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PNP admits concerns about Holness' integrity could have been raised in Parliament

Published:Saturday | February 13, 2016 | 2:19 AM
People’s National Party General Secretary Paul Burke.

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. 

PNP General Secretary Paul Burke made the admission on RJR's Beyond the Headlines. 

"We could have considered that; it could have been done," Burke admitted.

However, he added: It not having been done does not remove the point about the issues we have a concern about," he asserted.

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

Meanwhile, Burke told Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller that the issue could not be brought to the  Office of the Political Ombudsman as that office lacks appropriate authority to deal with its 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"

The PNP has raised concerns about five issues it says question the integrity of the Jamaica Party Leader. 

It points to the financing of Holness' house, his comments in the aftermath of Sunday's shooting at the party's rally in St James and Holness’ actions relating to a Jamaican who was imprisoned in Qatar.

The PNP also cited Holness' comments on nomination day that the Prime Minister is alleging to be defamatory and assertions from the JLP spokesman on energy Robert Montague about links between Jamaica's oil importation and ISIS, the international terrorist group, ISIS.

Except for the comment on the Sam Sharpe square shooting, all the issues referred to by the PNP 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 address their concerns. 

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