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VIDEO: Williams to decide on Senate return next week

Published:Friday | February 6, 2015 | 6:43 PM
Williams... I expect the Opposition Leader to protect the constitution of the country

Damion Mitchell, Editor - Radio & Online

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Jamaica Labour Party member Arthur Williams says by next week, he will determine whether to return to the Senate as a legislator.

The Constitutional Court today ruled that the Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, was wrong when he submitted to the Governor General, undated, pre-signed resignation letters for Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton as senators.

Williams says he is yet to hear from the Opposition Leader since the ruling.

He also said he has been in contact with Tufton, however their decisions will be independent.

WATCH: Williams reacts to Senate seat ruling

But is there an issue between Williams and the Opposition Leader?

"Absolutely not," said Williams.

"At one time I was called his 'right hand',", Williams told The Gleaner this afternoon.

Williams had contended that Holness used the letters to axe him from the Upper House because he did not support him in the internal leadership elections in November 2013.

That same month the Court turned down an injunction filed by Williams seeking to bar Holness from appointing replacement.

At the time Holness issued a statement saying "Today the Courts have ruled on a matter that potentially could have created a constitutional crisis. As Leader of the Opposition, I have a duty to protect the Constitution of the country."

This afternoon Williams said that statement applies even more now than it did then.

"... And I expect him to protect the constitution of the country," Williams said.

In its ruling today, the Constitutional Court held that section 41 of the Constitution makes provisions for the tenure of offices of senators and members of the House of Representatives.

In relation to the resignation of a senator, the court said the section states that the seat of a member shall become vacant if he resigns his seat.

The court also said there was no expressed provision under section 41 of the Constitution that the seat of a senator shall become vacant upon the advice of the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition who may have nominated them for appointment.

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