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Holness explains using pre-signed letters to remove senators

Published:Saturday | February 7, 2015 | 6:42 PM
Andrew Holness - File

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is seeking to explain his actions when he used pre-signed undated letters of resignation to remove two Opposition Senators from the Upper House in 2013.

In a landmark ruling Friday, the Constitutional Court found that Holness’ action was unconstitutional when he used the letters to have Opposition Senators Arthur Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton removed from the Senate.

However, in a statement today, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader said it was never his intention to act in a manner that was unconstitutional.

Instead, he says his overriding consideration was to discharge his duty to safeguard the spirit and intent of the constitutional provisions, which protects the Constitution from changes that may not be in the interest of the Jamaican people.

Holness says his actions were, at all times, guided by attorneys, including Williams, in whom he placed utmost confidence as persons competent to advise him on constitutional matters.

Underscoring the significance of the ruling, Holness reiterated that he has referred it to a team of attorneys to research and advise him on any implications it may have on the country’s constitutional arrangements.

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