'Dem nah win'

'Dem nah win'

Alleged PNP supporters reject candidate in St Thomas Western

Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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ANGRY People's National Party (PNP) supporters in St Thomas Western are threatening to withdraw support for the party if its candidate, Marsha Francis, is not discarded, even as expectations are high for a general election announcement in the coming weeks.

Their outburst follows last week's announcement by the Opposition party that Francis, who ran on its ticket in the 2016 General Election, has replaced Yallahs High School Principal Mark Malabver as the party's standard-bearer.

The party said this was to allow the principal to focus on back-to-school preparations, but the Jamaica Observer has learnt that Malabver, who had slowly gained the support of Comrades in the constituency, was forced to step aside after numbers allegedly showed him trailing long-time Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament James Robertson.

But Francis, who lost to Robertson by fewer than 500 votes in the 2016 polls, has lost favour with residents there, who are arguing that she abandoned the constituency after defeat, leaving a trail of issues in the process.

In a series of voice messages obtained by the Observer disgruntled Comrades voiced dissent at the development, insisting that the councillor is not suitable for the job.

“We [aren't] voting. Mi nah vote, and a up deh my vote deh, and mi a talk to two other somebody right in front of mi too, weh dem vote up deh and none a wi naah vote. A whole heap a wi nah vote, so Marsha nah win,” one voice recording of an alleged PNP supporter said.

“Mi did only a go up deh go vote because I wanted to see a change, and him [Malabver] did come out and people did a seh, 'Alright maybe him did a offer something different.' Nobody naah look pon Marsha. Mi hate dem. Dem nah win. I want Andrew win 50,000 time, and Andrew just a win a gwaan suh...” the woman added.

The Observer was unable to reach Francis, a former mayor, for comment, as calls to her phone went unanswered.

Malabver, too, could not be reached by telephone, however, sources within the constituency have indicated that the educator is busy trying to do damage control ahead of the imminent polls.

Reports are that, though disappointed with the party's decision, the newcomer is working to soothe his supporters, some of whom only learnt about the change after the PNP issued a statement last week.

Another Comrade noted that Malabver had managed to convince her to continue supporting the party, but the return of Francis has eroded any chance of her doing so.

“Mi nuh deh pon dat enuh, because mi did actually slowly a change mi mind fi give Malabver a try enuh. Mi nuh deh pon di Marsha thing enuh, because Marsha nuh have nuh behaviour. Marsha nuh treat people good. Fi months Marsha nuh touch a dat deh place deh. Then mi coulda 'bout outta my sense put my natural, normal pretty, pretty 'X' pon paper fi she? Dem mad man? Dem better try come run off dat, and run off that good wid people, mek people know weh dem up against and time against wi. Suh a weh dem up to?” the supporter argued.

Meanwhile, Robertson, who the Observer spoke to yesterday, said he is zeroing in on a fifth term in office, declaring that the residents of St Thomas Western are “happy” with the representation they have received over the years.

“It's looking very, very good. I mean the amount of investments and work that have gone in it's looking good. I'm a very happy man and things are looking good. The PNP is in disarray and the people of St Thomas are very positive,” the incumbent said.

According to Robertson, it is the “first time in 155 years” the parish has ever seen “this level of investment and growth, and they calling it prosperity”.

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