Monday, February 9, 2015

Should Holness Resign as Leader of the Opposition?

The Constitutional Court of Jamaica  has declared:

"(1) That the request for and procurement of pre-signed and undated letters of resignation and letters of authorization by the Leader of the Opposition from persons to be appointed or appointed Senators to the Senate of Jamaica upon his nomination is inconsistent with the Constitution, contrary to public policy, unlawful, and is , accordingly, null and void.

(2) That the pre-signed and undated letters of resignation and letters of authorization, as well as the manner of their use to effect the resignation of Senators ( the claimant, in particular ) from the Senate of Jamaica, are inconsistent with the Constitution, contrary to public policy and are, accordingly, null and void." [para 234]

So the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition--a constitutionally recognized position-- has been found by the Supreme Court to have acted unconstitutionally, contrary to public policy, and unlawfully.
That has profound implications for the tenure of the Leader of the Opposition in the Westminster/ Whitehall model of government.

The Constitution is paramount and the Rule of Law is a most fundamental tenet of our democracy

Unsurprisingly, MP Delroy Chuck, Attorney- at- Law, and former Lecturer in Law, has written to the Leader of Opposition Business in the House Of Representatives demanding a caucus of Opposition MPs to discus the findings and has called for Andrew Holness to resign that Constitutional position: Leader of the Opposition:

"In the Westminster System of Government, any constitutional office holder - be it Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Speaker of the House, Chief Justice or others - who the court rules or declares to act UNLAWFULLY and UNCONSTITUTIONALLY would be obliged in all good conscience and honour to tender his or her resignation unless there are good and compelling reasons not to do so.
I ask that you call an urgent meeting of all Opposition MPs to consider the matter."

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