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Call persists for Golding to resign as PM


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KINGSTON –  The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP)  did not change its stance on Sunday, and neither did  the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). The PNP continued  to call for Prime Minister Bruce Golding to step down amidst the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips saga rocking the Government even while the JLP  was preparing to host  a Press conference to announce that Golding was staying put. But Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller, who on Sunday addressed  a special meeting  of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) at the University of the West Indies, told grinning, energised comrades not to gloat as Jamaica was hurting from the deepening scandal. “Whatever the outcome of this situation, I make a special appeal to comrades. Let us not gloat over this situation,” said Simpson Miller. “Let us not be uncharitable. . . . let us have a national day of prayer for Jamaica and its people. Let us pray for the PNP, and let us pray for Mr Golding and his family at this time.” Earlier, the opposition leader noted that the scandal was a “serious issue about Jamaica” and its “relationship” with the rest of the world. “People are watching us very closely. This is not about the PNP or JLP.  The PM must do the right thing and tender his resignation,” she insisted. The party also repeated calls  for Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne  to resign. “She, too, must do the honourable thing and resign,” Simpson Miller told the meeting. There have been widespread calls for Golding to resign following his stunning confession last Tuesday in Parliament that  he sanctioned the party’s engagement of the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips to lobby the Obama administration  to prevent the extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, who has been indicted by the United States on drug and gun trafficking charges. “I have been in politics a very long time,  and never in my life  have I seen the leadership of this country plot, collude and scheme with the explicit, brazen  and barefaced sanction  of a prime minister,” said Simpson Miller. “Never have I witnessed such deception and betrayal  of the trust of the Jamaican people.” Simpson Miller said she had heard the criticisms of the PNP  and was mindful that many people did not trust the words of politicians. She said the PNP must be “big enough to recognise it, mature enough to admit it and strong enough to correct it”. She added that many people felt that the PNP was sitting in limbo waiting for the dice to roll (a line taken from one of Jimmy Cliff’s songs). However, she said that  the PNP was offering a different kind of governance and politics, which was aimed  at accountability  and honesty.  (Observer)

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