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Holness to hold talks with Arthur Williams after JLP Senate affair solutions meeting

Published:Wednesday | February 11, 2015 | 9:14 AM
Andrew Holness - File
Arthur Williams - File

A meeting is to take place this morning between Jamaica Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and Arthur Williams over a court ruling that Holness unlawfully and unconstitutionally caused Williams to be booted from the Senate in 2013.

The planned talk comes after confirmation from Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) general secretary, Dr Horace Chang that during a meeting last night involving 27 of the party's 29 legislators, ‎the JLP settled on some decisions to keep Holness as party leader.

Gregory Mair and Delroy Chuck did not attend.

Chang says ‎the party has now entrusted Holness to arrive at a political solution involving Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton who were dropped from the Senate after the Opposition Leader submitted their undated, pre-signed resignation letters to the Governor General.

However, Chang is refusing to disclose those possible solutions, saying the meetings first have to take place.

Meanwhile, Chang is expressing surprise that Chuck and Mair did not turn up for the meeting.

The general secretary says no reason has been given for the absences.

And he says he was surprised at Chuck's actions, adding that the North East St Andrew MP has played a role in initiating party meetings on the senate issue.

Williams took Holness to the Constitutional Court challenging the basis under which Holness used pre-signed and undated letters to effect his and Tufton’s resignation in 2013.

Since the court ruling, there has been no clear indication from the JLP on what actions it will take especially that two other senators have since been appointed as replacements.

Holness initially said the court ruling had no implications for the composition of the Senate but he later softened his stance saying advice is being sought and he would do what is right after getting advice.

However, Williams has indicated that he has written to the Senate president advising of his intention to take his seat in the Upper House on Friday.

Some analysts have said the court ruling means that two replacements appointed by the Governor General are no longer senators while others say the court ruling was declaratory and therefore has no effect on the current slate of Opposition senators.

There have also been calls for Holness to resign.

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