Wint was never a candidate, says Tova
FALMOUTH, Trelawny – Disenchanted Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters in the Martha Brae Division in Trelawny Northern are threatening to withdraw their support for the party in the upcoming local government elections if Eric Wint is not given the nod to run.
But the party has indicated that those complaining are in the minority and it has no intention of reversing its decision to have Dave Lawkin represent the party.
On Tuesday two irate women, who identified themselves as JLP supporters from the division, called in to Nationwide News Network’s Cliff Hughes Online to express strong opposition to any move to field anyone other than Wint. If Wint were passed over by the party, they said, they would encourage him to run as an independent candidate.
The two women called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Member of Parliament Tova Hamilton to intervene. They pointed out that Wint has been working the division for more than two years, and during that time he energised the party base and restored unity among supporters.
However, when contacted for a response, Hamilton told the Jamaica Observer that Lawkin was given the nod during a confidence/no-confidence vote at Granville Primary School in Trelawny last Saturday. He was the only one on the ballot, she said.
“There was one application. That was what was reported to the workers on Saturday,” she said.
“The candidate is Dave Lawkin. Mr Wint was never a councillor, he was never a candidate; the party never approved him as a candidate. The party now has approved Dave Lawkin,” the first-time MP said.
“You can’t allow [a] minority to dictate what the majority does. The majority has spoken and it is Dave. If the party said they only have one application what should we do about it?” she added.
Hamilton said she had long indicated to Wint that he would not be considered for the role of candidate.
“I spoke to the gentleman, I think it was either early last year or late the year before, and told him that we are not going in his direction. I told him that already,” she said.
The seat is held by the People’s National Party’s (PNP’s) Phillip Service, who has indicated that he will not be seeking re-election.
Lawkin will face the PNP’s Roydel “Pete” Hamilton.
In the last local government elections in 2016 the JLP’s Wesley “Bob” Nelson lost the seat by a margin of more than 50 votes to Service. This was four years after Lawkin was beaten by Service by a margin in excess of 400.