Election Watch

Election Watch




... And PNP too

Jamaica Gleaner
Monday, October 7, 2002


The Prime Minister greets supporters during a tour of St. Catherine, yesterday. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

A PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) public meeting planned for Old Harbour in St. Catherine was cancelled yesterday.

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said that the postponement was to avoid potential clashes with Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters on their way to and from a mass rally in Half-Way Tree, last night.

Mr. Patterson made the announcement shortly after arriving in Old Harbour Square, where the meeting was planned for 6:00 p.m., to cheers from hundreds of party supporters.

He had spent the afternoon touring the South, South East, South West and South Central St. Catherine constituencies and touting their respective PNP candidates.

"I want this election to be the most peaceful election in our history," Mr. Patterson told the supporters. "When I planned to have the meeting in Old Harbour, the Labour Party would already have had their meeting in Half-Way Tree, but that meeting was rescheduled for tonight. Old Harbour is a place that Labourites have to pass through to and from Half-Way Tree, so I want for them a clear passage.

"They can go to (and) come from Half-Way Tree. They can go in peace, come in peace and do not trouble any Comrade on their way to the meeting or from the meeting. I want everybody when they are finished this meeting to return peacefully, orderly to their community. We not troubling anybody," he told hundreds of orange-and-red-clad supporters, who blew whistles, danced in the streets and shouted the usual, "Power", "We say P.J." and "Log on to progress" slogans.

Mr. Patterson listed PNP's achievements such as the Jamaica Social Investment Programme and Lift Up Jamaica, the building of houses, roads and schools in St. Catherine-based communities.

Mr. Patterson urged crowds at each location to vote for Dr. Paul Robertson (South East), Fitz Jackson (South), Sharon Hay-Webster (South Central) and Jennifer Edwards (South West).

He said there were many more benefits to come in areas such as education, agriculture and sports.

"And when we are finished rejoicing on the night of (October) the 16th, we are ready to get to work on the morning of the 17th so that we can do the work on Highway 2000," the PNP leader said.

A strong police presence and calls for peace from the Prime Minister kept the motorcade peaceful although the PNP's schedule took them through JLP communities or points where they encountered numerous JLP supporters wearing the party's trade mark colour green and shouting, their slogan "Shower", while making their way to the JLP rally in Half-Way Tree.