Ombudsman, political representatives for Friday meeting over Warmington
As the October 30 by-elections near, rising campaign temperature, political gaffes, and platform utterances have forced Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown into action, calling for a meeting with representatives of the two political parties tomorrow.
Parchment Brown told The Gleaner that two meetings are being planned for Friday. Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) General Secretary Dr Horace Chang is slated to attend the first meeting.
"I have a confirmed meeting with Dr Chang. I don't know who else he will bring, but I am hoping Mr (Everald) Warmington will be at that meeting," Parchment Brown said.
Calls for the meeting have come following a video of an address by Warmington, the JLP's member of parliament for South West St Catherine, to voters in St Mary South East while campaigning on the weekend.
In the video, Warmington, who is also the minister of state with responsibility for works in the Office of the Prime Minister, was heard telling supporters that it made no sense for them to vote for an Opposition MP as a Govern-ment MP would be better able to serve the constituency.
Since its airing, the political backlash has been swift from the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) pundits and civil society.
The JLP, through Chang, has defended the comments and urged that they should not be taken out of context.
Other issues related to the upcoming St Mary by-election are to be discussed during a second meeting with Parchment Brown - currently being planned for late tomorrow morning - after a meeting on Everald Warmington's recent comments on the political platform.
"I have been having a lot of concerns about a variety of matters, and I am trying to see if the general secretaries of the camps can come together on Friday," Parchment Brown said.
"So I am hoping to have a representative of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the general secretaries, the candidates, and their campaign managers. I have made it clear to the candidates that whatever happens in the constituency, they are accountable."
Parchment Brown said that the second meeting had not been fully confirmed but that her office was feverishly making plans.