Fiery exchange between Samuda, Bunting ends with Opposition walk-out in Parliament

(from left) Interim Minister of Education Karl Samuda and Opposition Spokesperson Peter Bunting

Members of the People’s National Party (PNP) staged a walk-out at Tuesday’s sitting of the House of representatives in Kingston after a heated exchanged between Education Minister Karl Samuda and Opposition Spokesperson Peter Bunting.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in a Facebook post, highlighted his disappointment that the opposition “opted to be absent than debate the business of the nation”, however, Bunting took to Twitter to explain why the PNP felt a walk-out was necessary.

Empty seats: A photo of Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives shows zero participation from members of the People’s National Party (PNP), which staged a walk-out in protest. (Photo: Facebook @AndrewHolnessJM)

According to Bunting, the Opposition walked out of the sitting of Parliament in protest against Samuda’s apparent abuse of power as Minister of Education.

“Opposition walked out of Parliament in protest against Parliamentary abuse by Min Karl Samuda who accused me of ill-motives in exposing accusations of gross mismanagement & procurement breaches by Edna Manley Board,” Bunting explained.

Bunting said he was accused by Minister Samuda as a ‘deliverer of suss’ after bringing attention to a letter addressed to Prime Minister Holness from the department heads of Edna Manley – expressing a no-confidence vote in Board Chairman Marigold Harding’s leadership.

Street view of the Edna Manley College sign

“Samuda stated that our motives are misaligned as his motive is to defend the board,” Bunting further tweeted.

The matter at hand stems from multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, allegedly by a sitting board director, which Samuda reportedly will not be looking into as he has “not received any formal information or evidence…”.

It is understood that the Edna Manley Board has passed a due diligence test mandated by Minister Samuda, considering the allegations.