THE FARQUHARSON Institute, Jamaicans for Justice and the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) young professionals, Generation 2000 (G2K) have all raised concerns about statements made by Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies, at a People's National Party (PNP) constituency conference earlier this week.
They were responding to reports in yesterday's Gleaner of a speech made by Dr. Davies at a PNP North West St. Andrew constituency conference on Sunday and since, in which he said that the Government made public spending decisions, during last year's general election campaign, knowing that they were financially unsound and even ignoring the effects of flood damage.
However last night, the PNP threw its full support behind the Minister saying his comments had been taken out of context.
In its statement, the Farquharson Institute said, public disquiet over the statements by Dr. Davies demands an urgent and immediate response from the Prime Minister.
"The Farquharson Institute understands, from recent radio broadcasts, that Dr. Davies wilfully and deliberately manipulated the use and spending of public funds to facilitate an election victory for his party; and in so doing has seriously jeopardised the economic stability of the country, which must now be corrected," the statement said.
"We hold the Minister's actions to be totally unacceptable by people in any country. Further, we believe that it is of utmost importance for the Prime Minister to allay public outrage at this corrupt practice, by a clear and unequivocal statement to the people of Jamaica, as to whether Dr. Davies' statement represents the policy of his government and the programme of the party he led to victory at the polls.
"All well thinking Jamaicans must be incensed about Dr. Davies' utterances and demand to know from the Prime Minister, whether this statement allows Dr. Davies to retain his position of Minister of Finance and, just as important, whether his statement is approved by the other members of Cabinet, where collective responsibility applies."
Jamaicans for Justice said that Dr. Davies' comments constituted, "an admission of his committing a fundamental breach of public trust and a fundamental breach of his fiduciary responsibility as Finance Minister of Jamaica."
"For him to knowingly put the economy in further peril, because he appears to believe that the party's interests supersede the national interest, indicates that he has lost complete touch with what are his responsibilities as a leader. The fact that he sees no need for apology, suggests that he has lost his moral centre. His comments further indicate that his judgment as Finance Minister cannot be trusted and, therefore, he has no basis to remain in that position and he must resign immediately."
Jamaicans for Justice said that the Government must also indicate, immediately, that it has demanded his resignation and would not countenance any further such abuses of public trust and fiduciary responsibility, "or it too will have no moral authority left with which to govern, except by force."
G2K said that it was clear that the fin-ance minister misled the country and Parliament, when he stated that there would be no election budget for the October 16 polls and, "his blatant and arrogant admission that the fourth term and progress were of greater importance than the flood victims and the country's welfare."
The group claimed that the Minister's "recklessness" had led to the current economic dilemma and resulted in the Jamaican dollar coming under severe pressure.
"The organisation is of the strong opinion that Dr. Davies has betrayed the trust and the future of every young person in Jamaica and has condemned another generation to a lifetime of poverty.
Last night, PNP chairman, Robert Pickersgill said Dr. Davies' statement was intended to convey to the party faithful that their expectations could not be met in light of current economic realities." We continue to repose trust in his handling of the finances of this country," he said.