‘Days’ left for Prime Minister

A DATE for the swearing in of Andrew Holness as the ninth prime minister of Jamaica has not yet been set, but well-placed government sources indicate that the event could take place shortly.

“We have a few days to go,” a government insider told The Gleaner yesterday.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who has announced he would retire as head of Government in November, has seemingly revised his departure timetable.

“The person who is expected to succeed me in a matter of days has provided very strong leadership in transforming our education process,” Golding said during the launch of the Compete Caribbean Program at the Wyndham Kingston hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

Golding said human resource development was a major area in which the country could focus its attention.

He also said restructuring the fundamentals of the economy was a key task undertaken by the Government he has led but noted “there is still more work to be done”.

“It is going to take a generation to position our education the way it needs to be,” Golding said.

Lone nominee

Holness, 39, has been the country’s education minister since September 2007. He has been selected by the majority of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) members of parliament as the man to replace Golding as prime minister.

Holness has also been nominated to be the leader of the JLP at theparty’s annual conference on November 20.

Golding said he was hoping to lead the JLP into the next general election but said the last four years have taken a toll on him.

Last week, the Government moved to dispel reports that the outgoing prime minister could move up his timetable to quit as leader of the JLP and head of government if the party signs off on Holness as the only candidate to replace him.

“If the nominations close on October 20 and there is no challenge to Holness everything could move up so that the Government and the party can get on with its business,” a JLP insider told The Gleaner.

“But you have to understand that nobody is going to push Golding, and he will be allowed to make that decision in his own time,” the insider added.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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