"His quotation, for example, of $52 million is not in keeping with the opinion of experts in the field. In fact, based on discussions that we have had with persons who are engaged in construction, with persons who are qualified to speak on this particular matter, the most conservative estimate that we have received so far, not including the cost of the land, is $125 million," Franklyn declared.
Franklyn said that the explanation proffered by Finance Minister Peter Phillips in response to questions raised by Holness about some of his financial dealings relating to FINSAC, as well as financing for the Phillips' family home in Spring Mountain, St Andrew, was accurate. He went on to insist that Holness had much more to answer to the nation, harking back to the Supreme Court ruling on the pre-signed letters of resignation, which put the JLP at odds with two of its senators - Christopher Tufton and Arthur Williams.
"The party is not prepared to enter into any dialogue with the Jamaica Labour Party unless its leader, Andrew Holness, fully and comprehensively responds to all, meaning, all five issues raised in that statement (issued by the PNP on February 11) and questions which we have raised. What I have just read, what I have just quoted, what I have just restated is the party's position, and we stand by it, and we still maintain that position," Franklyn told journalists gathered at 89 Old Hope Road.