Stalemate over Jamaica political debates

(Jamaica Gleaner) The People’s National Party (PNP) has responded to reports that there is doubt over the staging of the political debates ahead of the next general election.

In a release issued late this afternoon, the PNP said it is committed to debating with its political competitors.

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has been insisting that it only wants one debate with Prime Minister Andrew Holness versus the PNP’s Portia Simpson Miller.

This afternoon the PNP said it stands ready to engage in a debate but it wants one Team Debate.

The team debate would involve the Leaders of both parties; the Minister of Finance and the PNP Shadow Minister of Finance; as well as the Minister of National Security and the PNP Shadow Minister of National Security.

This afternoon, the PNP said it as well as the JLP received a compromise proposal from the Debates Commission.

This would see two team debates and one youth debate.

The first team debate would examine leadership, economic growth and crime.

The second debate would examine finance, tourism and agriculture.

The PNP accepts the compromise proposal of the Debates Commission.

But the JLP is insisting that it only wants one debate between the leaders of both parties.

News of the stalemate over the debate was revealed this morning when speaking at a press conference, chairman of the Jamaica Debates Commission Gary Allen said he was concerned about the state of the discussions between the parties, but was hopeful that Jamaicans will have the debates.

Allen said the parties are deadlocked over the issues they are prepared to debate, the format they would take and the timeline for the debates.

He said the Commission is not of the view that it should allow those negotiations to breakdown and is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure the debates take place.

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