PM avoids toll issue at Portmore rally
PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller Sunday night said nothing about the controversial Portmore toll issue during a People’s National Party (PNP) mass rally at Independence City in the municipality.
The ruling PNP fell from grace with some Portmore residents following last July’s implementation of a toll on the Portmore leg of Highway 2000.
However, despite high expectations that the PNP would speak on the matter on Sunday, Simpson Miller instead spoke of the Government’s accomplishments in several sectors, including health, education and transportation during her approximately 30-minute speech to a sea of orange-clad supporters.
Simpson Miller, who along with her team toured sections of St Catherine earlier in the day, told her flag-waving supporters that from all indications her party was in good standing with the residents and this would be reflected on election day.
“.What I saw, the areas I visited, all I can say is them lose again,” she said.
Last week, PNP general secretary Donald Buchanan expressed confidence that the party would win all the votes in Portmore where they currently hold the three seats, one of which encompasses a section of Spanish Town.
When outgoing MP Paul Robertson took to the stage to address supporters he admitted that there were issues that needed to be addressed, but did not state them.
“Comrades, there are some issues in front to us, but tonight I can’t speak of those issues,” he said. “But I would like to say to you that there is no doubt that over the years the changes in Portmore have been fundamental and that they have set a foundation for the growth and development of this particular area.”
In endorsing Colin Fagan, the South-East St Catherine PNP candidate, Robertson told Prime Minister Simpson Miller that his successor would win his seat and that the party would be victorious in all the seats in Portmore.
“I am delivering into your hands, Comrade Colin Fagan. I put him before you and I ask you to give him the kind of support you have given me over the years,” Robertson told supporters. “I offer to my successor every level of advice and support that I am able to give to him as long as he requires me,” he added.
Fagan, too, in his address made no mention of the controversial toll, but instead told supporters about the improvements that the new highway had brought to Portmore.
“We now have road that can take us in and out without any problems. I can remember the days when if you have to reach to Kingston for eight o’clock you have to wake up from five o’clock in the morning.,” he said. “Today we can wake up in good time go jog on the hill. and sail into Kingston.”
Fagan said a Jamaica Labour Party councillor had also rejected plans for the expansion of Passagefort Drive.
“Him say him nuh want no four-lane road, him want back the little ricky-ticky road and we seh no way, we not changing course, we want four-way highway,” he said.