CCJ Debate Resumes on Sour Note

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Opposition Senators returned to returned to the upper house today.

This as the debate continued on the three bills to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice as Jamaica’s final appellate court.

However, things turned sour after tempers flared over fresh allegations of private dealings between the Government and Opposition on the CCJ bills.

Things came to a head when leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Tom Tavares Finson, brought up an attempt by Phillip Paulwell to gain bipartisan support for the CCJ.

In May of this year, Paulwell had proposed that the government would hold a referendum on the CCJ if the Opposition supported the bills.

JLP Leader Andrew Holness publicly rejected the deal, after it was leaked to the media.

Senator Finson describes the attempt as a betrayal of the Jamaican people.

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He says his colleagues should keep that attempt in mind when being asked to vote their conscience.

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However, Government Senator Lambert Brown, hit back, saying the move was a simple attempt to reach consensus.

He charged that Tavares-Finson had also attempted to do the same in backdoor meetings with government Senators.

Brown says he would have held his tongue had Tavares-Finson not attempted to politically grandstand.

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But Senator Tavares-Finson took offence, daring Senator Brown to release the names of those whom he had met.

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