Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Lively nominations under grey sky
Observer Reporter
Tuesday, October 01, 2002



Rev Al Miller of the NDM/NJA pays his nomination fee yesterday.

COLOUR, joy and symbolism brightened yesterday's nomination of candidates for this month's general elections under a dark grey sky that hung over the island courtesy of Hurricane Lili.

The rains, which had been pelting the island for much of the weekend, held long enough for candidates to file their nominations, and their rain-weary supporters, obviously welcoming the respite, turned out in large numbers at nomination centres across the capital clad in either orange or green clothing.

Most of the People's National Party (PNP) and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidates used currency depicting portraits of their former leaders to pay the mandatory $3,000 nomination fee. For instance, PNP candidates tendered $1,000 bills which bear the image of Michael Manley, a former prime minister and PNP president, while most JLP candidates used $100 notes, which are adorned with the portrait of former Labour Party prime minister Donald Sangster.

In the Eastern St Andrew constituency, the two newcomers to the electoral race -- the JLP's St Aubyn Bartlett, and the Reverend Al Miller of the National Democratic Movement/New Jamaica Alliance (NDM/NJA) coalition, each expressed confidence that they could unseat the ruling PNP incumbent, Information Minister Colin Campbell.

The three candidates were nominated at the Mona High School on Mona Road, with all three promising a peaceful campaign.

"We're going to work towards a peaceful election," said Campbell. "I think we have been that way during the period [of campaigning], without incident, but generally speaking it has been wonderful."

In an almost monotonous ritual engrossed in tranquility, five candidates were nominated for the St Andrew Western constituency at the Edith Dalton James High School in Duhaney Park.

Heading the list was the incumbent O T Williams of the PNP who arrived with a large throng of supporters. Other nominations, which went virtually unruffled, came from Joyce Young of the JLP, who also had a good showing of supporters; Curtis Campbell of the NDM/NJA; Leroy Lindsay of the Imperial Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated Political Party (IEWFIPP) and John Ngunu, an independent candidate.

The arrival of the other candidates was totally void of fanfare. Campbell was accompanied by two people, a man and a woman, as was the dreadlocked Lindsay. But Ngunu arrived all by his lonesome, insisting that he could win as many of 20,000 of the reported 24,000 registered voters.

In St Andrew North Western, Nenna Wilson of the PNP; Derrick Smith from the JLP, the incumbent; Rosemarie Higgings, of the NDM; and Dilpie Champagnie from the IEWFIPP, were all nominated.

In Central Kingston, nomination proceedings were relatively smooth and incident free for Victor Cummings of the PNP, Junior Anderson of the IEWFIPP, and the JLP's Dr Charlton Collie with just under 500 vocal supporters.

An enthusiastic welcome greeted Phillip Paulwell at the Windward Road All-Age School in the East Kingston and Port Royal constituency.

His opponents there are Bruce Rattray of the United People's Party (UPP), Peter Sangster of the JLP, and Muhammad Abdus-Salaam of the NDM/NJA.

In North Central St Andrew, the JLP's Karl Samuda gave an impressive showing of support with more than 500 very vocal Labourites accompanying him to the nomination centre at the Mamby Park Baptist Church on Constant Spring Road.

He was followed by the PNP's Barbara Clarke who got support from Paulwell and some of his East Kingston constituents.

"We expect to win handsomely," said Samuda, adding that the JLP was committed to running a peaceful campaign.

The NDM's Garnet Whyte, who turned up without the proper documents, was eventually allowed to be nominated with a little help from the returning officer.