February 15, 2016

Last night Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller proclaimed at a rally in Mandeville, "[W]e are not afraid to debate anybody. I debated Bruce Golding in 2007; I debated Andrew Holness and I beat him. They must deal with the issues that I have put on the table, then we can talk about debate." 

Opposition and JLP Leader Andrew Holness responded to this claim:

"First, Mrs. Simpson Miller wanted me to apologize in order to have a debate. Now, she wishes the whole debate structure be changed last minute for the debate to occur. What will her next demand be? The truth of the matter is, Mrs. Simpson Miller and the PNP refuse to honor the agreed upon debate parameters as set forth between our two parties and the Jamaica Debate Commission. It is a disservice to the democratic process and an insult to Jamaica."

Even JDC deputy chairman, Brian Schmidt, said stated last week that the PNP's claim were not feasible. Furthermore, National Integrity Action (NIA), a non-profit organization aimed at combating corruption in Jamaica through education, encouraging anti-corruption vigilance and activism, called the PNP's behaviour "backwards".

"In fairness to Mrs. Simpson Miller, I would find it difficult to defend their ideas. The PNP simply has no achievements or viable proposals to campaign or debate on. Their policies have failed Jamaicans. But, should Mrs. Simpson Miller change her mind, she can find me sitting beside an empty chair," remarked Mr. Holness, alluding to his viral internet photo sitting beside an empty chair with a jelly coconut.