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PNP concedes it could have used Parliament to discuss issues with Holness

Published:Friday | February 12, 2016 | 6:56 PM
Burke ... having failed to use the Parliament does not mean the concern should be ignored at this point.

The People's National Party (PNP) has admitted that it could have used the Jamaican parliament to raise its concerns about the integrity of the Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness

"We could have considered that; it could have been done," Paul Burke, the PNP general secretary conceded on RJR's Beyond the Headlines Friday afternoon.

But Burke says having failed to use the Parliament does not mean the concern should be ignored at this point.

He also sought to explain that the parliamentary schedule before its dissolution was heavy and some matters were not dealt with. 

Meanwhile, Burke said the issue could not be brought to the Office of the Political Ombudsman as it lacks the appropriate authority to deal with such concerns. 

"There is no sanction, there is no authority (with the Political Ombudsman). She may suggest, she can direct but if someone does not follow, there is no sanction," he said.

The PNP has raised concern about six issues it says question the integrity of the Jamaica Party Leader: 

1. Holness' comment that the Sam Sharpe Square shooting was "an act of terror"

2. Holness' nomination day comment allegedly defaming the Prime Minister

3. Holness' meeting with Jamaican convicted in Qatar.

4. The financing of the construction of Holness' house in Beverly Hills, St Andrew

5. The Senate letters saga

6. Robert Montague's assertion of oil imports link with ISIS 

Except for the comment on the Sam Sharpe Square shooting, all the issues to which the PNP has referred took place before the dissolution of the parliament on February 5.

The PNP is refusing to participate in three national political debates unless the Opposition Leader addresses the concerns. 

The party has also cited problems with the proposed format of the debate.