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No election now, says Holness

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness confirmed Sunday night that the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is not in an election mode, despite the presentation of new candidates over the past two weeks.

“I am just jogging, just doing my thing and warming up,” Holness told JLP supporters at Sunday night's presentation of Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, as candidate for North Western St Ann at the Brown's Town Community College.

Addressing “workers of the party”, the prime minister said that he had heard the comments on social media about the possibility of the government calling an election. However, he dismissed the suggestion.

“Only one man hold that card, and I am keeping that close to my chest. I am not ready to play that card, yet. We still have many more good cards to play in our deck,” he added.

“They don't know me. They see me, but they don't know me. I am one man, y'know, I don't panic, and duppy can't frighten me. I am fixed in my mind on you the people. I am looking at you, I am looking into your eyes. I am reading your faces and sometimes when I am not talking, it is simply because I am listening, and I am hearing and I am understanding,” he told the crowd.

Holness also accused the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) of focusing only on short term gains.

“They are not interested in your benefits. All they are interested in is power, and dem want it now. But, if history is a predictor of the future, then by their history of abusing power in this country , it does not justify them having power for a long time to come,” he said.
“I am at this place to do your will, and to ensure that we lead our people out of poverty and into prosperity,” he added.

However, Holness urged the constituents to keep the unity which he said had developed within the constituency since the last general election, and predicted that the JLP would regain the seat.
Former JLP MP Othneil Lawrence won the seat in 2007, but lost it to current MP Dr. Dayton Campbell (PNP) in 2011 by 843 votes and again in 2016 by 410 votes. However, the JLP won all four divisions in the November, 2016 local government elections.

Holness said this confirmed that the JLP should win the seat.

A number of government and party officials also attended the meeting, including minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw; Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton; Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams; as well as junior ministers Floyd Green and Zavia Mayne and MPs Marisa Phillibert Dalrymple and Heroy Clarke.

On Sunday, August 12, the JLP presented educator Robert Miller as its candidate for South East St Catherine. That seat is currently represented by the PNP's Colin Fagan.

Balford Henry

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