Clash in Clarendon draws intervention of political ombudsman

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment-Brown.

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment- Brown is to meet with the persons involved in a violent confrontation in the Clarendon South Eastern constituency on Sunday, (Feb 23) that has been circulating on social media.

The meeting, set for Ash Wednesday (Feb 26), is part of an investigation initiated by the Ombudsman into the incident between supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP). The political ombudsman is to meet with general secretaries of both parties as a result of the incident. A date is yet to be set for the meeting.

The Political Ombudsman reminded that political actors should comply with the Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct (known informally as the Code of Conduct), and its eight tenets, which include freedom of access to campaign, prohibiting violence amongst party members and public utterances that are malicious, slanderous or can trigger violence.

Pearnel Charles Jr of the JLP (left) and independent candidate Dereck Lambert, who is a former member of the PNP, are to contest the March 2 by-election in the Clarendon South Eastern constituency.

“This violent behaviour has no place in our political system,” Parchment Brown said. “All parties are aware of what they have committed to in the agreement, and my office has the duty to hold them accountable on behalf of the public. This is exactly what I intend to do.”

A by-election is to be held in the constituency on March 2 to determine replacement for retired politician Rudyard Spencer of the JLP.