Saturday 19 September, 2020

JLP has Ruel Reid’s resignation as caretaker, says Chang

Dr Horace Chang

Dr Horace Chang

The claim made on Monday by the sacked former Minister of Education, Ruel Reid, that he is still the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) caretaker/candidate for the North West St Ann constituency, despite being under a criminal investigation, has seemingly been shot down by the party.

The JLP, in a statement later in the day, said Reid resigned as the chairman and caretaker for the constituency on September 15.

Reid, who was fired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on March 20 as a corruption scandal threatened to erupt at the Ministry of Education and at least one of its affiliated agencies, the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), is presently a subject of a criminal investigation.

In a radio interview on Monday, the lay preacher and former senator claimed that he is still representing the governing party in the constituency.

“Yes,” Reid responded when asked if he is still the JLP caretaker for the constituency.

“That is also a matter that we are looking to resolve,” he added.

When pressed about whether he is really still representing the party in the constituency, Reid said: “Yes, on paper; officially so, and I am in discussion with the leadership of the Labour party.”

When pressed even further, Reid reminded the host that they had had a discussion in which he, Reid, had advised that he had not officially tendered his resignation to the JLP as the constituency representative.

Ruel Reid

He said he has had discussions with the (party) leadership in recent times, “And we have an agreement as to the way forward, and I believe that the leadership will communicate that shortly…”

But hours after Reid made the claim, JLP General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang, issued a statement contradicting Reid’s position.

According to the statement, the party is in possession of Reid’s letter of resignation, dated September 15, 2019.

The statement said the former minister tendered the resignation via email, and followed up with a hard copy.

As such, Chang said Reid is not representing the JLP in any capacity in North West St Ann.

But despite Chang now stating that Reid had formally resigned, there are still questions about why it took all of six months for him to do so, especially since the party’s top brass, including Chang, had for months been telegraphing that Reid had either resigned or was about to resign, and was not doing any work in the constituency on behalf of the JLP.

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