Samuda: We had expected Damion's return to the Senate


Thursday, April 18, 2019

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GOVERNMENT senator and head of the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Public Relations Committee Matthew Samuda says there is no surprise in the decision of Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips to return Damion Crawford to the Senate.

Crawford resigned as a senator to contest the recent by-election in Portland Eastern, which he lost to the JLP's Ann-Marie Vaz.

On Sunday the National Executive Council of the People's National Party ratified a decision by Phillips to return him to the Upper House. Economist and university lecturer Dr Andre Haughton — the PNP's caretaker for St James West Central — was also added to the Opposition benches to replace Noel Sloley, who tendered his resignation recently.

Responding to the appointments, Samuda told the Jamaica Observer that he welcomes the two to the Senate as they are both bright, young Jamaicans who can contribute to the deliberations in the Upper House.

According to Samuda, while Haughton was not expected, the Government senators have been preparing to welcome back Crawford ever since he resigned.

“My colleague Pearnel Charles Jr had said, before the by-election, that we expected him back because we knew he could not win,” said Samuda.

“And the fact that he has announced that he is going to be staying in east Portland and contesting the seat in the next general election, means that his stay in the Senate will be a very long one, as he will lose that contest again,” added Samuda.

Crawford is expected to take his seat on the Opposition benches when the Senate next meets, but Sloley, a long-time fixture in the Chamber, will be missing following his resignation, Samuda said his Opposition colleague will be missed.

According to Samuda, despite being on opposite sides, he admired Sloley who served with distinction in the Senate for some time.

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