KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Prime Minister in a statement to the nation has said that there are three major reasons he will be resigning and leaving the posts to which he was elected.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has stated, "that the challenges of the last four years had taken their toll and it was appropriate now to step aside and make way for new leadership." Challenges included a recession the world has not seen in many years, and the Coke/Manatt affair.

Stress of Recession

"The last few years, perhaps, have been the most difficult period that any government has had to face. Like most other countries, we have taken a battering from the global recession and the recovery we are so anxious to see has been slow, the global environment still uncertain."

"I have worked hard these past four years, 16-18 hours a day most days, in navigating our way through these treacherous waters. We are beginning to see positive results: far-reaching macroeconomic reforms have been implemented; the economy has returned to a growth path, modest though it is; we are once again creating new jobs even though we have not yet restored the jobs that were lost; the rise in poverty has been cauterized.", the PM stated.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and Christopher "Dudus" Coke extradition Issue

"Questions about the role I played in the Coke/Manatt matter have remained a source of concern in the minds of many people. It was never about Coke's guilt or innocence."

"It was about a breach of our Constitution and had it been a person other than Coke it perhaps would never have become the cause célèbre that it turned out to be. We have since amended the Interception of Communications Act to permit in the future, the action that was taken in Coke's case but which, at that time, was in violation of our Constitution."

"However, the entire episode has affected me deeply and the perceptions that are held by some people have not been dispelled, notwithstanding the exhaustive deliberations of a Commission of Enquiry."

"I cannot allow the challenges we face and the issues that we as a people must confront to be smothered or overpowered by this saga and the emotions that they ignite. It would not be fair to my country; it would not be fair to my party." the PM said.

Making Way for Younger Persons In the JLP

There are other considerations that led to my decision. It is time for my generation to make way for younger people whose time has come, who are more in sync with 21stcentury realities, whose vision can have a longer scope and who can bring new energy to the enormous tasks that confront us. The leaders of major countries around the world - for example, the United States, Britain, Canada, Mexico, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand - are all more than 10 years younger than I am. It is a worldwide trend and we in Jamaica should not resist it.

I was first elected to Parliament almost 40 years ago. In the next two months I will be 64. I feel it is time for me and people like me to make way and allow a new crop of leaders to step forward and unleash their energies and creativity. There are young people in my party, indeed in both parties, who are capable of providing the leadership that the country requires at this time. We must not, for the sake of personal ambition, block their emergence. My advice and counsel will always be available if and when required.