Ombudsman tackles MP for political paint job
WESTERN BUREAU: Kingston Central Member of Parliament (MP) Donovan Williams may have breached tenets of the Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct (Code) by allegedly overseeing the painting of sidewalks in his constituency in the...
Kingston Central Member of Parliament (MP) Donovan Williams may have breached tenets of the Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct (Code) by allegedly overseeing the painting of sidewalks in his constituency in the traditional colour of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
Williams was cited by Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown to answer to charges that he contravened Tenets 2, 3(b), and 6(a) of the agreement. Those guidelines address damage to private or public property, the avoidance of confrontation that may inflame political tensions, the defacement of a roadway or installation with a political message or slogan.
If the first-time MP accepts culpability, he has been ordered, in correspondence dated December 14, to remove the green paint within five days.
Parchment Brown’s order was in response to a video purportedly showing the MP repainting a sidewalk in his constituency in green. The action reportedly took place on Monday, December 13.
In the video, a child’s voice can be heard saying, “MP badness.”
Reports are that a resident painted the kerb in front of her home in orange and white but it was allegedly redone by Williams’ team.
If Williams refuses to remove the paint or denies the allegations, Parchment Brown has given him the option to meet with her at her Kingston office on Monday, December 20.
Efforts to get a comment from Williams on Tuesday were unsuccessful. Calls to his cellular phone went unanswered and there was no response to read WhatsApp messages.
The repainting exercise has been criticised by People’s National Party (PNP) caretaker, Imani Duncan-Price.
“This is the tribalistic mindset that has no place in 2021, especially in violence-prone communities,” Duncan-Price told The Gleaner on Tuesday.
Kingston Central – both the political constituency and the police division – has been rocked by a spike in gun violence, with dozens of murders occurring within its boundaries.
“Let’s do this constructively. An MP is to represent all residents,” Duncan-Price said, adding that the PNP had contributed to community beautification projects for Christmas.