JLP makes case for third term
LEADERS of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) were in an energetic mood on Thursday as they defended their tenure in the almost eight years, while presenting their case for why they deserve a third term as Government.
The senior party members used a JLP editors’ forum held at the party’s Belmont Road, New Kingston, headquarters to tout their achievements over the period including a strong economy, increased opportunities for education and training for young people, the unprecedented number of jobs created for Jamaicans, and improved access to housing solutions.
JLP Deputy Leader Desmond McKenzie argued that the party, in its tenure as Government, has taken the country to a level that the Jamaican people have never experienced before.
“You have had eight years of a Jamaica Labour Party Government: over seven consecutive years of no new taxes; we are building roads, building schools, rebuilding hospitals. For the first time in Jamaica’s history every fire station in Jamaica has two working fire trucks. The Government is performing and that is the basis why we are saying to the Jamaican people to continue what we started in 2016,” he said.
He argued that in the previous People’s National Party (PNP) Administration, Jamaicans endured “18 years of sufferation”, but that now “it’s a totally different picture”.
“It is the Jamaica Labour Party that has built the foundation of Jamaica. It is the party that will still continue to build the future of Jamaica and in this, our 80th year, no one can deny the Jamaica Labour Party’s place in history [as]… one of the leading political institutions in the Caribbean,” he said.
“We hold a prized place in asking the country to allow us to continue the job that we have been doing,” he added, while also touting the JLP’s performance at the local government level.
McKenzie admitted that while there is voter apathy, he believes Jamaicans are motivated to go out and vote for the JLP.
Another JLP member, Kerensia Morrison, sought to drive home the point that the JLP-led Government “has made a very strong case, formidable case, for the third term”, particularly in its support for young people who she said now have the opportunity through the HEART NSTA/Trust to access free studies up to the level of associate degree.
“The Jamaica Labour Party is standing on a record of achievement. We are not just saying that we are in government for how long and that we just want to continue; we are positioned on what we have achieved. The mission going forward, and especially as it pertains to the young people in my constituency [and] in constituencies all across Jamaica who are benefiting from all that we have in education, who are benefiting from the digital transformation, who are seeing their ambitions coming through, who are hearing now about the spark programme, who are seeing water in their pipes, who are seeing better roads, and many who are now getting better salaries. We have a strong and convincing case,” she said, while also touting the JLP’s strong support of women in the political arena.
In the meantime, General Secretary Dr Horace Chang said he knows the JLP’s supporters are motivated to go to the polls. “They are organised and we will carry our message out there effectively and they will come out and vote,” he said.
The editors’ forum was held to engage media in further discussions about the JLP’s 80th annual conference dubbed ‘Building Jamaica Stronger’ to be held on Sunday.
The public session of the conference is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am with a praise and worship session and be bookended by an address by the party’s leader, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who is expected to speak to where the country is going and the plan by his Administration to get there, while outlining the significant successes it believes it has achieved over the almost eight years in Government.