JLP closes ranks in Clarendon North Central as Pearnel Charles Sr endorses Robert Nesta Morgan

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JLP closes ranks in Clarendon North Central as Pearnel Charles Sr endorses Robert Nesta Morgan

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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CLARENDON, Jamaica — Outgoing Member of Parliament for Clarendon North Central Pearnel Charles Sr has moved to end the lingering tension among Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters in the constituency by declaring his full support for the man slated to replace him as the party's standard bearer, Robert Nesta Morgan.

For some time, Labourites in the constituency have been split between those who supported Morgan's bid to replace Charles Sr and those who wanted their next candidate to be Pearnel Charles Jr, the son of the man who has held the constituency since the 2007.

In an effort to mend the rift, JLP leader, Prime Minister Andrew Holness moved Charles Jr to Clarendon South East where he defeated independent candidate Dereck Lambert in a by-election to replace Ruddy Spencer in the House of Representatives.

But that failed to settle the differences between those Labourites who have declared that the constituency will be “Betta wid Nesta” and those loyal to the Charles family.

The tension between the two sets of Labourites was clearly on show yesterday even as Holness visited to open a new water supply scheme, among other stops.

“Me is a Labourite from long time and me nah vote this time as me nah support Morgan. When election day come mi going over south east fi work with the young Charles,” one particularly vocal Labourite told OBSERVER ONLINE.

Against that background, Charles Sr used the opening of Morgan's new constituency office in Chapleton late yesterday afternoon to declare his endorsement of his replacement and urged all Labourites to but their 'X' beside the JLP's symbol of the bell on election day.

“I am the one who advised the prime minister that I had no intention of going back. The prime minister has said to me this is the man and I have no objection. And I beg you, nobody nuh come tell mi no foolishness. This is the man,” declared Charles while pointing to Morgan who was standing beside him.

“I will be working hard with him. And anybody who don't like anybody, make sure you put your 'X' beside the bell,” added Charles to cheers from those clad in their shirts marked with the “betta wid Nesta” slogan.

The veteran politician said after 55 years serving on the executive of the JLP, he was a full party man and was committed to walking with Morgan to ensure that the party retains the seat whenever the election is called.

Holness, who also addressed the opening of the constituency office, paid tribute to Charles for his work over the years and declared that Morgan would learn from him and continue the projects that he has started to make the constituency even better.

Clarendon North Central is among the seats which the JLP has to hang on to if it wants to retain power in the next election.

- Arthur Hall

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