'I am serving out my term!' - Pearnel Charles Sr tells contenders for his seat
Pearnel Charles Sr, veteran Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) member of parliament for North Central Clarendon, has said that while he has no objection to contenders showing interest in his seat, he objects "to people coming into the constituency while I am active ... and trying to disrupt my operations".
"I am not retiring, I am not resigning. I have been elected, and unless there is an incident, or an event that demands my resignation, I have no such thing in mind. I am serving my full term!" Charles declared firmly in response to whispers that internal campaigning is on in earnest in his constituency.
Charles, who is also the speaker of the House of the Representatives, told The Gleaner that at the end of his term the delegates will decide his fate in his seat, which he has controlled for four terms after snatching it from the People's National Party back in 2002.
But, for the first time, he has publicly admitted that his son, Charles Jr, has shown interest in succeeding him as the JLP standard-bearer and, subse-quently, member of parliament.
"I am sure, like all ambitious lawyers - he being an attorney-at-law - he would want to follow in his father's footstep. But that is after his father has finished his course," insisted Charles, who also quickly pointed out that he has not advised his son that he is about to resign or retire.
Quizzed on the early parading of T-shirts bearing the picture of Charles Jr, with the words 'Team Charles Jr', the senior politician said, "Junior has been in my constituency assisting me. He has youth clubs, he has football clubs, so he has printed shirts for his club members.
"One of my councillors has interest in the seat, Robert Morgan has interest in the seat, Pearnel Charles Jr has interest in the seat ... . Anybody who wants to have interest in the seat, at the appropriate and proper time, they will be put before the delegates, and that is after my term is finished," he insisted.