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JAMAICA | Did the Prime Minister Lie? Dr. Phillips Sets Record Straight !!

  • Written by Calvin G Brown - wiredja.com
  • Published in local news
Featured Leader of the Opposition Dr. Peter Phillips says "At no time did I say, as the Prime Minister stated, nor has anyone else speaking on my behalf said, that the appointment of a new Director of Public Prosecutions should be withheld in order to facilitate a new Administration, or any incoming Government."  Leader of the Opposition Dr. Peter Phillips says "At no time did I say, as the Prime Minister stated, nor has anyone else speaking on my behalf said, that the appointment of a new Director of Public Prosecutions should be withheld in order to facilitate a new Administration, or any incoming Government."
KINGSTON, July 9, 2020 - Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips, is concerned that his private conversations with the Prime Minister and the Governort General as Leader of the Opposition, in relation to the tenure of the Director of Public Prosecutions have become the subject of public commentary, and in a statement, has decided to set the record straight.

The following is the full text of the Opposition Leader's Statement on the matter:

I have refrained from any comments in this matter since the views that I expressed to the Prime Minister and the Governor General were in keeping with my constitutional duty, as Leader of the Opposition, and were confidentially communicated. Indeed, I am of the view that the framers of the Constitution intended that there be a frank and free-flowing dialogue between the relevant officials of State in order that the public interest be served. 

However, recent developments, including comments made by the Prime Minister, compel me to set elements of the record straight.

The facts are:

1.    The Prime Minister wrote to me on February 7, 2020 regarding the request from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have her tenure extended for five years.

2.    I replied to the Prime Minister on March 2, 2020 outlining the views of the Opposition.

3.    To date, I have had no response from the Prime Minister.

4.    Subsequently, in May, following communication with me from the Governor General, I communicated directly with him.

5.    At no time did I say, as the Prime Minister stated, nor has anyone else speaking on my behalf said, that the appointment of a new Director of Public Prosecutions should be withheld in order to facilitate a new Administration, or any incoming Government. Any suggestion in that regard is palpably false. That type of fabrication by the Prime Minister is totally unacceptable.

In fact, a new Administration would have no role in the appointment of a DPP since such an appointment is done by the Public Services Commission (PSC). It is only extensions of the tenure of the DPP that require consultation between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and in this instant case, that would have to be completed before September of this year. As there is no Constitutional requirement that could enforce the calling of elections prior to September, such was never a consideration. 

6.    It should also be clear that this exchange of letters took place long before there were any of the current discussions about the DPP’s findings in relation to Miss Hanna or any other Member of Parliament as is being implied in some parts of the Press.  

The matter of the DPP’s extension of tenure has been done in keeping with the constitutional requirements. That is a settled matter. 

The vigilance of the People’s National Party (PNP) is aimed at ensuring that all agencies of State connected with the effort to rid the country of corruption will be given priority. 

Every effort will be made under a PNP government to improve the “architecture of accountability” so as to engender public trust and facilitate the inclusive economic growth that is the desire of all well-thinking Jamaicans. 

 

Speaking at a media briefing Wednesday, Mr. Holness said  "The issue raised by the Leader of the Opposition, which I found to be a very curious concern that an incoming administration should not be in any way tied to the existing DPP - I wasn't convinced by that argument, which I found to actually undermine the constitution and the authority of the office," he said. 
 
Mr. Holness said it is unfortunate that the matter concerning the DPP's tenure is being debated publicly. 
 
"The convention that has happened, and it is a convention that has served us well, is that these matters are not drawn into public debate. It is unfortunate that this matter has reached into the public domain. It does add various levels of complications to the appointment. It was important to ensure that the office had enough time to prepare for transition and management and I believe that the present DPP has done excellent work," the Prime Minister insisted.  

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Last modified onSaturday, 11 July 2020 07:47
  • Countries: Jamaica