News from the OPM



The leaders of Jamaica’s two main political parties, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP), Prime Minister Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP and Mark Golding, MP, respectively, participated in the Vale Royal Talks on February 19, 2023.

This meeting, facilitated by the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches, centered on the important issues of National Security and Constitutional Reform. The discussions lasted for three hours.

In his opening statement, Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed optimism that the talks will foster greater consensus on challenging national issues. He noted that the previous discussions were successful in achieving some understanding of critical national matters. Pledging to ensure the continuation of these talks the Prime Minister said, “We may not always be able to address these critical issues and ventilate them properly in Parliament, but we can ventilate them here at the political level. These talks have now become a part of Jamaica’s democratic institutional tradition and they have been very useful for the political parties to find space which is created for discussions under the Chatham House rules. It contributes positively to the building of a modern positive political culture and gives us a free space to talk about the important issues of the country. We intend to utilize the talks to advance the resolution of the contentious issues that divide us in the interest of the people of Jamaica. The Vale Royal Talks is a signal to the country that their political leaders maintain an open dialogue to resolve the major issues that concern them”.

For his part, President of the PNP Mark Golding said, “The fact that there may be disagreement on some issues should not be regarded as hindrance to dialogue, national unity and effective governance.  It is a question of how we resolve those differences, and the manner in which we conduct ourselves in bringing our points of view forward, that I think is important. By deliberately embracing this approach, the population can learn from our leaders how to resolve issues where there is not necessarily agreement. We have a duty to the public to hold the government to account and to represent an alternative view as to how the nation should move forward. The manner in which we do that is very important because it needs to underpin national development and be part of a positive thrust towards stronger nationhood and deepening our democracy rather, than something that undermines progress”.

Both leaders expressed gratitude to the church for hosting the talks and thanked members of the clergy for their blessing of the proceedings.

The Jamaica Labour Party’s delegation included the Party Leader, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Dr. Horace Chang (General Secretary), Robert Montague (Chairman), Marlene Malahoo Forte, and Robert Nesta Morgan (Chairman of the JLP’s PR Committee).

The PNP delegation included Party President Mark Golding, MP, Dr. Angela Brown Burke (Chairman), Dr. Dayton Campbell (General Secretary), Senator Peter Bunting and Senator Donna Scott Mottley.

Both sides engaged in full and frank dialogue with a shared commitment to reaching a consensus, where possible, and obtaining a better understanding from which to move forward.


For more information please contact:

Dr Horace Chang

General Secretary, Jamaica Labour Party

Dr Dayton Campbell

General Secretary, People’s National Party