Sun | Jan 26, 2020

Job boom will clinch election win, say Labourites

Published:Monday | November 25, 2019 | 12:24 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Howard Hines walks with a limp towards the entrance of the National Arena yesterday. Hines, who was shot in the leg in June, still attended the JLP’s 76th annual conference.
Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding is surrounded by supporters as he arrives at the National Arena yesterday afternoon.
Sophia Campbell and her green-haired doll travelled from Llandilo, Westmoreland, to support the JLP conference yesterday.
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Ardent supporters of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) have declared that the 76-year-old political organisation will win the next general election, which is constitutionally due in 2021.

Among the Labourites who are upbeat is Howard Hines, who, yesterday, was seen limping as he made his way to the entrance of the National Arena to attend the party’s annual conference.

He pointed to the party’s work over the last three and a half years as proof of why he WAs confident of re-election when Prime Minister Andrew Holness rings the iconic bell.

“Di party a deal wid the country nice a way, mi a tell you, an’ mi love si how di party a deal wid the place. Caw look now. Every young yute can go out and have something in hand, and dem things deh, you know. Government build tings fi di yute dem fi achieve offa and have skill,” said Hines, who indicated that he had been shot in his right leg in June.

Jamaica’s unemployment rate has been falling during the Holness administration and has reached a record low of 7.8 per cent.

Another staunch JLP supporter, Richard Moodie, who was also in attendance, told The Gleaner that he had been attending the party’s annual conference for at least 25 years. For him, there was no question that the party would win the next general election.

“Right now, me feel it is a must. A lot of things. The young people dem get a lot of work all over. Anybody who naah work a who no want work. A lot of employment,” Moodie said.

When asked about how the party was performing, the 63-year-old said, “Good, can’t better. And you see them still working.”

Seventy-two year-old Monica Laidlaw, who has been attending the party’s general conference for the last 40 years, agreed.

“At this time, I think the party is doing well ... because they are doing things that make we proud to be a Labourite. They are doing things right unlike other times. This time, they are really, really doing things,” she said.

Adding another perspective, Donald Dorrant, 73, pointed to the JLP’s youth engagement as one of factors that would help the party secure a general election win.

“I think that this is the time because of the young people. They are the most important people right now because they are the future,” he said.

The JLP, which took office in 2016, has not won consecutive general elections since 1983 when the People’s National Party boycotted the poll. At the time, only 28.94 per cent of the electorate particiapted in the election. In terms of consecutive contested elections, that feat was last achieved in 1967.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com