Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, the immediate former Chief of Defence Staff, has declined an offer from the prime minister to serve in the position of Cabinet Secretary.
The development followed what some legal sources have contended to be an unconstitutional element to the planned appointment.
It has been posited that as a member of the military, Meade was not a member of the public service because the army is not formally considered to be part of the public service.
Consequently, with the Cabinet secretary role being supposedly constitutionally required to be held by a serving or former member of the public service, it has been contended that Meade is not eligible to take up the position unless he is appointed to the public service and then as Cabinet Secretary.
Arising from increasing political discourse around the appointment, Meade issued a statement through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Thursday evening.
Below is the full text of the release:
“I was advised by the Office of the Cabinet that I would receive a letter of appointment from His Excellency, the Governor-General, through the Office of the Services Commission, for the post of Cabinet Secretary on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, with input from the Public Services Commission.
“After almost four decades of service to the people of Jamaica, I was convinced to continue to serve, and had initially indicated my intention to accept the offer.
“Although I was invited by the Public Services Commission to be considered for the post while I was still a serving officer, the current public discourse does not provide a sufficiently settled environment for the assumption of such a significant office, and I will therefore seek His Excellency’s understanding of my decision to decline (the offer).
“I would again like to thank His Excellency, the Governor-General, the Most Honourable Prime Minister and the Public Services Commission for the consideration and confidence, and (I would) appreciate their understanding of my position.”