Opposition says it will take Manchester in local gov't election

JLP boast

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Observer staff reporter sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, March 05, 2012

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) lost the Central Manchester seat by 409 votes in the December 29 parliamentary election but is confidently predicting it will take at least three of the constituency's four parish council divisions and the entire parish in local government elections set for March 26.

The prediction from interim JLP chairman for Central Manchester, Patrick Taylor, is based on divisional results in the December 29 poll which showed the JLP's Danville Walker edging the People's National Party's (PNP) Peter Bunting in Knockpatrick, Mandeville and Royal Flat.

Bunting won the Central Manchester seat by 409 votes on the strength of a 963 majority gained in the traditional PNP stronghold of Bellefield.

"Based on what I have been seeing in the parish, I think that the Jamaica Labour Party will not only win those (three) divisions... I think we will win the Manchester Parish Council and the mayor will come from the Jamaica Labour Party," Taylor boasted at a press conference in Mandeville last Thursday.

Taylor identified the Central Manchester divisional candidates to be nominated for the JLP today as Simon Sangster of the Mandeville Division, Cleon Francis of the Knockpatrick Division, Lincoln Holloway of the Royal Flat Division and Ian Hibbert of the Bellefield Division.

Taylor took over as the JLP's interim chairman in Central Manchester following the recent resignation of Walker as chairman/caretaker for the constituency. He claimed the party's divisional candidates had been getting good responses from potential voters.

The PNP has controlled the last Manchester Parish Council 8-7, with Councillor Brenda Ramsay of the Bellefield Division serving as chairman of the council and mayor of Mandeville.

The PNP has said that Ramsay will be nominated today to again contest the Bellefield Division. Other PNP candidates slated to be nominated today in Central Manchester are Jones Olliphant (Mandeville), Donovan Mitchell (Royal Flat), and Goyfield Harrison (Knockpatrick).

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