Andrew Holness must be congratulated for leading his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to victory over the losing (governing) People’s National Party (PNP). Holness ran the better campaign. PNP’s campaign was too arrogant and sloppy.
JLP went from 21 seats in 2011 to 33 and the PNP fell from 42 to 30 seats. In the end some voters got fed up with the PNP’s contempt for the public. For others the PNP’s withdrawal from the TV debate was the last straw.
Losing PM Portia Simpson-Miller acted more like a ceremonial head of government during her stewardship. She was never confident speaking about the economy. Simpson just failed to display any leadership her in handling the number of scandals and other issues that plagued her government including….
- Outameni and the bail out money used from National Housing Trust
- Poor handling of the Chikungunya crisis
- Prison deal with David Cameron
- With holding information on bad gas petrol stations, death of babies in hospitals, the audit report on the poor state of some hospitals.
- Failing to fund FINSAC report completion.
- Rise in violent crime.
- Criminal justice system
- Monster property tax increases.
- Playing with the voters over when to call elections.
- Logistics Hub announcement
It is the first time since independence that the PNP has ever been voted out of office after just one term. Great! Jamaicans are no longer going to put up with poor performers in government.
Full marks to number of new JLP MPs such as Juliet-Cuthbert Flynn, Alando Terrelonge, Marlene Malahoo-Forte, Fayval Williams and Juliet Holness (wife of Andrew). Easily to see that Juliet is Andrew’s rock. Just an impressive and resilient figure in the short time she has been in the public eye.
One hopes the Cabinet that Holness forms is not too big. PNP had a 20 member Cabinet.
Jamaica needs a strong opposition party so let’s hope the PNP resolve their leadership vacuum and with some humility rediscover their identity and purpose. In the meantime give Andrew Holness and his team a chance.
I look forward to the JLP working with the people of Jamaica to meet some of their manifesto objectives. Especially the return of passenger rail services.
UPDATE: Following a recount the PNP has gained a seat. So it’s 32 to 31 seats in favour of the JLP.