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four-point agreement issued to quell political tension in St
Nagra Plunkett, Staff Reporter
Derrick Robinson, PNP candidate for Spring
Gardens division (right), in dialogue with JLP candidate for
the Montego Central division Charles Sinclair (left) and JLP
activist, Dennis Meadows, during yesterday's meeting called
by the Political Ombudsman, Bishop Herro Blair, at the Wexford
Court Hotel in Montego Bay to discuss Local Government elections
violence. - Patrick Campbell/Staff Photographer
TWO major political parties and the police in St. James have
issued a joint four-point agreement aimed at quelling the
tension between opposing Local Government candidates in the
followed a three-hour meeting convened by Political Ombudsman
Bishop Herro Blair, at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego
main part of the communiqué is to denounce all acts
or forms of intimidation, violence or anything that would
come against the candidates," the Ombudsman said. He
was speaking with reporters following the meeting.
stressed that "this was not a trial, this was not even
an investigation, this was trying to defuse a situation and
we have been successful so far."
talks came three days after a request by the governing People's
National Party (PNP) for the Political Ombudsman to address
apparent breaches of the Political Code of Conduct during
campaigning for the June 19 Local Government polls.
a detailed letter to Bishop Blair, the party stated that three
of its candidates Osmond Erskine of Montego Bay Central,
Milton Russell, Montego Bay West, and Derrick Robinson, Spring
Gardens division, "were either attacked or experienced
some type of intimidation from known Jamaica Labour Party
situation reportedly climaxed on Monday evening when pamphlets
with slanderous information relating to Messrs Erskine and
Russell surfaced. There are also allegations that JLP supporters
attacked Mr. Russell and that guns were pulled on him when
he confronted them about the leaflets in his home community
of Whitehouse, Montego Bay.
it relates to the pamphlets, the Ombuds-man said he had "found
out that the materials being circulated indeed can be libellous"
and could not be dealt with at the meeting.
Superintendent Derrick Knight, Crime Chief for St. James,
said the police were currently investigating two matters which
have led to the tension between the two parties.
was a matter out in Whitehouse where an allegation of assault
was made and one yesterday in Flankers where there was some
confrontation between the two parties," he told The Gleaner.
Kellier, State Minister for National Security and Chairman
of the PNP Region Six, said that he is very happy with the
outcome of the discussions.
believe it will be a useful exercise and I'm sure it will
go well in respect of the next couple of days providing both
parties adhere to the restrictions that he (the Political
Ombudsman) has put in place. It will be better for the entire
community and it is better for the political process,"
Mr. Kellier added.
Chang, JLP Member of Parliament for St. James North West,
said he was satisfied that there was enough dialogue to ensure
that no escalation of violence and intimidation takes place.