Debates Commission Says Tuesday’s Political Debate Called Off…

Holness and Miller

Holness and Miller

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Debates Commission (JDC) in a media release Friday evening said that they have writ­ten to the Peoples’ National Party (PNP) not­ing that in the absence of a response to its let­ter of February 11, it is no longer able to com­mit to orga­niz­ing and stag­ing the first in a series of polit­i­cal debates on Tuesday, February 16. The JDC said they wrote to the par­ty ask­ing it to re-con­sid­er its deci­sion not to par­tic­i­pate in three debates ahead of the February 25th election.

In their let­ter they say that they indi­cat­ed that if the first debate were to take place on Tuesday, the JDC need­ed three clear days in order to mobilise it teams to ensure the stag­ing of a qual­i­ty pro­duc­tion and asked for a response by 5:00 pm today. The JDC let­ter con­clud­ed: “As we have not received a response as at the time of writ­ing, we wish to advise that the JDC can no longer com­mit to orga­niz­ing and stag­ing the first debate on Tuesday, February 16.

Nonetheless, the JDC remains open to stag­ing the three debates begin­ning lat­er in the week pro­vid­ed an agree­ment can be reached with the JLP to that effect. The same con­di­tion – three clear days before the live broad­cast of the first debate – would remain in place. We should note that giv­en the posi­tion of both polit­i­cal par­ties over the course of our nego­ti­a­tions that the last sev­er­al days ahead of the elec­tion should be reserved for their clos­ing cam­paign events, any deci­sion to debate — if this were to prove nec­es­sary – between Sunday February 21 and Tuesday February 23, must be a mutu­al deci­sion of both polit­i­cal parties…”
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