Ja’s name impacted globally by PM’s non-certification by IC – Golding Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Opposition leader and People’s National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding has opined that Jamaica’s name is being impacted internationally by the non-certification by the Integrity Commission (IC) of Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ 2021 and 2022 statutory declarations.

After facing the heat for weeks over his status as a British citizen, with Holness even suggesting that no aspiring prime minister should hold dual citizenship, a seemingly fired-up Golding shot back at Holness over the issues relative to the certification and publication of his (Holness’) income, assets and liabilities.

“Jamaica’s name is being impacted internationally in a situation like that,” declared Golding as he addressed the PNP’s Mocho Divisional Conference in North Central Clarendon on Friday night. 

Added the PNP president on that point: “That is a disqualifying feature for the leader of a country!” 

Golding said if the JLP was true to its roots, it would not allow such “a situation” to continue. 

“It (the JLP) would take action and make the necessary change, so Jamaica’s good name is not tarnished across the face of this globe,” Golding asserted.

Holness broke his silence last November at a post-Cabinet press briefing, and said he was concerned that the IC had not certified his statutory declarations for two consecutive years – 2021 and 2022.

“As it relates to my integrity declarations, I, too, am concerned that they have not yet certified them,” Holness said then.

“They (the Integrity Commission) have written to me asking various questions. I have provided answers, and they have written to me again, and I am in the process of providing those answers,” Holness further stated.

Also in November of last year, Holness disclosed that he abstained from publicly commenting on the issue because he finds himself in an “invidious position, in that I have to protect and defend, most times, the institutions of the country.”

He said he remained hopeful that, in short order, the issues relative to the publication of his income, assets and liabilities would be resolved.

However, seven months later, the IC has not certified or gazetted those declarations, leaving political observers and citizens concerned about the developments. 

Calls have come, too, for the IC to state why the prime minister’s statutory declarations have not been certified. 

Under law, the commission cannot publicly comment on issues relating to the statutory declarations of Members of Parliament (MPs), or any investigation it is conducting of public officials or entities.

The commission is, however, mandated to publish the statutory declarations of the prime minister and Opposition leader in the Jamaica Gazette yearly.