Thu | Feb 20, 2020

Not again... Opposition objects to PM assuming another ministry

Published:Wednesday | March 20, 2019 | 1:49 PM
Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips speaking at a press conference at his office on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - Kenyon Hemans photo

Danae Hyman, Online Reporter

The parliamentary Opposition says it strongly objects to Prime Minister Andrew Holness assuming portfolio responsibility for the Education Ministry following the resignation of Ruel Reid amid corruption allegations. 

At a press conference today, Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips said given the importance the ministry and Holness’ inability to devote full attention to it, he should take on oversight responsibility.

“The Ministry of Education is much too important to be given partial oversight in the conduct of its day to day activities which are absolutely essential to the future of Jamaica’s children,” Phillips said. 

Further, the Opposition Leader said this is the second ministry for which the Prime Minister has taken control in light of a corruption scandal and the resignation of its minister.

Last year, Holness took charge of the Ministry of Energy Science and Technology for eight months after Dr Andrew Wheatley "agreed" to step down over corruption issues at agencies under his watch.

“The country cannot afford the Office of the Prime Minister to once again cover up the misdeeds of ministers. The people of Jamaica deserve much more and much better,” Phillips charged.

He also said that he took note of the hasty removal of the education minister.

“The fact that the prime minister acted so quickly gives me reason to believe that he knew even before that there were misdeeds in the ministry and he did absolutely nothing until it became evident to him that it was public knowledge.”

Phillips on Monday called for the Auditor General’s Department to investigate the Ministry of Education and report to the Parliament and the people of Jamaica.

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