Attorney-at-law Clyde Williams has said Opposition Leader Mark Golding should take the issue of Norman Horne's continued appointment in the Senate to court if he refuses to follow through on his resignation.
Mr. Golding's appointment of Peter Bunting as a Senator hit a snag on Friday after it was discovered that Mr. Horne's appointment was still in force.
Radio Jamaica News has learnt that Mr. Horne is seeking to leverage his resignation as Senator to obtain money he claims the People's National Party owes him.
However, Mr. Williams said he believes a case can be made that Mr. Horne has constructively resigned the post despite not doing so formally.
"I say this for (a few) specific reasons. One, he has not attended a formal swearing in, though he knows that the instrument of appointment has been sealed...and two, his remarks in public that he is not taking up the seat in the Senate, which implicitly means that he understands he has to resign, and thirdly, the fact that he has missed four sittings within the 41 days," he outlined.
Mr. Williams said Mr. Golding should increase pressure on Mr. Horne to get him to follow through on his resignation by writing to him and the Governor General outlining Mr. Horne's public pronouncements and decision not to be sworn in.
He said if that fails, Mr. Golding should have the courts make a determination on the matter.
Mr. Williams contended that he does not believe Mr. Horne can take up the Senate position.
"At this point in time, there is no going back in relation to Mr. Horne in this regard. If he did that would have in fact lost any shred of integrity in the public space as it relates to keeping his word that he gave some time ago," the attorney reasoned.
Mr. Williams has described as impractical the rules on removal of persons from the Senate who are absent for consecutive meetings.
Mr. Williams noted that the rules stipulate that a Senator who misses six consecutive sittings within 41 days without leave of the President or a valid reason shall vacate the seat.
However, he said that is unlikely to happen.
"As I understand, we are just about the sixth or seventh sitting of the Senate so far and we have long passed 41 days. Again, as I understand, it's very rare that we would even have six sittings within 41 days.... So the rule itself that we could seek to rely on in a situation where Mr. Horne has not yet resigned but has been absent from the sittings of the Senate, that rule is of very little relevance anymore," he suggested.
Senator Horne has missed more than five sittings, however, the sittings did not take place within 41 days.
PNP planning to settle debt
A senior official of the People's National Party on Friday afternoon told Radio Jamaica News that the organisation is planning to settle its debt to Mr. Horne.
However, the official was reluctant to give a schedule when the funds will be paid.
On October 7, Mr. Horne wrote then PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson referencing a $19.38 million liability.
Mr. Horne indicated to Mr. Robinson that he would deduct payments for party dues, membership fees, pledges he made in the past, group dues and a personal contribution to the party of $7.6 million leaving a balance of $10 million.
Mr. Horne asked Mr. Robinson to confirm all that he wrote in the email.