Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Prime minister names remaining senators
Newcomers Noel Sloley, Keste Miller among team
Observer Reporter
Wednesday, November 06, 2002



PRIME Minister P J Patterson yesterday announced the nomination of Noel Sloley, transportation magnate from Western Jamaica and Keste Miller, attorney-at-law as first-time senators to sit on the government side in the Upper House.

Patterson also named Professor Trevor Munroe as a government senator. Munroe, a professor of government at the University of the West Indies and president of the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU), served with Douglas Orane, chairman of Grace, Kennedy, in the previous Parliament as independent senators.

Sloley, who operates Jamaica Tours, is chairman of the Greater Montego Bay Redevelopment Company and a former chairman of the Montego Bay Freezone.

Miller served as a public officer in the former Ministry of National Security and Justice, while K D Knight was in charge. He is among the leadership of Region 4 -- St Catherine and Clarendon -- of the People's National Party (PNP) and he has represented the party on several legal matters.

Patterson named six senators yesterday in completing the government's complement of 13 members in the Upper House. The other three are Syringa Marshall-Burnett, Navel Clarke and Norman Grant.

Marshall-Burnett, a nurse educator at the University of the West Indies is tipped to again assume the position of president of the Senate. She is a former president of the Nursing Association of Jamaica.

Navel Clarke, a trade unionist who works with the PNP-affiliated National Workers Union served as senator in the last two parliaments. Trade union sources expected that Clarke would have given way to a younger person such as Danny Roberts, vice-president of the NWU.

Norman Grant is also being returned as senator after serving for a few months in the life of the previous Parliament. A chartered accountant, he is chairman of the 4-H Club Movement and head of the St Andrew Branch of the Jamaica Agriculture Society. Grant is also a minister of religion.

Meantime, Munroe said he accepted the prime minister's nomination in order to complete unfinished businesses in the Senate including the enactment of a Charter of Rights Bill, the establishment of a commission to study campaign financing and urging the Jamaican government to advocate labour standards globally.

The professor of government said he was also impressed by the prime minister's "new emphases" on unity, constitutional reform and intolerance of corruption that has marked his utterances since the October 16 general elections. Munroe also noted Patterson's stated desire for a government senator with an "independent mind".

Asked if he would now join the PNP, Munroe remarked: "I would certainly give it favourable and active consideration."

Meanwhile, Lambert Brown, Munroe's deputy at the UAWU, welcomed his colleague's appointment to the government ranks in the Upper House, noting that the union allowed for political plurality and, in fact, had among its delegates grassroots leaders of the main political parties.

Brown himself was very vocal against the governing PNP during the recent election campaign and he subsequently disclosed that he voted for the opposition Jamaica Labour Party.

"I don't foresee any problem (for the union) because he (Munroe) is a member of the PNP," said Brown.

The senators named yesterday will join those already sworn in as ministers, state ministers and parliamentary secretary.