Chevon Campbell reports

South St. Andrew MP, Mark Golding, objected to signing a letter to the Governor-General, expressing confidence in the PNP President, Dr. Peter Phillips as Opposition Leader.

Mr. Golding in a letter to PNP Chairman, Fitz Jackson, expressed some discomfort with the process by which the letter was requested.

He also expressed concerns over the appointment of the 8 Opposition Senators.

Mr. Golding in writing to the Party Chairman informed him that he had not even seen the letter which was to be sent to the Governor General.

He says however, that he had already informed Mr. Jackson that he would not be signing the letter.

Mr. Golding cited as a reason that he did not like the way the signing of this letter was being foisted on him.

This he says, was being done without there first being a fulsome discussion among the MPs about who should be the Leader of the Opposition for this interim period.

The South St. Andrew MP says instead, the appointment was presented to him as a fait accomplis that was not even up for discussion.

He says that approach did not sit well with him at this time, even though he understood it to be on an interim basis.

Mr. Golding also raises concerns over the appointment of the 8 Opposition senators.

First Mr. Golding says he thought this an important opportunity to choose persons who would send a clear signal to Jamaica that the Party has listened and is embarking on a process of meaningful change.

He says no assurance was given that this would be done.

Second, Mr. Golding says the senatorial appointments are particularly important at this time, because the JLP now has a super majority in the House of Representatives.

This he says leaves 8 Opposition Senators as the only buffer against them forcing through dangerous amendments to the Constitution.

Mr. Golding says the tenure of the senators is for the life of the new Parliament, so the appointments will be binding on the next Leader of the Opposition unless they choose to offer their resignations.

Mr. Golding who’s been seen by many as a potential future leader of the PNP, says given these three concerns, he thought that the senatorial appointments ought to have been dealt with more inclusively, rather than being treated as a matter for the exclusive decision of the interim Leader of the Opposition.

He says in his eyes, the matter of the letter was inextricably entwined with these concerns.

Mr. Golding says essentially, he was uncomfortable with the process that was being followed in the unprecedented circumstances of the current situation.

However, he says the process is one thing, while the decision is another.

Mr. Golding says Dr. Phillips retains his full support as Leader of the Opposition until his successor is selected.