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KINGSTON — Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has emphasised that the election of a new leader must be conducted in a mature, transparent and dignified manner, when he steps down as Head of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in November.

Mr. Golding said this is particularly important, as the party also forms the Government. “The General Secretary of the party has already outlined the procedures for the election of a new leader. The Electoral Office of Jamaica has been asked to manage the voting process, and everything will be done to ensure an orderly transition,” the Prime Minister said in a national broadcast on October 2,  when he outlined the reasons  for steeping down as Leader of the JLP.

The Prime Minister said he has been in contact with major international partners and has given the assurance that the government is firmly in place, and that the transition will be smooth and seamless.

“The financial markets remain sober while they await the appointment of a new Prime Minister and confirmation that we will not deviate from the economic reforms which we have embarked on,” he said.

Mr. Golding assured that in his remaining weeks in office, he will continue to work hard, while preparing to hand over the leadership to his successor.

The Prime Minister, who on September 25 informed the Central Executive of the JLP of his intention to resign, explained that part of the consideration leading to this decision was his recognition that it is time for his generation to make way for younger persons who are more in sync with 21st Century realities, “whose vision can have a longer scope and who can bring new energy to the enormous tasks that confront us.”

He pointed out that the leaders of other major economies, such as the United States, Britain, Canada and Spain are all 10 years his junior.

Noting that he was first elected to Parliament almost 40 years ago, Mr. Golding said that,  “I feel it is time for me and people like me to make way and allow a new crop of leaders to step forward and unleash their energies and creativity."

“There are young people in my party, indeed both parties, who are capable of providing the leadership that the country requires at this time. We must not, for the sake of personal ambition, block their emergence. My advice and counsel will always be available if and when required,” he  added.

The Prime Minister expressed his abiding faith in the country, stating that, “despite the formidable challenges we face, we can overcome; we will make it if we try and try hard enough, if we remain focused and committed, not just to the next elections, but to the future and the possibilities that are within our reach and must be placed securely within our grasp."

“It is not a time to be fearful or bewildered. It is a time for renewed hope and renewed effort,” Mr. Golding said.

 

By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter