Thu | Jul 18, 2019

JLP calls emergency meeting, Holness fate in the balance

Published:Monday | February 9, 2015 | 12:33 PM
Andrew Holness - File

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

With the fate of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness uncertain, members of the newly-established Council of Opposition Spokespersons of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) have been summoned to an emergency meeting at 1 o’clock today.

The meeting is to be held at the party’s Belmont Road office.

Arthur Williams told The Gleaner today that he received a call from Holness, after the party leader apologised publicly to Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton at a service at the Boulevard Baptist Church, yesterday.

Neither Williams nor Tufton was present at the service.

Williams and Tufton were booted from the Upper House by way of pre-signed, undated resignation letters, days after Holness prevailed over Audley Shaw in the JLP leadership race in December 2013.

Things took a drastic turn when the Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that Holness was wrong in using the letters.

The court ruled the request, procurement and use of pre-signed and undated letters of resignation as inconsistent with the Constitution.

Holness promised to be guided by law, after the Constitutional Court ruled that he was wrong in the matter brought against him by Williams.

The need for the meeting within the JLP came after Delroy Chuck, the Member of Parliament for North East St. Andrew, wrote to Leader of Opposition Business, Derrick Smith.

“I have read the judgements in the abovementioned case and consider the matter to be of urgent national importance”, wrote Chuck, who is a lawyer by profession.

In urging his parliamentary colleagues to read them, Chuck stated: “In the Westminster System of Government, any constitutional office holder - be it Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Speaker of the House, Chief Justice or others - who the court rules or declares to act unlawfully and unconstitutionally, would be obliged in all good conscience and honour to tender his or her resignation unless there are good and compelling reasons not to do so”.

“I ask that you call an urgent meeting of all Opposition MPs to consider the matter,” said Chuck.


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