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Christie welcomes new opposition spokesperson on 'governance'

Published:Saturday | March 19, 2016 | 1:46 PM

Former Contractor General Greg Christie has welcomed the decision by Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller to appoint a spokesperson on governance in the Council of Spokesperson named last Friday.

Simpson Miller named Senator Mark Golding as the spokesman on justice and governance.

Here is a lightly edited version of the statement from Christie.

"In March 2014, while addressing an International Anti-Corruption Conference in Grand Cayman, I proposed several measures for combating corruption.

"One of these measures was for Caribbean governments to appoint an 'Ethics/Good-Governance/Anti-Corruption Cabinet minister'.

"Countries that have embarked upon a purposeful and decisive path to combat corruption typically have had an 'Anti-Corruption Champion'.

"We saw this decades ago with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew. In present times, we are seeing it with China's President Xi Jinping and Nigeria's President Buhari.

"In January 2015, Greece appointed a non-politician and specialist in economic crimes as its minister of transparency and anti-corruption'.

"In Jamaica, for the first time in the country's history, an opposition spokesperson was named to address 'governance' issues.

"In the past six months, the United Nations General Assembly, the Commonwealth, and the G20, have all pledged to renew their efforts to combat corruption.

"Jamaica's opposition leader must be commended for recognising the critical role that good governance standards must play in Jamaica as it goes forward.

"Adopting and/or adhering to best practices in good governance, and anti-corruption, are arguably failings of previous Jamaica administrations.

"Can we, therefore, hope that by appointing a 'Governance' spokesperson, the Jamaican Opposition is signalling a welcome change in posture?

"Has the Opposition reflected upon what some of its senior members have conceded was demonstrable 'arrogance' on its part while in office?

"We trust that this is indeed the case, and that the Opposition will hold the incumbent Government of Jamaica to the highest standards of good governance.

"It's also my hope that the Opposition will begin its task by insisting upon and supporting a revamped and strengthened Anti-Corruption Bill."