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Golding calling on Comrades to unseat Bartlett

Published:Friday | December 1, 2023 | 12:13 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
People's National Party President Mark Golding (second right), accompanied by Jason Cummings (second left), councillor caretaker for the Rose Hall division, and Rochell Rochell Reid-Knot (right), caretaker for St James East Central, engages a resident of t
People's National Party President Mark Golding (second right), accompanied by Jason Cummings (second left), councillor caretaker for the Rose Hall division, and Rochell Rochell Reid-Knot (right), caretaker for St James East Central, engages a resident of the constituency during a tour.

WESTERN BUREAU:

EXPRESSING CONCERNS about poor road conditions in the constituency of St James East Central, Opposition Leader Mark Golding says it will take the entire budget of the government’s newly launched road programme to address the problems.

Some 2,000 community roads are expected to be rehabilitated over the next three years, starting in April 2024, through a $40 billion allocation under the Shared Prosperity through Accelerated Improvement to our Road Network (SPARKS) Programme.

However, Golding, who toured the constituency, for which Edmund Bartlett, a member of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has been its representative in Parliament since 2002, said there is no justification for roads in the communities spread throughout the constituency to be in such appalling condition.

“I think they have a project they launched named Project Sparks. This constituency alone will take up the whole of that money for Project SPARKS, which is a national project,” Golding said to thunderous applause from PNP supporters at a spot meeting held in John’s Hall Square on Wednesday.

ROADS IN TERRIBLE CONDITION

“I never see so many bad roads in my life, [especially] for such a boasy MP who has been in this constituency for 21 years. It is the worst road all over this place,” the PNP president noted.

Meanwhile, Golding said there are enough PNP supporters in the constituency, working with Rochell Reid-Knot, a teacher for more than 20 years, to unseat Bartlett and the JLP in the next general elections.

“People of East Central, you have a decision to make. You have to be determined and say to every single person who ever voted PNP before that when the trumpet sounds and the time comes again for the election, everybody will have to come out and put their X beside the head,” Golding encouraged PNP delegates and supporters.

“Whether it is for the constituency or whether it be in the local government, whether it be Comrade Michael ‘Banga’ Allen for Somerton division, Comrade Jason Cummings for Rose Hall division, or Comrade Jodian Colomathi for Spring Mount,” he urged.

Golding said the party wants to win all three municipal divisions, including the wider constituency.

“Don’t bother feel like it is impossible. It is quite possible,” Golding told his party supporters while encouraging them to vote for Rochell Reid-Knot as their next member of Parliament and their local government candidates.

The party leader, while touring, visited with Violet Neilson, former MP for the constituency and Jamaica’s first female House Speaker.

From a voters’ list of 30,384 in 2020, the JLP’s Edmund Bartlett defeated the PNP’s Michael Hemmings by a margin of 4,145 in the September 3 general election. Bartlett received 7,340, or 68.75 per cent, of the votes cast, compared to Hemmings’ 3,195, or 29.92 per cent.

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com