PM Holness ‘disappointed… but not surprised’ re PNP on CRC report Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said he is “disappointed” but “not surprised” by the decision of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) to direct its representatives not to sign a report from the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC).

Cabinet received the CRC’s report on Monday, which contains recommendations for the first phase of Jamaica’s constitutional reform process. 

However, Golding said that in his recent letter to Holness, he (Golding) indicated that, in addition to the fundamental matter of the final Court of Appeal, several other issues in the proposed CRC report are of significant concern to the Opposition, including how a president of the proposed republic of Jamaica should be selected if no consensus is arrived at in selecting that individual.

At a surprise visit at Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Holness said he remains committed to the reform process despite the posturing of the Opposition.

“My initial assessment of the response of the Opposition is that I am disappointed, but I am not surprised,” said Holness. 

“I am not surprised that they would have tried to find every way out of seeing this process through to its rightful conclusion,” he added.

To the Jamaican people, Holness said:

The effort that the Government has made is not in vain; that we will continue to pursue consensus, because the truth is that you cannot disturb the constitutional and governance architecture of the country without consensus.

He noted that consensus takes time and it takes effort.

“So, I speak to you today as prime minister of the country, not as leader of a political party seeking power, but as someone who is genuinely interested in the advance of our country, and so, I want to assure Jamaicans that the process continues,” Holness declared.

He alluded to discussions in the public domain which appear to suggest that the process of constitutional reform is seemingly being politicised, and could be further eroded in light of the general election that is due next year.

“We are in a certain season described by others as silly. I tend to sometimes agree, but we will get over it and Jamaica will evolve into its rightful form constitutionally, governance—in terms of our economic independence—and socially,” Holness stated.