Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness yesterday reminded his fellow Parliamentarians that they are servants of the people, and must remain accessible to them.
“We are here to serve them, and not the other way around. We are their servants, not their bosses. We must not let them down,” Mr. Holness said, urging each Member of Parliament to recommit to upholding the highest standards of conduct in the House. “We can be forceful without being offensive, we can be incisive, without being insulting,” he noted.
Mr. Holness was delivering his maiden address to Parliament on Thursday, March 10 after being sworn in as Prime Minister last Thursday following his party’s victory in the February 25 General Elections.
He noted that “good representation makes for better communities. Better communities make for better constituencies, and better constituencies make for a better Jamaica.”
The Prime Minister added that the sitting of Parliament and the presence of the various parliamentarians is “a signal of the confidence they (the people) repose in us and the awesome responsibilities they have entrusted to us.”
Acknowledging that the narrow parliamentary majority comes with tremendous opportunities and challenges, Mr. Holness noted, “This is a moment that requires cooperation. This moment requires maturity, partnership, consensus building and most importantly patriotism. We must put Jamaica and the people of Jamaica first. The nation is looking on,” Mr. Holness implored.
The Prime Minister lauded House Speaker the Hon. Pearnel Charles, expressing confidence that he will be judicious, firm and impartial in presiding over the business of the House, and in so doing uphold the traditions of the venerable office. He also commended the workers of both houses of Parliament for their professionalism and hard work.
Commenting on the conduct of the election, Mr. Holness observed that Jamaica remains a strong and vibrant democracy. He applauded the people of Jamaica, the Electoral Office of Jamaica and all who worked to make the election a success, including the poll clerks, indoor and outdoor agents, the security forces and those who served as auxiliary police personnel.
“We have shown the rest of the world yet again, that ours is a democracy that is alive and well. We have the enviable fortune of dignified, gracious and seamless transition of power after parliamentary elections from one political administration to the next.”
He also expressed appreciation to the private sector, the press and the various organisations that observed the conduct of the Elections.