Current Affairs

Current Affairs




PJ going for the big one
Says no plans for local polls, by-election
LINCOLN WARD, Observer Correspondent
Monday, March 04, 2002

PATTERSON... in politics timing is everything
PRIME Minister P J Patterson said over the weekend that the would postpone the local government elections, until reforms, started in 1997 were completed.

Addressing a group of his People's National Party (PNP) supporters at Junction, St Elizabeth, on Friday, Patterson said the time was not right for a by-election or local government elections as the next elections would be the big one.

Local government elections, which should have been held last year, were postponed, while there is a vacancy in the South East St Ann parliamentary seat, which was held by Seymour Mullings, now Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States.

"In politics timing is everything. While the Opposition is 'running around' my administration is working hard at ensuring that more houses and roads are built, more land is distributed and more people are able to access quality education and improved health care," Patterson told cheering PNP supporters.

At the same time, the prime minister had high praises for outgoing member of parliament for South East St Elizabeth, Derrick Rochester, who, he said, had worked assiduously to make the constituency one of the most prosperous in Jamaica.

He also endorsed his successor, Lenworth Blake, who he said was the best person to succeed Rochester.

"The PNP is so full of talent that people who cannot make the PNP's second 11, are able to find a place elsewhere," he said. It was, however, an apparent reference to Norman Horne, who, after failing in his bid to succeed Rochester, switched alliance to the JLP and is set to run against the PNP's John Junor, in Central Manchester.

The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, in the latest Observer/Stone Poll, published yesterday, had the support of 24.7 per cent of Jamaicans, a slim lead over the ruling PNP's 21.0 per cent, when persons were asked which party they would vote for if an election was called now.

General elections are due by yearend.