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Kern Spencer willing to step aside

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Kern Spencer willing to step aside on Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:39 pm



Kern Spencer's name could be eliminated from the Peoples National Party's (PNP) slate of candidates for the next General Election following an announcement on Sunday night by the embattled Member of Parliament.

The North East St. Elizabeth MP officially signalled that he will not seek re-election if his corruption case is still before the courts when the Election is called.

In a release to the media, Mr. Spencer said he had communicated his decision to PNP officials.

The 35-year-old MP said while he hoped that the Cuban Lightbulb Trial will be over by the time the election is called; he did not want to hold back the Party's machinery in the event that the case drags on.

Mr. Spencer told RJR News he has informed his constituency workers of the decision.

“Whether it is a snap election or the election is called by the regular timeframe that is given they have retained me as their candidate but I have said to them notwithstanding that I have taken a personal decision that if the case is not completed I would want to stand down at this time,” Mr. Spencer said.

He issued a warning to those he described as disruptive forces who are trying to impose themselves on the constituency.

He warned them to recall the party’s losses in North East St. Ann as well as South West and South East St. Elizabeth.

Picture removed
Meanwhile, questions are being raised whether the PNP has already started to distance itself from the embattled Member of Parliament.

Mr. Spencer's picture and profile have been omitted from the list of Parliamentary Candidates posted on the PNP's official website.

Our news centre was unable to contact senior Party functionaries for an explanation.

Mr. Spencer told RJR News he was not informed why he was left off the website but said it might be connected to behind the scenes discussions he held with officers of the PNP.

Civic groups not impressed
In the meantime, Mr. Spencer's decision has not impressed one group which has been insisting that he step aside as a Member of Parliament.

Director of the National Integrity Action Forum, Professor Trevor Munroe, says the statement from the North East St. Elizabeth MP did not go far enough.

Professor Munroe is maintaining the view that Mr. Spencer should step aside now.

“What he has said is worthy of note but it certainly does not go far enough, I’ve said it privately and publicly that the Speaker of the House, Standing Orders Committee look at the rules and regulations that are applicable and determine in what way members who are credibly accused of breaking the law ought to withdraw from the process of making the law. That has to be voluntary rather than enforced, so be it, but it is not doing credit to the party,” Mr. Munroe said.

He has also been calling for Jamaica Labour Party MP Joseph Hibbert to withdraw from the House of Representatives.

Mr. Hibbert, who is a former Junior Minister in the Ministry of Works, is under investigation regarding the Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal.

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