WATCH: Campbell confident PNP can win local, general elections
KINGSTON, Jamaica – General Secretary of the People’s National Party (PNP), Dr Dayton Campbell, says the Opposition is comfortable with where they are in preparation for the upcoming local and general elections. Citing the PNP’s lead in recent polls, Campbell believes the party is well-positioned to achieve victory in either election.
“We’re leading in 12 of the 14 parishes in the majority of the Divisions. We’re leading in over 45 of the constituencies and that tells us that we have the numbers to work with to ensure that we can carve out a victory in either election,” he said.
“We have been using scientific data to guide us, we have done the targets for all of the divisions, all of the constituencies. Persons are in the fields canvassing towards meeting their targets, the workers are in place, and persons have their literature, their paraphernalia. We have a communications plan for them, there is a parish management team in place in each parish. I believe that we are ready,” he added.
Highlighting that as a student of politics, he believes Prime Minister Andrew Holness is hesitant to call the local government elections out of fear that losing there, could foretell the Government’s fortune for the upcoming general elections.
“I’m assuming that he’s having memories of 1986 because he is a student of politics. If he were to call the locals and lose the locals, it telegraphs what is to come in the general elections. But our duty in Opposition, not being the ones who call the elections, is to be prepared,” Campbell said. “Re the local government elections, we have 228 candidates in the 228 divisions plus a candidate for the municipality of Portmore. In relation to the general elections, we have 60 of the 63 candidates in place and we’ll be settling the three by the end of this month so by the end of 2023 we’ll have all our candidates in place.”
Local Government Elections, constitutionally scheduled every four years, were last held in November 2016. Initially planned for November 2020, they were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite general elections taking place two months earlier in September of that year.
In February, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, announced the third postponement of the elections.
With the polls being put off for up to February 28, 2024, McKenzie at the time said that the Government needed more time to carry out consultations around draft legislation to establish Portmore as Jamaica’s 15th parish.
In the meantime, Dr Campbell says the PNP, who was trailing in the polls last year, are now leading and are comfortable with their election preparations.
“Yes, we are ready for any one of the elections. We have audited all of the divisions and constituencies and I’m comfortable with where we are. Of course, given more time, we could always fine-tune things some more but we’re comfortable with where we are now and I think that we can win either election,” he said. “We got a plan for the last three years and we’ve executed on that plan well. I’m comfortable with where we are now.”