Fri | Nov 17, 2017

Opposition senators to decide if they will resign

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Leader of Opposition Business Mark Golding (left) being sworn in by Clerk to the Houses of Parliament Heather Cooke after the 2016 general election.
Angela Brown Burke (left) being sworn in by Clerk to the Houses of Parliament Heather Cooke after the 2016 general election.
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The eight opposition senators are to meet this week to decide if they will be submitting their resignations en bloc to new People's National Party (PNP) president, Dr Peter Phillips, who is to be sworn in as Opposition leader tomorrow.

While some senators have already indicated that they would have no problems resigning to allow Phillips to name the opposition members of the Upper House, the formal discussions will be held to arrive at a uniformed position.

Opposition senators K.D. Knight and Dr Angela Brown Burke have already indicated that they would have no problem doing "whatever" is required by Phillips, while there has been no public comment from the others.

"We don't have planned letters of resignation, and every single one of us wants to make sure Dr Phillips has his mandate. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to put the PNP in the best position to defend the people of Jamaica," Brown Burke told The Gleaner last week.

"Oh yes! Without hesitation," Knight told The Gleaner when asked if he would be prepared to give up his position in Parliament's Upper House.

Last week, Phillips indicated that he would not be asking for the resignation of the senators who are appointed for the life of the Parliament.

This is in keeping with the court ruling in the case of Jamaica Labour Party leader, Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

While he was leader of the Opposition, Holness sought to effect the resignation of senators Dr Christopher Tufton and Arthur Williams using presigned letters.

But the Constitutional Court ruled that the presigned and undated letters of resignation and letters of authorisation, as well as the manner of their use to effect the resignation of senators, was inconsistent with the

Constitution, contrary to public policy and null and void.

 

OPPOSITION SENATORS

 

Mark Golding Leader of Opposition Business

K.D Knight

Floyd Morris

Dr Angela Brown Burke

Wensworth Skeffery

Sophia Frazer-Binns

Lambert Brown

Noel Sloley