|Message of peace from Patterson
|OLIVIA CAMPBELL, Observer staff reporter
Friday, October 11, 2002
PJ Patterson's message to constituents of the People's National Party's (PNP) Region 3 eastern belt, which includes East St Andrew and Central Kingston, two areas that have witnessed flare-ups of violence in the past few weeks, was crystal clear and emphatic.
The PNP leader said all he wanted was a peaceful election campaign.
"I want you to listen very carefully to what I am saying tonight," he said, signalling to the sound operator. "When I am finished, the music can start to play... and we have next week Wednesday night all night to celebrate. I said I don't like what is happening in portions of Kingston... the things I am seeing and the things I am hearing are not right," Patterson said.
Speaking at a meeting held at a playing field on Elleston Road - Vineyard Town in Kingston on Wednesday night, Patterson continued:
"We want peace. I want to leave a legacy of the most peaceful and democratic elections that has ever been conducted in the history of Jamaica, I don't want us to intimidate JLP voters and JLP people must not and will not be allowed to intimidate PNP people," he said to resounding applause.
Referring to the new electoral system, Patterson reminded the people that "old time tactics" could not work in this election, since constituencies where there are disruptions such as the stealing of ballot boxes, over-voting and false voting can be voided. He urged all PNP supporters to go the extra mile in ensuring that the JLP officials and other election day workers were free to conduct their duties in confidence and free from fear.
"The stronger we are, the more we have a duty to ensure that things go right. We are going to obey the rulings of the Electoral Advisory Committee and we are going to work with them. We are going to obey the rulings of the security forces and we are going to assist them by refraining from indulging in any acts of lawlessness or disorder. The police have all the resources they need to ensure that peace is maintained from now till election day and with the full support of the JDF, the job is going to be done," he said.
Although much of Patterson's appeal was aimed toward PNP supporters, he expressed hope that his instructions be heeded by all Jamaicans in the lead-up to October 16 elections and in day to day life.