KINGSTON — Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding has told the House of Representatives, on September 27 that he remains head of the Government and will continue in that position for some time.
The Prime Minister was responding to questions raised in Parliament by the Opposition regarding his announcement to step down as leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and Prime Minister in November.
"I was sworn in as Prime Minister of Jamaica on September 11, 2007. I remain Prime Minister of Jamaica and will do so for some time yet,” Mr. Golding said.
On Sunday September 25, the Prime Minister issued a statement of his intention to resign as leader of his party and Prime Minister. He explained his decision not to speak publicly on the matter at this time by comparing his decision to that of former Prime Minister, The Most Hon Michael Manley, who announced his retirement at a People's National Party (PNP) conference in 1992.
"I do not recall that when he next appeared in Parliament, he was subject to any harassment as to the basis on which his statement was made,” Mr. Golding said.
Opposition Spokesperson on Finance Dr. Peter Phillips said that he did not think the issue was about “harassing the Prime Minister." He noted that reports of Mr. Golding’s impending resignation had stimulated interest in the issue and he felt a statement could clarify the issues.
Mr. Golding informed the party’s Central Executive that he would not be seeking re-election at its annual conference in November.
Prime Minister Golding’s statement said that he planned to lead the party into a second term of government and demit office within two years thereafter. However he said that "the challenges of the last four years had taken their toll, and it was appropriate now to make way for new leadership, to continue the programmes of economic recovery and transformation while mobilizing the party for victory at the next general elections.”