Mark Golding declared Andrew Holness unfit to continue as PM

According to the Opposition Leader Mark Golding, the predicament surrounding Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ statutory declarations is a disconcerting development for the nation, both internally and in the eyes of our international partners. Continuous failure to certify his asset and income declarations for two consecutive years casts a shadow over the integrity of our highest office and, by extension, damages Jamaica’s international standing.

The silence from major media houses like the Gleaner and the Observer on this issue is equally troubling. As members of the fourth estate, they carry the responsibility to scrutinize and report on developments that bear such significant implications for governance and public trust, he said.

Ceremonial opening of the 2024/2025 Parliamentary year.

The country deserves a Prime Minister whose integrity is unquestionable, a leader who inspires confidence in all Jamaicans. It is imperative for the functioning of our democracy and the well-being of our society to have a government characterized by honesty and transparency—a government that stewards the resources of the people judiciously, ensuring they are used for the public good and not diverted to enrich a select few.

In a bold statement this morning, Golding declared Holness’ unfit to continue in the capacity as Prime Minister.

According to Golding, there is a system with the Integrity Commission, which at the centre of it, trying to bring accountability and transparency into our government system. He argued that the people of Jamaica have a lack of trust in their political leaders. So for the head of government of Jamaica whereby his statutory filings cannot be certified by the Integrity Commission that ought to be a disqualifying factor and he should withdraw himself from any future service as Prime Minister.  

The statutory declarations in question are those of the years 2021 and 2022.

According to Nationwide News, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he’s unclear as to why the Integrity Commission has not published his statutory declarations. In October of 2022, the anti-corruption body stated publicly that the commission is not in a position to certify the Prime Minister’s declarations but remained silent as to the reason why. The Prime Minister says he’s not in a position to state what the issue is.

Voice of Prime Minister Andrew Holness

The publishing of complete and accurate statutory declarations is a requirement by law for all parliamentarians, failure to do so resulting in potential prosecution.

Mr. Holness says he awaits the completion of the commission’s verification and validation.

Voice of Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is concerned that the Integrity Commission (IC) has not certified and published his 2021 and 2022 statutory declarations.

“As it relates to my integrity declarations, I, too, am concerned that they have not yet certified them,” Holness said on Wednesday as he sought to provide details on his correspondence with the IC regarding his statutory filings.

This was after being quizzed by reporters on the matter at a post-Cabinet press briefing, where issues relative to crime and violence dominated the proceedings.

“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 stated.

Continuing, he said: “You will, however, appreciate that it does take some time, and, particularly, for me to get two or three days to go through matters and provide answers.

“I simply have to be very frugal with my time, and I suspect the same for the Integrity Commission that have to go through several thousands of declarations, but I would expect that they would give some priority to my (statutory) declarations,” said Holness.

He stated that he is hoping to respond to the commission before the end of this week.

“… So, I’m hopeful they will be able to do their work and provide the nation with the necessary certification,” added Holness.

Loop News: November 8, 2023 03:24 PM ET

Andrew Holness breaks silence on non verification of his statutory declarations by the IC

Could this be part of the ongoing problem with the Integrity Commission? In February of 2023, the Associated Press (AP) reported that the Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness is under scrutiny after an anti-corruption agency issued a lengthy report that suggests a potential conflict of interest involving him and contracts awarded to a construction company, some of which were not reported.

The island’s Integrity Commission noted in its report issued Wednesday that it referred the case to Jamaica’s director of corruption prosecution, who will review the findings. The report also was shared with the speaker of Jamaica’s House of Representatives, who is a member of Holness’ Jamaica Labor Party.

Holness released a statement noting that the matter occurred nearly two decades ago, and that “at no time have I ever exercised influence on any process for the award of contracts. I strongly disagree with the findings of the Integrity Commission regarding conflict of interest based on mere association.”

Spread the love

Leave a Comment