Kari 'in it to win it'

Kari 'in it to win it'

Former PNP member wants to win St Andrew SE on first try, like her father

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 20, 2020

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SHE will be representing a different political party, but Kari Douglas is aiming to emulate her mentor and late father Easton Douglas, who, on his first attempt in 1989, was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for St Andrew South Eastern.

Easton achieved the feat on a People's National Party (PNP) ticket, but after years in that party Kari switched to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in February. She said then that she was concerned the PNP had “become a political organisation which is primarily focused on winning elections at any cost, as opposed to pursuing an unswerving commitment to national development”.

On Tuesday, Kari was nominated to contest the St Andrew South Eastern seat on a JLP ticket, and the two-time councillor for the Trafalgar division in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that she is scenting victory.

Douglas will face-off with her former Comrade-in-arms Julian Robinson, who won the seat by 2,062 votes in the 2016 General Election to continue his winning run that started in 2011.

The PNP has held the seat for the past 31 years, but Douglas is confident that she represents the change for which the people are clamouring.

“We are looking absolutely awesome. Of all my years giving service in this constituency, I have never seen so much green before. I think that the Labourites, from the JLP geographic clusters within the constituency, are highly energised.

“I have had great success in mobilising the supporters of the JLP to come out to support my programmes and to support the prime minister, Most Honourable Andrew Holness. I think that there is a lot that they are looking forward to, in terms of effective representation and proper governance,” said Douglas, shortly before the start of a scheduled tour of the constituency with Holness yesterday.

With scores of green-clad supporters cheering in the background in Woodford Park, Douglas said she is prepared to offer the people of St Andrew South Eastern proper representation on issues such as education and training, while overseeing the needed improvements in the physical infrastructure in the constituency.

According to Douglas, the constituency is in need of additional housing solutions and that is an area she is well qualified to tackle.

“I think they are looking for a programme that will give them an opportunity to benefit from a more sustainable development plan for their communities,” added Douglas, as she declared that with the help of Holness she has developed plans to greatly improve the housing stock in sections of the constituency.

Well aware that recent history is against her, as the JLP has not tasted victory in a contested election in the constituency since Allan Issac in 1980, Douglas said she is confident of a win based on what she is offering the residents.

“I am sure that I can change [the string of PNP victories] because there are so many areas that have been under-represented, that have been neglected, and I believe, without throwing any stones or criticising anyone, that the JLP has not had the right candidate in this constituency for many years.

“We have not had a strong candidate, a candidate who has effectively connected genuinely with the people on the ground, and I think that my representation and the fact that I am tried, tested and proven, and have won the Trafalgar Division twice, gives them motivation and inspiration to look forward to me representing them,” argued Douglas.

With the election two weeks away, the young firebrand said she is committed to working in the interest of and for the benefit of the people when she wins, even as she underscored that she is yet to decide her future in the “unlikely event that she loses”.

According to Douglas, she is not going to go out on a limb to say she will stay if she loses, because a seat such as St Andrew South Eastern requires a lot of resources to maintain.

“But I don't have a plan to walk if I lose. I'm in it to win it, and if not win it, I'm in it to build it,” declared Douglas.


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