Thu | Jun 13, 2024

Ruling party to change course arising from Feb local gov’t polls

Published:Tuesday | June 11, 2024 | 12:11 AM
Member of Parliament Juliet Holness makes her way to the podium to embrace Senator Matthew Samuda as he gives an address at the St Andrew East Rural Area Council constituency conference on Sunday.
Member of Parliament Juliet Holness makes her way to the podium to embrace Senator Matthew Samuda as he gives an address at the St Andrew East Rural Area Council constituency conference on Sunday.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Andrew Holness says the party’s supporters are to see a different approach in its organisation and communication, following the local government elections in February.

Added to that, the performance of all JLP representatives, Holness said, is now up for scrutiny, as the governing party commissions a review of its structure, organisation and workers.

“You’re going to see a different approach by the Jamaica Labour Party to its communication and a different approach to dealing with its workers and a different approach to campaigning,” Holness told JLP supporters on Sunday at the St Andrew East Rural Area Council constituency conference.

The ruling party won control of seven municipal corporations to the opposition People’s National Party’s (PNP) five. The PNP also won the Portmore mayorship while there was a tie for the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, for which the PNP had the popular vote.

The final results released by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica showed the JLP winning 113 of the 228 divisions and PNP 115.

The PNP emerged ahead in popular votes securing 311,716 to the JLP’s 290,283.

If the results were to hold for the general election, the JLP would have lost 17 seats, moving down from the 49 it now holds to 32. The PNP would have won 31 of the 63 seats.

Noting that his party has formed the Government for more than eight years, Holness said a review must be done to see what is being done well, what is not being done so well, what has changed in the environment, what opportunities exist, and the strategic approaches to be taken.

He said this is routine for any good organisation.

He indicated that several Labourites have been interviewed for their opinion on what the party should be doing.

Holness said the party will use this exercise to develop its corporate, connection, communication, and campaign strategies.

He urged supporters, when called upon, to make themselves available for the review process.

“The party is also looking at the performance of all its representatives, every single representative. We can’t take it for granted that because somebody looks good on paper that they are good on the ground. We can’t take it for granted that because somebody has a brand name, you take it and say, ‘Well, dat deh man deh must good.’ No,” said Holness.

He said the party intends to be “very scientific” and “very strategic” in its approach.

On his administration’s policies, Holness said within another year and a half, Jamaicans should see over 4,000 houses on the market to help with the demand for housing. He said the JLP Government has now put in place plans for over 30,000 houses to be constructed.

“But what I wanted to say to you more than anything else is that we understand the pressures that the average Jamaican is going through right now because of the cost of living,” said Holness.

He said his Government is sensitive to this and has been managing better than any other Government, noting that inflation climbed as high as 12 per cent because of the coronavirus pandemic. He said it has since declined back into the target range of four to six per cent.

He said there will be a “little lag time” before prices decrease, stabilise and Jamaicans begin to feel this effect.

“So, yes, I understand the frustration but don’t give up hope because the economy is returning to its steady state and what that means is that your price movements will slow and your purchasing power will keep its value,” he said, adding that the is due to proper management of the economy.

editorial@gleanerjm.com