Juliet Holness on Sunday encouraged Jamaicans to keep the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in power for at least 20 consecutive years, arguing that the country needs strong and visionary leadership.
Holness, the Member of Parliament of St Andrew East Rural and wife of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, made the call in her address to the JLP’s 79th annual conference at the National Arena in St Andrew, earning loud cheers from the large, partisan crowd.
“Jamaicans have given us a mandate to transform this country to make it stronger. It is not by accident that we won so many seats in the last election. It is not by accident that this Government is made up of the largest number of female representatives this country has ever seen. The Jamaican people needed to see visionary leadership, steady and strong hands and a caring, genuine heart,” she said.
The JLP crushed the People’s National Party (PNP) in the 2020 General Election winning 49 of the country’s 63 parliamentary seats. The PNP took the remaining 14.
Pointing to the PNP’s long stretch in office, from 1989 to 2007, Holness said, “We celebrate the wisdom of the Jamaican people in choosing this great party under the leadership of my husband, Andrew Michael Holness. Jamaica needs consistently great government. In the same way that we endured 18 and a half years of lukewarm leadership Jamaica now deserves to have at least 20 years, reaping the benefits under a strong, balanced, visionary and accountable JLP Government. We are the party that Jamaicans have been looking for. We are the party that should do it, can do it and will do it.”
She listed among the JLP Government’s achievements improvements to the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), the renovation of police stations across the island, road repair, as well as passing a much-needed sexual harassment law.
“In 2016 when we became Government, PATH students were only getting two meals per week. Under this Jamaica Labour Party Government meals are provided for PATH students five days of the school week,” she said.
“Police stations across the island were in a deplorable condition; we have repaired over 100 police stations, improving the environment in which our officers work, serving Jamaica.
“This Government passed the harassment law so that our women and girls can feel protected from predators. This Government created the hotline 211 so that any child can call it 24/7. We are the Government that fix the most roads, ever. More Jamaicans are employed than ever before. I see the financial independence it provides for many of our women. When our women prosper, the country prospers,” Holness said.
“We have invested in Jamaica to ensure that it is a place you can retire in peace and comfort,” she added.
Holness made one request of Jamaicans — to play their part in ensuring a clean and orderly nation.
“I have not seen a single prosperous country that is not clean and orderly. To make Jamaica stronger, it requires every single one of us to make a better future. When we see people littering, using violence to settle disputes, driving recklessly — endangering other people’s lives — or operating contrary to the law, Labourites must show them a better way. We are the team of people to resocialise this country and ensure its prosperity for every single Jamaican,” she said.