Samuda not stepping down

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Samuda not stepping down

MP vows to secure titles for constituents first

BY MARK CUMMINGS
Editor-at-Large
cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 24, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Veteran Jamaica Labour Party Member of Parliament Karl Samuda has declared that he will be contesting the next general election, arguing that he is in good physical shape and has unfinished business in the St Andrew North Central constituency he has been representing for four decades.

“I will be contesting the next [general] election, absolutely,” Samuda told the Jamaica Observer at the official opening of the constituency office of St James West Central Member of Parliament Marlene Malahoo-Forte in Montego Bay on Saturday.

“The day that I feel that I would compromise my ability and the interest of the people [by not being] able to execute my job as a Member of Parliament, as I have always done, I would not hesitate to step away. Right now, I feel well, very well, and from all indications, I am in great physical shape. Mentally, I have been alert, as I have ever been and, in any case, I love the place [constituency] and there is some unfinished business to take care of.”

The 78-year-old Samuda, who temporarily represented the constituency on a People's National Party ticket, stated that the “unfinished business” concerns the non-issuance of titles for scores of residents living in several underserved communities across the constituency who had been assigned lots more than 30 years ago.

“The people in the inner-city community got their lots assigned and they were given lot numbers, and today many of them have not received their titles. And as a result, they are subject to eviction, and I would not stand by and see them evicted unless every single possible effort to get their titles is made,” he explained.

Samuda told the Observer that the affected areas include sections of Whitehall, Red Hills Road, and Cassava Piece.

“...All of those lands where people live on the banks of the gully and so on, that were developed by Sites and Services from way back in the late 70s and 80s.”

In recent months there have been speculations that a number of the elder JLP parliamentarians will not contest the next general election, which political observers believe will be held this year.

Last month, 76-year-old Rudyard Spencer resigned his Clarendon South Eastern seat to make way for Pearnel Charles Jr, while Charles' father, the 84-year-old Pearnel Charles Sr, had indicated that he would not be contesting his Clarendon North Central seat in the upcoming polls.

There has been mounting speculation as to whether Clarendon Central Member of Parliament, 84-year-old Mike Henry will seek re-election.

JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang, 67, who represents the St James North Western constituency and St Catherine South West's Everald Warmington, 68— both senior parliamentarians — have indicated that the upcoming polls will be the last they contest.


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