Wlliams named high commissioner-designate to Trinidad &Tobago

Wlliams named high commissioner-designate to Trinidad &Tobago

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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AS of next month, former Jamaica Labour Party ( JLP) senator and attorney-at-law Arthur Williams will replace David Prendergast as Jamaica’s high commissioner to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith made the announcement Monday, stating that Williams has, over the years, demonstrated commitment to the service of country and has made a sterling contribution to public service.

“Williams, who recently concluded his assignment as Jamaica’s representative to the Inter-American Development Bank, will succeed David Prendergast whose tour of duty ended in January.

Williams, who has a political career of more than a decade, has more than 35 years of professional experience.

In 2011, he was appointed as minister without portfolio with responsibility for the public service and information in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), and was also state minister in the Ministry of National Security in 2007. Prior to his tenure at the OPM, Williams served in the capacity of Government and Opposition senator from 2007 to 2011 and 2002 to 2007, respectively, and in 2009 he served as state minister for finance and the public service.

The new high commissioner-designate is a Munro College graduate and holds a bachelor of science degree in government and a bachelor of laws degree from The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill.

In November 2013, as an Opposition senator, Williams found himself in the spotlight in a legal row over his ousting from the Upper House by then Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, using undated resignation letters signed in 2012, and authorised for use in the event of a departure from the party’s position on Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) legislation.

The party was insistent on a referendum on the CCJ as Jamaica’s final appellate court.

The JLP staunchly opposed the three bills which were brought to Parliament to have the CCJ replace the Privy Council without a referendum. The ruling People’s National Party (PNP) at the time only needed at least one Opposition senator to vote in favour of the legislation.

In November 2013, Holness submitted Williams’ resignation letter, along with Dr Christopher Tufton’s letter, after both senators refused to resign following the party’s leadership election.

The matter ballooned into a court battle, with the Supreme Court ruling that the request for pre-signed and undated resignation letters from individuals to be appointed Opposition senators, and Holness’s use of those letters to remove the two senators, were unconstitutional, unlawful and therefore null and void.

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