PNP continues to raise concerns about Manatt Commission

Portia Simpson-Miller. - file

Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson-Miller continues to raise concerns about the way in which Prime Minister Bruce Golding named the members Commission of Enquiry into the extradition request for former Tivoli Gardens alleged crime lord Christopher Dudus Coke.

The Commission is also expected to probe the hiring of United States law firm Manatt, Phelps and Philips.

The opposition leader is also calling for the prime minister to address a report in the Sunday Herald that at least two members of the Dudus-Manatt Commission of Enquiry are supporters of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

In an open letter to the prime minister today, Mrs Simpson Miller again expressed disappointment at the lack of consultation by Mr Golding with the Opposition.

The Commission is to be chaired by Queens Council, Emil George.
Retired Permanent Secretary in the Labour Ministry, Anthony Irons and Attorney-at-Law, Donald Scharschmidt are the other commissioners.

In her letter, the opposition leader said Mr Golding’s unilateral decision in naming the commissioners goes against an agreement to hold consultations between the government and the opposition.

She said that the agreement was arrived at between former Prime Ministers PJ Patterson and Edward Seaga.

Mrs. Simpson-Miller said given Mr Golding’s involvement in the Dudus and the Manatt affairs it would have been better for him to have had consultations with as many stakeholders as possible before naming the commissioners.

In addition, members of PNP’s Region 2 have also moved a resolution for the Prime Minister to withdraw the appointments of the commissioners to the Dudus-Manatt Commission of Enquiry.

The resolution was passed at a meeting of the Region yesterday.

Harry Douglas, a member of the PNP’s National Executive Council says the region has concerns because of the association of the commissioners with the JLP and Prime Minister Golding himself.

He says the resolution will be sent to the prime minister tomorrow.

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