PORTIA Simpson Miller will be sworn in as prime minister of Jamaica on Thursday afternoon, a week to the day that her People's National Party (PNP) crushed the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in a general election that returned her to the office of chief executive for a second time.
"The swearing-in ceremony will be on Thursday at 4:00 pm at King's House," Delano Franklyn, the PNP's spokesman during the election campaign, told the Observer yesterday.
Before Simpson Miller takes the oath of office, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen is expected to be notified of the final election results by the Electoral Office of Jamaica.
The Observer has learnt that this could happen today, as the count for 58 of the 63 seats in the House of Representatives was completed up to yesterday.
Upon completion of the count, Simpson Miller is expected to inform the governor general that she has the support of the majority of the persons elected to the House, after which Sir Patrick will invite her to King's House — the official home of the governor general — to be sworn in as prime minister.
Phillip Paulwell heads a committee planning the swearing-in ceremony, while Dr Omar Davies heads a transition team from the party that will be meeting with the cabinet secretary, permanent secretaries and other senior members of the public service to make the transition to the new administration.
The Paulwell-headed committee was scheduled to meet yesterday evening, the Observer was told.
Simpson Miller was first sworn as prime minister on March 30, 2006 after she won a leadership race in the PNP to replace then Prime Minister and PNP President PJ Patterson who had decided to retire.
Her tenure as prime minister ended when she lost the September 2007 general election to the Bruce Golding-led JLP.