Three candidates vying for West Portland seat

BY EVERARD OWEN Observer writer editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



 

BUFF BAY, Portland — The normally quiet boardroom at the Buff Bay Community Hospital teemed with life yesterday as supporters of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) came out to support the nomination of candidates for the December 29 general election.

Large crowds accompanied the JLP's Daryl Vaz — who won the seat in the September 2007 polls — and the PNP's Rohan Quest. However, there was no visible support for the National Democratic Party's Peter Flemmings, who is also vying for the seat.

Vaz was the first to be nominated at 11:06 am and it took him about six minutes to complete the nomination process. He was followed by Flemmings at 11:36 am and Quest at a minute past one. The latter candidate spent just over three minutes in the nomination centre.

All three expressed confidence that they will win the seat.

So confident was Vaz that as soon as he exited the nomination centre, he began making preparations to head to neighbouring East Portland to support the JLP candidate there.

"I am confident enough so I am heading to East Portland to help my colleague Patrick Lee as I have been nominated. My work is there to be seen by all and I will spend more time in East Portland over the next three weeks," he said. "I am well organised and methodical in the work that I do as a member of the Cabinet and a member of Parliament."

He also used the occasion to appeal for calm in the face of damage done to a billboard erected at Boundbrook in East Portland.

"I am calling to all well-thinking Jamaicans to desist from these types of intimidation and all acts of violence. I have given instructions that there be no interference whatsoever with my opponent's billboards. I am making an appeal to Portland and the rest of the island... let us tone down and go and do the work to convince those who will vote for us," he said.

The PNP's Quest, in the meantime, said he was sure of victory.

"We are going out in the field to work hard and bring out all the PNP supporters, as there are a number of people who are disgruntled with the leadership of the Jamaica Labour Party and we are going to ensure victory for the People's National Party," he declared.

And, the NDM's Flemmings said his intent was to help the farmers and the youth in the constituency.

"So many candidates have come to West Portland and have not done anything for the farmers and youth of Portland," he said, but admitted that "some have tried".

"We need some factories and a new dimension of politics. We need some cheese factory and other factories to process farm produce for the benefit of the people of Portland," he said.

As the day progressed, JLP and PNP supporters paraded — in some instances together — through the streets of Buff Bay in party colours.

Robert Hassock and Delcita Wray, despite supporting different parties, said the politics will not change their great relationship.

"We are good friends and we are not going to support any violence that will mash up this country. Whichever party wins, we are still Jamaicans," said Hassock, who supports the PNP.


OTHER STORIES
A determined woman's wish to be nominated
DETERMINATION seems to be the favourite word of Ann-Marie Evadne Thomas. Turning up at the nomination centre for St Andrew South West at the Greenwich All-Age School yesterday morning, the procurem ... more
Voting held up in North West St Ann
ELECTORS who are to vote at some polling stations across North West St Ann have complained that the voting process since morning has been very slow. Several electors, including a number of senior c ... more
Police ready for elections
THE Jamaica Constabulary Force has signalled its readiness to effectively police tomorrow's General Elections. Deputy Commissioner in charge of operations Glenmore Hinds told reporters at a press c ... more
Voters still in line
POLLING stations islandwide have not yet been closed as voters are still in line waiting to cast their ballots. Voters who were still in line before 5:00 pm, will still be allowed to vote but no ad ... more
Portia earns respect
PORTIA Simpson Miller earned the political respect, long denied her by various elements of Jamaican society, by leading the People's National Party (PNP) to a spectacular victory over the Jamaica La ... more
42 per cent of voters cast ballots
WITH some 30 minutes to the close of the polls the Electoral Office of Jamaica is reporting that some 42.35 percent of Jamaicans or 697,937 individuals have cast their votes as at 3 this afternoon i ... more
Battle for SE St Bess - Witter, Parchment in tight tussle
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth - BOTH the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) loudly predict a “four love sweep” in St Elizabeth in the Dec ... more
Allow people to vote as they wish
Dear Editor, Jamaica's general election will be called in a matter of weeks and as expected tensions are high. There have been reports of political supporters being attacked on their way to and fro ... more
Dedicated Supporters
This wheelchair-bound supporter is pushed by a young man to Monday night’s election rally held by the ruling Jamaica Labour Party in Port Antonio. They were among thousands who crammed the squ ... more