Kingston, Jamaica — The Government yesterday rejected a call from the Opposition to suspend completing the debate on the Ganja Bill, to allow Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, to make a contribution.
Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, Derrick Smith, made the request of Minister with responsibility for Sports, Natalie Neita-Headley, who was acting for Phillip Paulwell who arrived late for the sitting.
Smith said that Holness was involved with the celebration of the birth of National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante, at his home site in Blenheim, Hanover, and would not have been able to contribute, yesterday.
Neita-Headley said that she was aware that Smith had raised the issue with Paulwell. However, she said that a suspension of the debate could not be accommodated as the House would not be sitting next week and its Standing Finance Committee was scheduled to start deliberations on the 2015/16 estimates on Tuesday.
Smith accused the Government of trying to push a political agenda with the Bill. He said that he would not participate in the debate, but that other members of the Opposition would participate.
Sir Alexander, the founder of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), was born on February 24, 1884.