JLP, PNP review election performance
Monday, October 28, 2002
SOME EXECUTIVE members of the island's two major political parties met yesterday to review their performance in the October 16 general election and to begin planning strategies for the upcoming local government elections.
The People's National Party's Region Three council members gathered at the Medallion Hall Hotel, Hope Road, St. Andrew, while the Jamaica Labour Party's Region One council executives met at the party's Belmont Road headquarters, New Kingston.
The JLP said it would redouble its efforts to strengthen the party's organisation and influence in the 40 Kingston & St. Andrew Parish Council divisions.
Desmond McKenzie, chairman of the JLP's Region One and Councillor for the Tivoli Gardens Division, said the area council and its leadership would be visiting all constituencies in Kingston & St. Andrew over the next couple of weeks.
"We are going to be treating all the 40 divisions as divisions in which we can win," he said.
The first of a series of meetings with JLP faithfuls, workers and other officials will begin in Central Kingston on Wednesday.
"We want to continue to encourage all the workers and to really say to Labour Party supporters that all is not lost," he said, referring to the October 16 general election in which the PNP won 34 of the 60 seats in the House of Representatives, while the JLP took the remaining 26.
"This is the beginning of a new round of work within the Corporate Area (aimed at) strengthening the party's ground work in Kingston and St. Andrew," Mr. McKenzie said.
The JLP's Area Council One consists of Kingston and St. Andrew.
The PNP's Region Three spent more than four hours during its meeting yesterday analysing why it lost three seats in the St. Andrew Northern belt and what it could do to avoid a similar fate in the upcoming Local Government elections. Before the general election, the PNP held a majority of the 15 seats in the House of Representative in the Corporate Area. The JLP now has eight seats, while the PNP has seven.
Mr. Burke told The Gleaner that for the Local Government elections, Region Three would develop a specific strategy for the St. Andrew Northern areas. He said they would examine the selection of candidates throughout the Corporate Area, taking into consideration the candidates' proven track record, accessibility and "win-ability". The party would also work with and monitor the work of prospective candidates, he said.
"We still don't know when Local Government elections are and we got no indication today from our party general secretary, (but) we have started the work," said Mr. Burke. "Today was the formal beginning but we actually started the day after (general) election. We are taking nothing for granted," he said. He said Region Three had asked all its constituencies to assess the election results and to do so by the next regional management committee meeting, scheduled for November 7.
"We are going to hold a special regional management committee meeting to look at those results and develop a new strategy. We have already started but it is not ready," Mr. Burke said.
The PNP's Region Three consists of Kingston and St. Andrew.