Get ready

Get ready

PM expected to give general election green light by next week

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has added several decibels to increasingly louder whispers that he is on the verge of announcing the date for the country's next general election.

Yesterday morning, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) sources told the Jamaica Observer that Holness will announce the election date during a meeting on Sunday. The time and venue are yet to be determined.

Hours later, Holness told cheering supporters at the opening of the constituency office for Robert Nesta Morgan, the party's expected candidate in Clarendon North Central, that he is feeling ready for a “special event”.

“Everybody has it in their minds that something is going to happen. You feel it? Everywhere that I go people want to know when is it going to happen. People are saying, 'What you waiting on? Do the thing now.' Well, as I said, let me look carefully because there are a lot of things happening. We don't want the economy to falter, we still have COVID.

“But as I was getting dressed this morning a look on my shoes rack and I see my Desert Clarks and I decided to just take it out and decided to feel it out. The little walking that I do, it feel comfortable, so I going to give it a little more walk,” said Holness.

With Labourities urging him to name the date, the prime minister said, “Something is in the air, and I feel it too. You will hear more but, until such time,” added Holness, who has always indicated he would put on his green Desert Clarks whenever he is ready to hit the campaign trail.

Holness has repeatedly said that he would not lose sight of the challenges facing Jamaica for the sake of moving the country into election mode.

Last week he announced that he was in no rush to call general elections, but his address at the handover of a social housing project in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, was more in keeping with a campaign speech.

At that time Holness argued that what was on everyone's mind was how the country will recover from the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic so that it can continue on a pathway to growth.

“So, as your prime minister, I know that there is a lot of talk about election but I can't deal with elections until I am certain that we are putting in place the measures to ensure that that young lady who works in the fast food industry can get back her job and return to her full pay,” Holness said in reference to a fast food worker who had lost her job because of the pandemic.

But he also indicated that the economy was moving in the right direction, which provided a strong hint that he was thinking about going to the polls.

“And I have seen where there are some green shoots; even in the midst of the pandemic some green shoots are appearing in the economy. We are seeing signs of what we call resilience. An' nuh mek nobody fool yu about Jamaica — we have gone through crisis, after crisis, after crisis, hardship and difficulty, but we are perennial. We are strong and we are resilient and we will recover stronger,” added Holness.

General elections are constitutionally due by next February, with a three-month extension possible which would see Jamaicans going to the polls no later than June 10.


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