It's Nelson vs Robinson in SE St Andrew

BY PAUL HENRY henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 04, 2011

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SENATOR Dwight Nelson, the former trade union leader who has been Jamaica's security minister for the past two years, has decided to enter representational politics.

The 65-year-old Nelson told the Observer yesterday afternoon that he has decided to contest the upcoming general election on the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) ticket for the South East St Andrew constituency.

"It was a easy decision because of my experience in the union and my reputation of representing the poor," said Nelson.

Nelson said that he was invited approximately two weeks ago to contest the seat which is currently held by the People's National Party's (PNP) Maxine Henry-Wilson. Nelson, however, will do battle with the PNP's Julian Robinson as the incumbent MP is not seeking re-election.

South East St Andrew is considered a traditional PNP seat, having been won only once by the JLP in nine general elections since it was created in 1967. The JLP took the seat in October 1980, which saw one of the biggest swings in favour of the then Opposition party.

The JLP's Joan Gordon-Webley was defeated by Henry-Wilson (5,126 to 4,589) in the 2007 elections, but Nelson was confident of a victory at the polls, expected to be called much earlier that the September 2012 due date. "I'm sure I'll be able to win the seat," he said, charging that the constituency has suffered from ineffective representation over the years.

Yesterday, in reacting to news that Nelson would be his opponent in the election, the 39-year-old Robinson said he was not perturbed. "I've been on the ground working and I know the strength and level of nomination," Robinson told the Observer. "I'm confident that the seat will remain with the People's National Party."



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