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Nicholson issues warning to new senators

Published:Thursday | November 28, 2013 | 12:56 PM

Leader of Government Business in the Senate A.J. Nicholson this morning warned the newest members of the Opposition Senate that there are consequences should they participate in plans that could compromise their oaths to uphold the Constitution of Jamaica.

Jamaica College Principal Ruel Reid and businessman Nigel Clarke were sworn in to Jamaican’s Upper House to serve on the Opposition benches.

The two men replace Arthur Williams and Dr Christopher Tufton whose resignations were announced on November 15, after Opposition Leader Andrew Holness submitted to the Governor General their pre-signed undated resignation letters.

In an apparent reference to the issue surrounding the use of the letters to ensure support for party policies, Nicholson told both men that no rouse or plan can be devised to thwart their duty to uphold and defend the Constitution.

The Senate president Floyd Morris in welcoming both men outlined that the life of public service can be very difficult.

He told the new senators that their responsibilities are extremely serious.

On Monday, the Supreme Court dismissed an application by Former Leader of Opposition Business Arthur Williams who was seeking to block new appointments to the Upper House, on the grounds that the use of the pre-signed letters which he authored were unconstitutional.

Williams also argued in court documents that the letters were to be submitted to the Governor General only if the respective senator departed from the JLP's position for a referendum on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

However, Holness has argued that the use of the pre-signed resignation letters was a scheme devised by Williams who wanted to preserve unity in the Opposition Senate.

The Opposition Leader also said he did not have any discussions with Williams about the use of the letters for any particular purpose including a vote against the CCJ.


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