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Politicians 'allowed' to get away with a lot, says Floyd Green

BY ANIKA RICHARDS Sunday Observer staff reporter richardsai@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 27, 2014    

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NEWLY elected Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) caretaker for South West St Elizabeth and president of Generation 2000 (G2K) Floyd Green said Thursday that politicians are allowed to get away with a lot, and until people hold them to a higher standard, the problems facing the country will persist.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, the 32-year-old attorney-at-law called on the electorate to become more engaged.

"The reality is that I think the people don't recognise that politicians are allowed to get away with a lot that they get away with because of the people," said Green, who last Sunday copped 125 of the 214 votes polled to be elected. "We need an electorate that is more engaged and that's willing to hold the politicians to a standard, regardless of who it is, regardless of which political party."

Green told the Sunday Observer that unless the standard is raised, nothing will change.

"I think unless we recognise that politicians are the servants of the people and not the other way around, we will keep having these issues," Green declared. "We will keep having this issue where sacrifice is seen as optics; we will keep having these issues where politicians believe they can come in and reward their friends and it's supposed to be fine.

"...Corruption has been one of the things that I, along with the group at G2K, have been big on campaigning against. We need to strengthen our anti-corruption agencies and we need to stop pretending as if it is because of the anti-corruption agencies why we are unable to get development; that is not true," Green insisted.

"We need to dismiss the lines used by politicians when they do not play by the book, and we need to force them to play by the book."

Green, who defeated his competitors — local businessman Rexington White, JLP councillor/caretaker for the Black River Division Dr Adeyni Bamidele, and businessman and former caretaker for East Kingston Peter Sangster — stressed that the country's standards are "much too low" and that people need to "change the concept that when one political party is in power they are held to a higher standard than the other; we should have one standard".

Green also called on young people to create the change they want to see.

"All over the world, the only time that lasting changes have been created are when students rise up, raise their level of social consciousness and not fight for themselves, but fight for their communities and their country," Green said. "I think Jamaica is due one of those."

The past student of Munro College secured the post after a victory in the constituency's internal elections, which were held at Newell High School. Green now fills a weather-vane seat, as the constituency of South West St Elizabeth has always been won by the political party which forms the Government.

The chairmanship of the JLP's organisation in that seat was left vacant when Dr Christopher Tufton resigned in January 2014. The People's National Party's Hugh Buchanan had defeated Dr Tufton by 13 votes in the 2011 general election.

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