JIS News

A motion to censure Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) for North Central St. Andrew, Karl Samuda, was supported yesterday (October 3) by Government MPs in the House, even as members of the Opposition staged a walkout.
The censure motion, of which notice was given by Member of Parliament for South Western St. Elizabeth, Donald Buchanan, in the House on September 12, called on Mr. Samuda to retract statements which the government called “misleading”, wherein Mr. Samuda had alleged that President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Noel Hylton, had submitted a report on the Sandals Whitehouse project to former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson and his Cabinet.
In moving the motion, Mr. Buchanan explained that while Mr. Patterson had recommended that Mr. Hylton be appointed in 2005 as a facilitator to investigate the Sandals Whitehouse project, he had advised the House last October that the facilitator “had not yet completed his work.and the partners [on the project] had indicated there were matters to resolve and they agreed and recommended that Mr. Hylton be appointed facilitator to see where agreements could be reached and where differences could be best resolved”.
Mr. Buchanan said while the Opposition Member accused the sitting Cabinet of “cover up” and alleged that a report from Mr. Hylton was submitted to Prime Minister Patterson and his then Cabinet, there had been no actual submission of a report to the current Cabinet.
He urged that an appropriate punishment be meted out to Mr. Samuda in light of his erroneous statements regarding the Sandals Whitehouse project.
Responding to the censure motion, Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding raised objections, noting that the government had no moral authority to censure the Opposition Member as it was “the duty of the Opposition to expose, oppose and propose”.
The censure motion against Mr. Samuda has been referred to the Privileges Committee, which will determine the appropriate sanctions to be applied.