Speaker’s resignation protected Parliament’s integrity, says Golding
Opposition leader tells NEC Dalrymple-Philibert stepping down was inevitable
Following last Thursday’s resignation of former House Speaker Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert in the wake of an Integrity Commission ruling that she should be charged for making a false statement on her statutory declarations, the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is asserting that integrity has been restored to the Jamaican Parliament.
Opposition Leader Mark Golding made the declaration yesterday while addressing the PNP’s National Executive Council meeting at the Albert Town High School in Trelawny even as he admitted that Dalrymple-Philibert’s additional resignation as member of parliament (MP) for Trelawny Southern was unexpected.
“It is quite clear that there was no intention on the Government’s side to replace the Speaker (Dalrymple-Philibert) because she was proceeding as if she was going to continue in that office. But by Thursday, that was no longer a tenable position, and the inevitable resignation was forthcoming,” Golding told the meeting.
“Coming with her resignation as the Speaker was her resignation as member of parliament, which we were not expecting, but it has happened, and we are glad Jamaican society stood up for what was right and ensured that the integrity of our Parliament was protected and preserved,” Golding added.
FAILURE TO DECLARE VEHICLE
The charges against Dalrymple-Philibert concern her statutory declarations from 2015 to 2021 and her failure to declare a $6-million motor vehicle.
In a report that was tabled in Parliament last Tuesday, the Integrity Commission said Dalrymple-Philibert omitted to include the vehicle in her statutory declarations, and therefore, her declarations were inaccurate and incomplete.
Golding also took the opportunity on Sunday to renew his previous call for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to either name the six parliamentarians who are now under investigation for illicit enrichment or for those individuals to come forward themselves.
“I have been calling on the prime minister to disclose who those persons are so that appropriate action can be taken by them, or by him if they are not willing to do so, to step back until those matters are finally resolved. Thus far, we have heard nothing from him on the matter apart from a vague comment that he has asked far and wide and hasn’t heard anything,” said Golding. “I, therefore, use this opportunity to repeat the call to the prime minister to disclose who these six persons are and to each and every one of them to do so if the prime minister is not willing to do so and to do the right thing and to step back from whatever positions you hold until your names are either cleared or otherwise through due process.”
The PNP has maintained that none of its MPs or senators has been approached by the Integrity Commission regarding its investigation into parliamentarians for allegations of illicit enrichment.