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Governor General to appoint new political ombudsman

Published:Monday | November 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM

It appears the ball is now in the court of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen to appoint the country's next political ombudsman to monitor the upcoming general election.

A key government source told The Gleaner yesterday that a candidate has been named for the post and the governor general is expected to make an appointment shortly.

It is believed that Sir Patrick has already consulted with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, as required by law, before he makes an appointment.

The current administration had given a commitment that a new political ombudsman would be appointed in time to police the political parties in the run-up to the next general election.

Already, the two major political parties, the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party, have been busy on the political hustings with clear signals that Simpson Miller, who is also president of the PNP, could sound the trumpet soon, sending Jamaicans to the polls to elect a new Government.

Since Bishop Herro Blair tendered his resignation in 2013, the office has been without a political ombudsman.

The political ombudsman is mandated by law to investigate any actions taken by a political party, its members or supporters, where he is of the opinion that such action constitutes or is likely to constitute a breach of any agreement, code or arrangement in force between or among political parties in Jamaica, or is likely to prejudice good relations between supporters of various political parties.