Golding, who on Saturday defeated Lisa Hanna in the People's National Party (PNP's) presidential election, was handed his instrument of office by the Governor General and promised to lead a team that would be constructive and fearless.
In congratulating Mr. Golding on his new role, Governor-General Sir. Patrick Allen said that the accomplished lawyer and entrepreneur’s knowledge of law, business acumen and years of service have “more than prepared him to chart this course of leadership”.
“The People’s National Party (PNP) and the wider Jamaica can be expected to benefit from this vast knowledge and experience as he takes on his new role,” he said.
He said that Mr. Golding, through his conduct, “has a unique opportunity to demonstrate that the national interest is represented not only through responsible, reasoned and defensible criticism in the course of debate but also through statesmanlike conduct and tone in handling the nation’s business”.
Mr. Golding, in his response, pledged to serve as Leader of Opposition, effectively and resolutely.
“I am grateful to all who had the trust and confidence in me to provide the opportunity to serve my beloved country Jamaica in this new role. It is with a great sense of humility that I receive this Instrument of Appointment as Leader of the Opposition,” he said.
“Jamaica is now in a deep recession and unemployment has spiked by over 50 per cent this year. In the face of this national crisis we must embrace bipartisanship, wherever it is in the best interest of the Jamaican people to do so,” he said.
He called for swift assistance for those most in need, in the wake of the recent floods, and urged the Government to move quickly to clear blocked roads and the many breakaway access routes that have cut off residents from their communities.
He appealed to people who own heavy-duty equipment to demonstrate “the true Jamaican spirit of love and care for each other”.
Golding, however, insisted that now, more than ever, the country needs a strong and responsible Opposition, and cautioned that while the Opposition party's number in the House of Representatives is relatively small, “wi little but wi tallawah”.
“We will not oppose for its sake but always with the objective of strengthening the governance of the country. We will seek to be constructive and be fearless and unrelenting in the face of corruption or maladministration wherever it arises," said Golding.
He said that under his leadership, he will work to ensure that there is accountability in Government.
He thanked those who were in attendance and also those who supported his candidacy for PNP president.
“I am grateful to all those who had the trust and confidence in me to provide this opportunity to serve my country Jamaica in this new role,” he said.
The St Andrew South Member of Parliament replaces Dr Peter Phillips who resigned as Opposition Leader following the PNP's loss in the September 3 general election.
The Opposition's role is to ensure that the Government is accountable to the people of Jamaica. A stronger PNP means a stronger opposition, focused on keeping the Government accountable and responsive to the needs of our country. pic.twitter.com/pE6XNt68c0— Mark Golding (@MarkJGolding) November 10, 2020
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