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CAPI urges protest over Azan re-appointment

Published:Thursday | November 14, 2013 | 5:51 PM

Lobby group Citizens Action for Principle and Integrity(CAPI) wants the private sector and other civil society stakeholders to withdraw from the Social Partnership Agreement in protest over the reappointment of Richard Azan as a junior minister.

CAPI’s co-convenor Dennis Meadows says despite the ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions that there is no basis for criminal charges, Azan has not been absolved of his misconduct as a public servant.

He says the government has demonstrated contempt for the people of Jamaica and has committed a breach of trust in the face and spirit of the Social Partnership Agreement signed by civil society stakeholders.

Azan was sworn in this morning as the state minister for transport, works and housing, with a warning that he should do nothing to break the trust placed in him by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

At a hastily-organised swearing in ceremony at King’s House this morning, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen noted that the urgency of the request for the exercise indicates Azan's importance to the government.

Azan had resigned from the post after it emerged he had approved the illegal construction of shops at the Spaldings market and that he facilitated the payment of rental to the contractor who erected the structures.

The Office of the Contractor General accused him of being politically corrupt and referred him and several others to the Director of Public Prosecutions for various charges to be brought against them.

However, the DPP ruled that there was no basis on which to charge Azan with conspiracy to defraud the Clarendon Parish Council in relation to the Spaldings market affair.

Following his swearing in, Azan said he had taken the time off from the job to reflect and that he would continue to do what is right to serve the people of Jamaica.

In the meantime, minister with responsibility for information, Sandrea Falconer, is defending the government’s decision to reinstate Mr. Azan.

She told journalists following the ceremony that everyone makes missteps and should be given a chance to do better.


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