Current Affairs

Current Affairs



Portia Simpson - a year after
Jamaica Observer
Monday, October 20, 2003



Portia Simpson Miller

This week All Woman looks at the first of a few female politicians to see how they have been doing since the general elections last October.

It seems to have been a good year for Minister of Local Government and community development, Portia Simpson Miller, who according to a recent Observer Stone Poll is preferred by many Jamaicans as the person to take over from Prime Minister PJ Patterson.

Many thought initially that she had been relegated to the background when she was assigned her new local government ministry. It was seen as a demotion from the more visible post of minister of tourism.

Her strong showing at the party's recent annual conference surprised many especially when she polled the most votes (1,466), surpassing those of her nearest rival and colleague, Dr Peter Phillips. She was elected as one of four vice-presidents to the party.

Simpson Miller has not hid her ambitions to lead Jamaica as she ran against Patterson in 1992 when then Prime Minister Michael Manley retired from the post as president of the ruling People's National Party (PNP).

At the time, there was much discussion about whether Jamaica was ready for a woman Prime Minister. That debate is still going on as a recent Observer Stone Poll also showed that 44.1 per cent of Jamaicans saw her filling those shoes.