Member of Parliament (MP) for South St. Andrew, Mark Golding, was on Tuesday (November 10) presented with the Instrument, which officially appoints him as Leader of the Opposition by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.
The ceremony was held at King’s House in St. Andrew.
In congratulating Mr. Golding on his new role, the Governor-General said that the accomplished lawyer and entrepreneur’s knowledge of law, business acumen and years of service have “more than prepared him to chart this course of leadership”.
“The People’s National Party (PNP) and the wider Jamaica can be expected to benefit from this vast knowledge and experience as he takes on his new role,” he said.
He said that Mr. Golding, through his conduct, “has a unique opportunity to demonstrate that the national interest is represented not only through responsible, reasoned and defensible criticism in the course of debate but also through statesmanlike conduct and tone in handling the nation’s business”.
Mr. Golding, in his response, pledged to serve as Leader of Opposition, effectively and resolutely.
“I am grateful to all who had the trust and confidence in me to provide the opportunity to serve my beloved country Jamaica in this new role. It is with a great sense of humility that I receive this Instrument of Appointment as Leader of the Opposition,” he said.
Mr. Golding pointed out that the Opposition provides a critical check and balance to the use of State power by the Government, and pledged not to oppose for the sake of opposing “but always with the objective of strengthening good governance and accountability in the affairs of the nation”.
“In Parliament, we must uphold the oath to defend the Constitution of Jamaica and always protect the interest of the Jamaican people. We will seek to be constructive in our words and deeds and… embrace bipartisanship wherever it is in the best interest of the Jamaican people to do so,” he said.
Mr. Golding takes over from Dr. Peter Phillips, who resigned as Opposition Leader in September.