Opposition Gives Government Wheatley Ultimatum

People’s National Party President and Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, has given the Holness Administration an ultimatum to either sack Dr. Andrew Wheatley or face the possibility of no more collaboration with the Opposition.

The ultimatum comes amidst the turmoil surrounding the state-owned oil refinery, Petrojam.

Dr. Phillips says Prime Minister Holness isn’t holding Dr. Wheatley accountable by only stripping him of the Energy portfolio. Dr. Wheatley is still Science and Technology Minister.

According to Dr. Phillips, the former Energy Minister should be booted from the Cabinet. He made the call while speaking at a media conference today at the PNP’s Old Hope Road headquarters in St. Andrew.

Dr. Phillips says the Holness administration has demonstrated poor governance in removing only the Energy portfolio from the Ministry presided over by Dr. Wheatley.

He says all the evidence that’s so far available suggests Prime Minister Holness should sack Minister Wheatley.

Dr. Phillips says Ministry Paper number 19 of 2002 ensures that the Minister is not only responsible for policy, but also for operations in the ministries over which they preside.

The paper says Ministers are accountable to Parliament for the policies and operations of their Ministries, departments and agencies.

Dr. Phillips says if the Holness administration doesn’t act decisively and sack Minister Wheatley, then the Opposition will be forced to review its working relationship with the government.

In the meantime, Dr. Phillips says the turmoil surrounding Petrojam could negatively impact Jamaica’s energy security.

Dr. Phillips says the instability at the state-owned oil refinery could dissuade potential investors from doing business with the refinery.

He also says the issues facing the company could prove a stumbling block in discussions between Jamaica and Venezuela.

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