Jamaica - Prime Minister (PM) of Jamaica the Honorable Bruce Golding announced yesterday, as he addressed the quarterly meeting of the Central Executive of his ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), that he will resign from his position as party leader, and will not be seeking re-election, following that, the office of prime minister, after the JLP's annual conference in November.
The 63 year old Golding was expected to lead his party into the 2012 general elections and therefore the decision has been a shock for persons in Jamaica, and around the world. Golding assumed leadership of the JLP on 24 January 2005, he later became prime minister on 11 September 2007.
One wonders if the incumbent prime minister is willingly jumping from these offices he has held, or if the kingpins of the JLP sholved him from the posts. It must be noted though, that Golding in May 2010 had offered his resignation over the controversial Manatt, Phelps and Phillips issue, but at the time the JLP chairman Dr Ken Baugh had said the party was not accepting Mr Golding's offer to resign.
"The challenges of the last four years have taken their toll and it was appropriate now to make way for new leadership to continue the programmes of economic recovery and transformation while mobilizing the party for victory in the next general election," the prime minister said in the release.
JLP spokesperson Daryl Vaz told the media yesterday evening that the prime minister's decision was final, even in the face of the party's Central Executive's unanimous rejection of the resignation.
Golding's challenges of the last four years
Accused of a contractual arrangement between the Government and a United States law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips to lobby the US Government on a treaty dispute between the two countries that had arisen as a result of the Jamaican Government refusing to sign an extradition request for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, who is wanted in the US on charges relating to narcotics, arms and ammunition trafficking. - Wikipedia
Following the revelation of his involvement in the Christopher 'Dudus' Coke affair, the extradition order was signed, leading to protest in areas including Tivoli Gardens in an effort to protect their 'Don'. The Bruce Golding administration then instituted a state of public emergency, limited to the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew in an effort to arrest Coke. 73 civilians and 3 members of the security forces died as a result.