Juliet joins husband Andrew in Parliament

First PM and wife couple to grace the House

BY KIMONE FRANCIS Staff reporter francisk@jamaicoabserver.com

Thursday, February 25, 2016

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AFTER months of trekking in the pelting sun, pouring rain and cold nights through the hilly constituency of St Andrew East Rural, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate Juliet Holness was yesterday elected to the House of Representatives alongside her party leader husband Andrew.

It was an intense battle between Holness and People’s National Party (PNP) candidate Imani Duncan-Price, two politically sound women, though both had been relatively new to the rural constituency.

But the 10 gruelling hours of the customary election day trappings proved more fruitful for Holness, as she received 10,172 votes to Duncan-Price’s 9,482 when the ballots in the 131 boxes were counted.

The Holnesses will be the first prime minister and wife couple to sit in the Parliament.

Voting began promptly at 7:00 am at the majority of the polling stations in the constituency, with several party faithful from both major political parties crammed into cars and minibuses.

The scene at polling stations featured outdoor agents of the PNP and JLP pacing the corridors, checking off names on their respective lists. Supporters of the JLP were, however, more visible on the ground.

In the Mavis Bank division of the constituency, several Electoral Commission of Jamaica supervisors said the turnout was low, while turnout in the Harbour View, Gordon Town, Kintyre, and Dallas divisions was moderate. In the 2011 General Election, the JLP won four of the five divisions, losing the Harbour View division which is traditionally a PNP stronghold.

"Juliet Holness will be the best MP (member of parliament) coming into East Rural St Andrew. She’s a very nice lady and she’s a strong woman. She can run the place and we love her, we love her like that," Carol from the Dallas division said.

Holness had earlier told the
Jamaica Observer that she was sure of the win as she had done the work, including getting supporters enumerated.

"Five thousand dollars is equal to $2.24 a day. Labourites, Jamaicans, well-thinking Jamaicans, are worth far more than $2.24 a day. So for anybody who they come to you to buy your vote, tell them to go and stuff it!" said Holness after it was alleged that occupants of a "JLP car" were in the Kintyre division "buying" votes.

Despite this, she encouraged supporters to go out and "vote, vote, vote".

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