Despite swipe at PNP, Holness plugs COVID-19 message on campaign trail

Despite swipe at PNP, Holness plugs COVID-19 message on campaign trail

BY HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — As the campaign for the upcoming general election gathers steam Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described the leadership of the People's National Party (PNP) in Trelawny Northern as weak for allowing its supporters to disturb a planned Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) stop in Water Square, Falmouth, during a tour of the constituency yesterday.

“I know that they [Comrades] have no leadership. If they had leadership, leadership wouldn't tell them to come here and do that; leadership would tell them that if they come here, they should wear their mask,” said Holness, who is also the leader of the ruling JLP.

The constituency is represented by PNP's Victor Wright, and has been represented by that party for more than 30 consecutive years.

The prime minister argued that he is longing for the return of the days when supporters could attend the meetings of rival parties, without attempting to disturb it.

“I long for the day that my grandmother tell me that she could a guh to PNP meeting, stand up and listen, and go a JLP meeting, stand up and listen, and make her decision. We owe it to our children to return to that kind of civil and decency,” he said.

“As leader of this country, I will never engage in a politics that will make my people uncivil to each other. And anyone who is a subscriber to the Jamaica Labour Party, you will know that you do not have my support if another political party is having an event and you turn up and disturb it. You will not have my support; you do not have my support for that. The time for antagonistic and confrontational politics is over,” said Holness.

The tour by the JLP, led by Holness, got under way in the Trelawny Northern constituency yesterday morning.

It began in the Davis Pen community, near Salt Marsh, where Holness, flanked by party bigwigs, introduced candidate Tova Hamilton to cheering supporters.

The motorcade then rolled into the Race Course section of Falmouth.

But, as the procession snaked its way into the historic Water Square, they were met by orange-clad, loud-cheering PNP supporters who massed in the square.

There were, however, no reports of confrontation from the police, who, along with the army, were out in their numbers.

During the Water Square gathering, the prime minister urged the assembly to observe the COVID-19 protocols.

“Don't matter if you wear green or orange, I want to make sure that everyone in the square, in this crowd, if yuh feeling sick, if you have a cough or you feel 'fluish', tan a yuh yard, and, as much as you can, social distance,” the prime minister charged.

Hamilton will go up against Wright in the next general election.

Traditionally, the town of Falmouth constitutes a bedrock of support for the PNP, but the JLP leader is expecting Hamilton, a native of the parish of Trelawny, to outdo the PNP in the upcoming polls.

“This town has, for many years, voted one way, and they can scarcely show what is the benefit of that loyalty. But nothing lasts forever, and I feel, as I stand in the square today [yesterday], that there is a change happening with Tova,” said Holness.

For her part, Hamilton thanked the supporters and told them that she will not let them down.


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