Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Bunting blocked from taking Senate seat

Published:Friday | December 4, 2020 | 3:33 PM
Peter Bunting (file photo)

Internal wrangling in the People’s National Party (PNP) has spilled over into the Senate, preventing Peter Bunting from being sworn in as an Opposition senator this morning.

Earlier this week, Opposition Leader Mark Golding disclosed that his long-time ally and business partner would take up duties as leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, having lost his Manchester Central seat in the September 3 general elections. 

At Friday’s sitting, it seemed all was in place for Bunting’s transition when Donna Scott Mottley told Senate President Tom Tavares Finson it would be her last sitting as leader of Opposition Business.

However, it was revealed that Norman Horne was still scheduled to take the vacant seat in the Upper House, although he had indicated in a public release that he would allow the winner of the November 7 PNP presidential race to fill the seat.

Horne had been previously nominated to the Senate by then Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips.

An October 7, 2020 letter, purportedly written by Horne, has fuelled speculations over the reason he may not have followed through with his commitment to decline the nomination to the Senate.

The letter, which was addressed to Julian Robinson, the former PNP general secretary, stated that the party owed Horne millions of dollars.

Horne explained to Robinson that the party owed him $19.38 million and he had agreed to pre-pay membership dues up 2032 costing $60,000, in addition to a $1 million pledge he made at the party’s 2017 conference.

This businessman also pointed out that separate sums of $149,760 and $486,894 were to be deducted as group dues.

He said a personal contribution of $7.67 million was also to be deducted, which he calculated would leave the amount due to him at $10M.

Horne could not be reached when The Gleaner tried to make contact with him on Friday.

New PNP General Secretary Dayton Campbell could also not be reached.

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