Newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) for South East Clarendon, Pearnel Charles Jr. was sworn in on Thursday during the sitting of the House of Representatives.
After taking the Oath of Office, the MP was welcomed by Prime Minister, the Andrew Holness, his father and House Speaker, Pearnel Charles Sr., as well as other Members of Parliament on both sides of the House.
Charles Jr. was sworn in following his victory in the by-election held on Monday, March 2. This followed the retirement of the Hon, Rudyard Spencer from representational politics.
As a result of the by-election, the ruling Jamaica Labour Party maintains its 34-29 majority in the Lower House.
In welcoming the newly sworn-in Member of Parliament, Leader of Government Business in the House of the Representatives, Karl Samuda, described him as a hard worker, who is dedicated to Jamaica.
“I have every confidence that he will bring a sense of maturity and will make the kind of contribution to this Honourable House that befits not only his heritage but his commitment to hard work and dedication to his country,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Business, Dr. Morais Guy, welcomed Mr. Charles Jr., noting that “I hope that you will contribute in a positive way”.
For his part, Pearnel Charles Sr. encouraged his son to work with dignity and integrity on behalf of all the people of Jamaica.
“I wish to express my joy, how happy I feel, how proud I feel and I am sharing this on behalf of my wife, my brother and my nieces and nephews and daughters and son,” he said.
In his response, Charles Jr. expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for the opportunity.
“Thank you Mr. Speaker for all the service you have provided in terms of your service to your country and your family,” he said.
He also thanked his wife, mother and other immediate and extended family members.
“Without a doubt, I have to thank our former Member of Parliament (Rudyard Spencer), who has been more than a support; he provided a unique level of encouragement,” he said while also recognising members of the constituency.
An attorney-at-law, Mr. Charles Jr. has served as Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation; Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs; and Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security.