Jamaica Gleaner Online TODAY'S ISSUE
March 8, 2000

Cecil Charlton criticises Seaga

MANDEVILLE, Manchester: FORMER MANDEVILLE Mayor Cecil Charlton is once again teasing the parish's political watchers who have been waiting for him to officially announce his switch to the National Democratic Movement (NDM).

Mr. Charlton has been voicing displeasure with the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), of which he is still a member, since the last Local Government election. On Friday, he directly addressed the leadership style of JLP leader Edward Seaga, telling The Gleaner that Mr. Seaga "needs people around him who are not afraid to tell him when he is wrong".

"I am not going to say you are right when in my heart I know you are wrong," said Mr. Charlton. "Eddie Seaga or anyone else is not going to make me open my mouth if I do not want, only my dentist can tell me when to open my mouth."

Mr. Charlton, who has served Local Government for more than 45 years and was given an award by the Manchester Cultural Development Commission for his service to the parish last year, indicated that he no longer considered Mr. Seaga a credible leader.

According to him, Director of Elections Danville Walker was lambasted by Mr. Seaga at every opportunity he got, yet it was the same Mr. Walker the JLP and in particular Mr. Seaga called on to oversee the Audley Shaw versus Pearnell Charles contest for party. This, said Mr. Charlton "shows the inconsistency of the party for how could you condemn a man to the hilt as the worst man on earth, then call on him to manage your affair". In another swipe at the JLP leader, Mr. Charlton said a leader must be strong in his conviction and leave himself open to be corrected and criticised for in the end he will benefit and he does not see Mr. Seaga as that type of leader.

Asked if he will be running as a candidate for the NDM in the next election, Mr. Charlton smiled and said the JLP is not going anywhere and the PNP leaders are destroying the country, and "my relationship with the NDM could not be better".

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