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The Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, will make a statement in Parliament today (Tuesday, November 3), outlining the circumstances surrounding the departure of both former Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), Derick Latibeaudiere, and Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, from their positions.
A release from Jamaica House, Monday night, quoted Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunication and special projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, as saying that the Prime Minister will provide a full statement on both issues.
In a release Monday, the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, described the downgrade of Jamaica by international rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, which followed the BOJ Governor’s departure, as “hasty and unwarranted”.
Mr. Shaw said that it was unfortunate that Standard and Poor’s did not seek to get further and better particulars from him, as Minister, in relation to their concerns with the departure of the Central Bank Governor, the Ministry reported.
He said that the departure of the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica is totally unrelated to these discussions, and had instead to do with internal governance issues at the Bank of Jamaica, a matter which he said would be dealt with by the Prime Minister in a statement to Parliament on Tuesday, the release explained.
The Minister also reiterated the Government’s commitment to honouring all of its local and external debt obligations.
Mr. Shaw said that the Government has moved quickly to appoint the Financial Secretary Dr Wesley Hughes, to lead the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Dr Hughes, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, served for 14 years as Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and is no stranger to IMF negotiations. He was an integral part of the negotiating team for the last agreement between Jamaica and the IMF, in the 1990s, and has been fully involved with the current negotiations from the onset, the release noted.
“As Financial Secretary, he would have been leading most of the discussions around fiscal issues, in any case,” the Minister observed.
He also stated that Dr Hughes has worked with the technical staff of both the BOJ and the Ministry, “and has an excellent working relationship with them, as well as the IMF technical staff.”
“The highly experienced technical staff of the BOJ and the MOF remains committed to giving full support to working to conclude an agreement between Jamaica and the IMF, as soon as possible,” he predicted.