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PM Holness 'not surprised' by PNP's refusal to sign CRC report

Prime Minister Andrew Holness
By Nakinskie Robinson    
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has, for the first time, addressed the back and forth between the opposition People's National Party (PNP) and the government on matters relating to the current constitutional reform process.
 
The PNP has stood firm in its position that Jamaica's move towards becoming a republic must coincide with removal of the UK-based Privy Council as its apex court.
 
It has also taken issue with several other provisions outlined in the Constitutional Reform Committee (CRC) report, that is now before Cabinet.
 
For these reasons, the Opposition has refrained from signing the CRC report. 
 
The government has maintained that the Privy Council's removal will be a part of phase 2 of the constitutional reform process.
 
But Prime Minister Holness, during Wednesday morning's post-Cabinet press briefing, said he was not surprised by the opposition's actions. 
 
"My initial assessment of the response of the opposition is that I am disappointed, but I am not surprised. I am not surprised that they would have tried to find every way out of seeing this process through to its rightful conclusion," he insisted.  
 
Noting that he had deliberately refrained from commenting on the constitutional reform process until now, "lest it be construed politically, and used as an excuse to derail the process", Mr. Holness sought to assure Jamaicans that the government will "continue to pursue consensus, because the truth is that [we] cannot disturb the constitutional and governance architecture of the country without consensus". 
 


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