Current Affairs

Current Affairs




PJ: Don't take tainted money
Jamaica Gleaner, Monday, July 26, 2004

By John Myers, Jr., Staff Reporter

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson (left), president of the People's National Party, jokes with vice-presidents Dr. Peter Phillips (centre), a contender for the presidency of the party, and Dr. Paul Robertson, at the end of a meeting of the party's National Executive Council at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Duke Street, downtown Kingston yesterday. - NORMAN GRINDLEY/Staff Photographer

P.J. PATTERSON, president of the People's National Party and Prime Minister, yesterday warned the candidates seeking to succeed him against accepting tainted money or donations from anonymous persons to fund their campaigns.

"We cannot allow money to be the source of determining political power and we cannot take it when it suits our individual advantage, and condemn it when it is being used against us," he said.


Addressing members of the party's National Executive Council at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Duke Street, downtown Kingston, Mr. Patterson made it clear that the PNP "intends to have a transitional process that is free and open and democratic and not tainted or corrupt or influenced by money power."

Mr. Patterson, who has announced that he intends to step down as party president before the next general election constitutionally due in 2007, said "We cannot allow a situation where the outcome of these elections is determined by money and where any of that money is coming from contaminated sources." He said this was particularly important now, especially with recent happenings that have caused the actions of certain politicians to come under scrutiny.


Among the candidates in the race for the presidency of the PNP are: Dr. Peter Phillips, Portia Simpson Miller and Dr. Karl Blythe, all vice-presidents of the PNP; Robert Pickersgill, chairman of the PNP, and Dr. Omar Davies, chairman of the party's Region Three.

In announcing a Code of Conduct which has been developed by the party to govern campaigning by the candidates who are competing for the post of party president, Mr. Patterson said that no candidate would be allowed to conduct any campaign that would be detrimental to the party. Campaigns must, instead, assist in transforming and rebuilding the PNP to meet the demands of the 21st century. "At the end of it, the party must be stronger, not weaker, as a result of these actions," he insisted.

And regardless of position, Mr. Patterson said, the rules would apply equally to all candidates vying for the leadership of the PNP. Also, he had a word of advice for candidates who are Ministers of Government:

"...Certainly any Minister can go out and say how good and effective and successful I have been in the discharge of my portfolio, but please remember, however good you think you may be, you can't achieve anything unless the entire team is prepared to be in support.

"Equally or conversely, if you have a problem with what is being done in another ministry or (with) a particular Minister, then the place to discuss that is in the Cabinet, not in the hustings."


As stipulated by the Code of Conduct, candidates will be required to disclose details of their financial standings, as well as the source of all donations, including from overseas donors. Mr. Patterson warned that "anonymous donations were out of the question and (the use of) fictitious names is not on."

Also, he said a portion of all money raised during fund-raising must be paid over to the party's coffers and a cess applied to the gross income of fund-raising events. "One of the reasons for it is to ensure that while the grass is growing, the party horse is not starving," Mr. Patterson explained.

He said a limit would be placed on the sum of money each candidate would be allowed to spend on the campaign, and there would be a maximum limit on donations. However, special provisions have been made to facilitate donations in anticipation of death, he said.

A committee, which will act as a 'constituted authority', has been established to monitor and investigate any breaches of the guidelines set out in the Code of Conduct.

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PJ: Don't take tainted money, Jamaica Gleaner, Monday, July 26, 2004

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Code of Conduct for PNP Leadership Campaign, KINGSTON, (PNP HQ). 2004 July 26

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