PM says he Listened to the Public, Sought God’s Guidance


“I have listened very carefully to the views expressed by members of the public,” the Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, said Monday night (May 17).
Mr. Golding, in a national broadcast which followed calls for his resignation over his handling of the controversial Christopher Coke US extradition case, said he also consulted with his Cabinet, parliamentary members, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) organization and various civil society groups.
“I thank those who have expressed their support and have urged me to find a way to deal with these matters, and to put them behind me. I respect the views of those who feel that, in the circumstances, I should step aside,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he has spent the “last several days” in “deep contemplation” about the issues that have caused “so much anxiety throughout the society,” including the reaction to his statement in Parliament last Tuesday and the events and circumstances that led to it.
He said he also sought “God’s guidance” in the matter, and admitted that it has been “deeply painful” for his family.
“I have asked God to guide me in my response and the decisions I must make. I regret the entire affair and it has been deeply painful for me, members of my family and you who have been hurt and disappointed,” Mr. Golding said.
He noted that the way in which the matter has been handled has raised the questions of trust, and several persons and organizations have expressed disappointment.
“I should not have been surprised, because I had raised the bar as to what they should expect of me and what has transpired has fallen short of expectations,” he said.
Mr. Golding said that he had indicated to the Central Executive of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), on Sunday, that he was prepared to step aside as Prime Minister. However, his offer was rejected.
“I know that to continue requires, on my part, a recommitment to the purposeful change that we had promised,” he stated.
“I thought deeply about it last night and recognised that if I am to continue it cannot be business as usual,” he declared.
Mr. Golding also chided members of the executive of his party and government who had displayed arrogance in the circumstances. He argued that the nation’s business could not continue to be “disrupted and distracted” by the ordeal of the last several months.
“We must put it behind us and move on and I hope that, after tonight, we will be able to do so. And we must do so with humility. Our lapses at times into what comes across as arrogance and disrespect must not be allowed to happen, for we are servants of the people. Again, I express my regret to those who were offended,” he said.

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