Deputy leader aspirants face hurdle
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has admitted that it is now examining some constitutional issues which could prevent all of its four deputy leaders from being elected at Sunday's annual conference.
Insiders say at least two of the four incumbents have not been nominated within the time frame prescribed by the constitution.
Under the JLP constitution, persons seeking to become deputy leaders must be nominated at least 30 days prior to conference.
Four persons, all incumbents, are in the running to be elected to the four deputy leader posts.
They are James Robertson, Audley Shaw, Desmond McKenzie and Dr Christopher Tufton.
Party officials declined to discuss the issue during a press conference at its Belmont Road headquarters on Tuesday.
won't disrupt operations
But Arthur Williams, chairman of the party's legal and constitution committee, said the matters raised will not disrupt the JLP's operations.
"Suffice it to say that my preliminary position, subject to the in-depth discussion, is that there are no issues that will derail the party's processes," he said.
Williams said the subject was discussed at Monday's meeting of the Standing Committee, but said the issues were referred to his committee for further discussion "during the course of this week". That meeting takes place today.
If it is determined that persons seeking office as deputy leader were not duly nominated, the JLP constitution gives its Central Executive the power to appoint persons to the position.
The Central Executive is the highest decision-making body of the party outside of annual conference. It is scheduled to meet two weeks after Sunday's one-day annual conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
In the meantime, JLP Leader Andrew Holness said he was not perturbed that "issues" are being raised.
"It shows that there are persons who are trying to ensure that the party keep its constitution and follow its rules," he said.