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JIS News

A number of institutions at the regional and international levels are desirous of engaging the expertise of Prime Minister Patterson when he retires. He made the disclosure on RJR’s Hotline yesterday (Thursday, March 24, 2006). He will also be busy on the international lecture circuit.
The Prime Minister also fielded questions about the length of the transition period for the new Prime Minister to take Office. He said that a decision was taken for a transition period in order to ensure that the process was seamless and that there would be no lapse in activities. He said that end of the legislative year was an appropriate date for his retirement as this would allow the new Prime Minister to proceed with matters relating to the new financial year.
Mr. Patterson reminded listeners that his retirement was entirely voluntary and was in keeping with a public commitment that he made not to lead his Party into another General Election. He said that the Jamaican people had returned him as Prime Minister with a tenure for five years and that it was up to him to decide on the appropriate time to leave and to allow his successor to get her own mandate.
Turning to the performance of his government, the Prime Minister said that the Jamaican economy has been transformed in keeping with the objectives of the National Industrial Policy. He also pointed to the country’s social transformation in areas such as housing, education and the provision of water and electricity.
Mr. Patterson noted that 96.4% of the 3-5 years age cohort was registered in a developmental institution and that Jamaica had trebled enrolment at the tertiary level. He said that the Government was moving to improve the quality of educational outputs through the transformation programme and the introduction of e-learning.
Mr. Patterson will retire on March 30, 2006, more than 18 months before the end of his 5-year tenure.