JLP insists PNP contesting Clarendon South Eastern by-election

JLP insists PNP contesting Clarendon South Eastern by-election

Thursday, February 20, 2020

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THE Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is still insisting that the People's National Party (PNP) is stealthily contesting the Clarendon South Eastern by-election despite repeated claims from the Comrades that they do not have a horse in the race.

The JLP's Pearnel Charles Jr and independent candidate Derrick Lambert have been nominated to contest the March 2 by-election after the PNP said it would not participate in a race not occasioned by any personal or national emergency, but by the political exigencies of the governing party.

But at a meeting in Clarendon on Sunday, JLP leader Prime Minister Andrew Holness told supporters that the PNP would be participating in the by-election in every way, except with the use of its name.

“The PNP has said that they are not going to contest this election [but] all that means is everything but name. The PNP will be contesting this election, we just won't see the name,” said Holness.

“I go as far as to say that you might still see the colour and you won't see the symbol on the ballot, but they might find something that look very close to that symbol. So don't be fooled,” added Holness, in reference to Lambert, who in 2011 unsuccessfully contested the seat on a PNP ticket.

On Monday night, the man leading the Charles Jr campaign team, Dr Andrew Wheatley, doubled down on the JLP leader's claim as he urged supporters to be vigilant.

“Not because the energy is where we want it to be, not because we have a so-called independent candidate that we must become complacent,” said Wheatley.

“On Sunday afternoon when I was leaving Vere Technical, I drove through Mineral Heights and I saw quite a number of persons in orange campaigning. So it is clear, Labourites, that the Comrades are running because they never want another beating.

“Because if the lady who has been here for some six years decided to run against Pearnel in this by-election, the [defeat] she would a get it would not only sink her political career, but there would be no PNP to talk about by the time we call the next general election,” added Wheatley.

He charged that the PNP has sent out a scapegoat in Lambert while it hides from a political beating.

“But, they are working behind the scenes financing that scapegoat, using the PNP workers to test the field again,” Wheatley claimed. “But Labourites, we are going to send a clear message come March 2nd, that you could a hide like Nicodemus, you could a use a scapegoat, you could a come inna the night like a thief, you going to get a backsiding come March 2nd.”

According to Wheatley, Clarendon South Eastern needs a young man with vision, and that is what Charles Jr is offering the residents of the constituency.

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