PAJ Calls for Debates to Go On

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Monday, February 15th, 2016

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller Photo: Wikimedia

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller
Photo: Wikimedia

 

 

 

The Press Association of Jamaica is alarmed at news that the National Political Debates may not be held.

The PAJ wishes to put on record its belief that it is of national importance that the Debates be held, with the participation of both major political parties.

“The election campaign is very short, which already limits the amount of time the public and media have to probe the positions of the individual candidates and their parties. To eliminate what has become an important source of information for the public would be a huge step backwards, and one we would condemn strongly,” says PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller.

Andrew_HolnessThe Association believes it would be unacceptable in a modern Jamaican democracy for either of the parties to refuse the public the opportunity to see and hear its representatives questioned about issues of national importance. The PAJ is therefore urging the two parties to find other avenues to work out their differences, and not use the political debates for that purpose. The Association in particular calls on the People’s National Party, as the party which has not yet signed off on the agreement for the debates, to do so in the national interest.

The PAJ commends the Debates Commission for its tremendous work over the years in staging the national political debates, and calls for all well-thinking Jamaicans and civil society organisations to speak out, and join the call to ensure that the National Political Debates are again held, as the public expects.

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