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Political ombudsman summonses Warmington to meeting

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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POLITICAL Ombudsman Donna Parchment-Brown is moving to address a pronouncement made by Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament for St Catherine South Western Everald Warmington while at a political rally in St Mary South Eastern on the weekend.

In a letter addressed to JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang, Parchment-Brown noted that Warmington breached two elements of the political code of conduct.

“In light of utterances made by Member of Parliament Mr Everald Warmington at a public meeting in South East St Mary on the weekend, I am inviting you along with Mr Warmington to a meeting on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Office of the Political Ombudsman.

“The utterances constitute breaches of #4 of (public utterances) and #7 (political tribalism) of the Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct and must be addressed urgently,” the letter read.

Warmington, minister of state in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for works, told a political gathering in St Mary South Eastern that it made no sense to vote for the Opposition People's National Party's (PNP) candidate Dr Shane Alexis in the by-election scheduled for October 30, since JLP is the governing party.

“It makes no sense to elect a PNP Member of Parliament when you have a Jamaica Labour Party Government. It is quite clear and obvious [that] if you have a Jamaica Labour Party Member of Parliament it means that he will be able to serve you far better than a PNP Member of Parliament,” the minister told registered voters.

His comment sparked outrage in some quarters, with the PNP calling on Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was also present on the political platform, to remove Warmington from his portfolio.

The PNP said his utterance reeked of victimisation and criticised Holness for failing to address what was said.

St Mary South Eastern is one of three constituencies that will have a by-election later this month. The seat became vacant after the death of PNP MP Dr Winston Green in August.

Dr Norman Dunn is the JLP's candidate in the constituency.

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