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Renewed calls for impeachment law

Published:Wednesday | May 27, 2015 | 8:07 PM

DRAFT LEGISLATION crafted nearly two decades ago to impeach public officials for acts of corruption should be dusted off and considered by the current legislature, Professor Trevor Munroe, executive director of the National Integrity Action (NIA), has declared.

"It is a matter of grave concern to the NIA and Jamaicans, that, from 1995, a joint select committee of Parliament agreed that there should be an offence of impeachment of public officers from the governor general down, for abuse of authority," the corruption watchdog executive told members of a joint select committee of Parliament examining the National Integrity Act 2015.

Twenty years later, Munroe has asked parliamentarians: "What is it that has allowed such an important measure which was robustly debated and both sides agreed, not to have been converted into legislation?"

He said it was important for Jamaicans to be reminded that a joint select committee had anticipated introducing provisions in law to impeach persons in the public sector for abuse of authority.

Munroe said the report should be reintroduced in the House for discussion unless there were some special reasons why it should not be pursued.

North eastern St Andrew MP, Delroy Chuck said the draft impeachment bill was controversial, noting that it had political overtones. "I looked at it carefully and I didn't bring it to Parliament at the time because there were problems," said Chuck, a former justice minister.