Saturday 19 September, 2020

PNP senators to be sworn in amid some controversy

Dr Peter Phillips

Dr Peter Phillips

Amid a controversial call for the naming of new faces among the People’s National Party’s (PNP) slate of senators from the party’s youth organisation, Opposition Leader, Dr Peter Phillips, has seemingly rebuffed or totally ignored the idea if it came to his attention before he announced his slate.

On Monday the People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO), in a letter demanding that Phillips step down from the leadership of the party within 30 days, also called for the naming of mostly young party members to the Senate, mostly unsuccessful candidates from the recent general elections. 

But Phillips has pretty much done the opposite in naming the party’s slate of eight senators who are to be sworn in on Tuesday morning as members of the Upper House.

Phillips, in announcing the party’s slate for the Upper Chamber in Parliament, said the group represents a commitment to be a distinctly deliberative body as is intended by the Constitution of Jamaica.

According to Phillips, as a result, PNP candidates who lost in the September 3 General Elections, were not considered for selection for the party in the Senate.

That move also closed the door on the prospects for some key losing candidates of the party at the recent polls, including former Central Manchester MP, Peter Bunting, from taking any seat in the Senate.

That position taken by Phillips has notably not been adopted by the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), with Natalie Campbell-Rodriques, who failed in her bid to unseat Natalie Neita in the North Central St Catherine constituency, being named to be sworn in as a Government senator.

Phillips said the PNP appointments represent a mixture of youth and experience, and include workers, private sector, professionals and members of academia.

The named Opposition senators are: Donna Scott-Mottley - Leader of Opposition Business in the Senator, Dr Floyd Morris, Sophia Fraser Binns, Damion Crawford, Norman Horne, Lambert Brown, Janice Allen and Gabriella Morris.

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