JLP suggests love for women will work for party

BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large South/Central Bureau myersg@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, December 18, 2011

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JUNCTION, St Elizabeth — They shied away from specifics while using vague language.

However, leading platform speakers appeared to suggest at a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) mass rally in Junction on Friday night that "love", admiration and preference for women will work in favour of the party in the December 29 polls.

Relying heavily on the vernacular, West Portland candidate Daryl Vaz argued that "when it come to candidates they (Opposition People's National Party - PNP) can't match us, we have the best slate of candidates that we have fielded in decades, we have 13 boonoonoonus pretty women, the most woman ever fielded in an election (in Jamaica)".

By contrast, he said, the PNP only had "five" women and "to make up the 13, dem have some 'mantu'. Dem have from the east where I come from all the way to down here..."

Vaz, who was speaking before the arrival of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to the platform, seemed to question the lifestyle of those he had referred to as "mantu".

"Dem nuh look right, dem nuh look right, dem nuh wear dem jeans pon dem waist and look like chah cha bwoy whe love girl and love woman. Dem nuh have pretty wife like Chris Tufton, Daryl Vaz, Frank Witter, Jeremy Palmer and the rest of wi," said Vaz.

Holness and JLP Deputy Leader and Cabinet Minister Chris Tufton framed their comments in the context of the traditional PNP stronghold of North East St Elizabeth which they claimed was now ripe for the taking.

Corris Samuels, who lost to the PNP's Kern Spencer by more than 2,000 votes in 2007, will be representing the JLP against the PNP's Raymond Pryce in NE St Elizabeth. Pryce entered the campaign less than two months ago after the PNP dropped the once fast-rising Basil Waite.

In saluting Samuels in front of thousands of green-clad, horn-blowing Labourites packed into Junction square, Holness urged him to appeal to the women of the parish as well as demonstrate his long-standing loyalty and presence in the constituency.

"Corris, come centre stage," declared an upbeat Holness. "Now, I want you to understand that what they thought was not possible is all of a sudden very possible. Corris Samuels, I am charging you to take home North East St Elizabeth for the Jamaica Labour Party," he said.

"You Corris, you are going to appeal to the women of St Elizabeth, you are going to show them that you love and respect the women of St Elizabeth. You are going to show the young people of St Elizabeth — I want you to listen to me carefully — you are going to show the young people of St Elizabeth that you are a straight up man. You are going to show the young people that you are a truthful and honest man and that you have their interest at heart. Corris, you are going to show the people that you love them genuinely, that you care for them genuinely, that you have been there with them for the longest while and that you don't just arrive on the scene," the prime minister added.

"As far as I am concerned, we going to take St Elizabeth four love, four love...," the prime minister said to thunderous applause.

In outlining the strengths of the JLP in St Elizabeth, Tufton also weighed in on "love" for women.

"As far as Corris Samuels is concerned, just remember one thing; Labourite love dem woman, and the woman dem love Labourite man," he said.

Mayor of Kingston and West Kingston candidate, Desmond McKenzie, claimed that "I can attest to the fact that Labourite woman love Labourite man; as a matter of fact, Labourite woman love all good men..."

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