Holness takes over as Prime Minister from Bruce Golding on Sunday


 A statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister said that Golding, 63, who last month shocked the nation with his announcement that he would not be serving out his full five–year-term, will formally tender his resignation to Governor General Sir Patrick Alleyne on Sunday.

 Holness, the only person nominated to lead the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and head the government, will be sworn in at King’s House on Sunday at 4.00 pm (local time).

The statement said that Golding Tuesday presided over his final Cabinet meeting and used the occasion to thank his ministers for their support and hard work under his leadership. 

He said that the government had overcome significant challenges over the last four years but emphasized that much remains to be done to accelerate the pace of economic recovery in order to be able to tackle the country’s urgent social needs. 

Golding said that while some elements of his administration’s reform agenda had been completed, other important items were yet to be implemented. 

He said these were at an advanced stage of preparation and urged his colleagues to complete the process as a matter of urgency. 

“After the Cabinet adjourned, Golding convened a meeting of government MPs and received their unanimous formal endorsement of the Honourable Andrew Holness to succeed him as Prime Minister,” the statement said, adding that “Golding will convey this advice to the Governor-General and tender his resignation on Sunday afternoon shortly before the ceremony at King’s House”. 

Holness has already received the backing of the parliamentary group of the JLP that includes Agriculture Minister Robert Montague, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton and Finance Minister Audley Shaw. 

A graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Holness specialised in Development Economics and was groomed by former prime minister Edward Seaga. 

Between 1999 and 2002, Holness served as Opposition Spokesman for Land and Development and in 2002 was asked by Seaga to serve as the Opposition Spokesman for Housing. 

In 2005, the West Central St. Andrew Member of Parliament transferred to shadow the education portfolio, a role he performed until 2007 when he was ushered in as education minister following the 2007 general elections. 

As Education Minister, Holness has received commendation on his far-reaching policies such as his tough stance on security and safety in schools, his push to achieve 100 per cent literacy at the primary level and his emphasis on accountability at all levels of the education system. 

Earlier, JLP general secretary, Aundre Franklin, said with less than 72 hours to go before the close of nomination,, Holness was the only nominee for the top position within the party 

Franklin said that four nominations have been received for the position of deputy leader. Among the nominees are Shaw and Tufton.

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