Azan to be reappointed as junior minister – Lead Stories


LESS THAN two months after he resigned as minister of state in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Richard Azan is to be reappointed as a junior minister, according to Gleaner sources.

Although there has been no official word from the Government on the matter, well-placed Gleaner sources indicate that Azan could be sworn in as early as today.

The North West Clarendon member of parliament quit in mid-September for his role in engaging a private contractor, John Bryant, to construct 10 shops at the market last September without the permission of the Clarendon Parish Council.

Shops contructed without permission

The Office of the Contractor General said the construction of the shops was done without permission from the Clarendon Parish Council and that rent was set and charged without proper consent.

Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, after reviewing the matter, said there was no basis on which to charge Azan with conspiracy to defraud the Clarendon Parish Council in relation to the Spaldings Market affair.

Azan had quit the job as state minister one week earlier, after the OCG described his actions to be, at best, politically corrupt and asked the DPP to consider whether Azan had committed a crime.

Following the decision of the DPP not to proffer charges against Azan, the People’s National Party Youth Organisation, through its president, Alric Campbell, called on Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to reinstate Azan.

The North West Clarendon MP, who the OCG said disregarded government procedures when he facilitated the construction of the shops, told The Gleaner that he did not regret his actions, saying his constituents say they are “firm and strong behind” him.

“They are in a better place today, and if I was politically corrupt in doing that, I don’t mind it,” Azan has said.