Mair says opposition embarrassed itself on local government vote
Member of Parliament for North East St Catherine Gregory Mair says the Opposition was left in an embarrassing situation during yesterday’s vote on a bill to enshrine local government in the Constitution.
The bill got the support of 57 MPs - 41 from the Government side and 16 from the Opposition, while six members declined to vote.
Mair says the opposition had agreed to abstain from voting on the matter.
He says as a result, the support for the bill by the opposition was met with surprise by some members.
When it came time for voting Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, voted yes for the bill, a move which left West St Thomas MP James Robertson furious.
He sprang to his seat, heading for the door, and then composed himself.
Roberston would eventually follow his leader and vote yes on the bill.
South Trelawny MP, Marisa Dalrymple Phillibert, North East St Andrew MP, Delroy Chuck, and Mair were animated and appeared angry at the way things were taking shape.
Dalrymple Phillibert, Mair, Chuck, Ed Bartlett, Mike Henry and Daryl Vaz all declined to vote.
Speaking with our The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre after the sitting of parliament, Mair said the situation was embarrassing for the opposition.
The local government legislation is in keeping with recommendations made in the August 1993 Report on the Constitution of Jamaica and the May 1995 final report of the Joint Select Committee of the Houses of Parliament on Constitutional and Electoral Reform.
It provides for local authorities to perform regulatory functions to facilitate the management, improvement and development of resources of local communities.
It also allows Parliament to make provision for local authorities to generate and spend their own revenue, and for the holding of Local Government elections.