But MP says he's still in Holness' corner
Gary Spaulding, Gleaner Writer
FRANKFIELD, Clarendon:AFTER BLASTING Audley Shaw last Friday, veteran politician Pearnel Charles yesterday sought to mend fences at a meeting of the Area Council Three of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), but not before signalling that he was in the corner of the JLP Leader Andrew Holness.
Repeatedly claiming that he was the most senior parliamentarian, having served for six terms, Charles, the member of parliament for North Central Clarendon, located in the Area Council, suggested that his outburst on Friday was based on reports in sections of the media.
Charles said it was his understanding that Shaw, the deputy for Area Council Three, had planned to make a formal announcement of his candidacy for leadership of the JLP at yesterday's meeting in Clarendon.
He served notice that an announcement by Shaw would not be countenanced at a meeting of the Area Council as it constitutes a breach of the party's constitution.
The meeting was initially scheduled for Chapelton in the parish, but was shifted at the 11th hour to Edwin Allen High School in Frankfield, Clarendon, to stave off likely tensions.
Chairman of Area Council Three, Winston Maragh, told The Gleaner: "Mr Pearnel Charles has, unfortunately, overreacted to a news report that incorrectly gave the impression that the Area Council meeting in Chapelton would be used as a forum for any announcement by Deputy Leader Audley Shaw," said Maragh.
He added: "I considered his statement on radio to be potentially divisive, and as the chairman of the Area Council, I made the decision to change the location of the Area Council meeting to Edwin Allen High School in Frankfield to ensure the maintenance of peace and harmony."
Maragh said it is also to be noted that Shaw had already made a formal announcement by way of the release to the press of his letter to the chairman of the party, Senator Robert Montaque.
Charles, who was early at yesterday's meeting, addressed delegates after Shaw informed them that he had no intention of breaching protocol.
Charles also promised to play his part in ensuring peace.