Current Affairs

Current Affairs




PNP supporters have high expectations
By Indi Mclymont Observer staff reporter
Monday, September 23, 2002



A section of the large crowd which attended last night's rally of the People's National Party in Half-Way-Tree Square. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

Expectations ran high in Half-Way-Tree yesterday as thousands gathered at the conference of the People's National Party (PNP) to await Prime Minister P J Patterson's announcement of the date for general elections.
"The PNP is leading now and I figure they will win. I think they will be doing some serious things in the area of education and health," said a 23 year-old woman who identified herself as Carolyn. "I hope that they will have more free education for the younger children and greater employment so that the youth do not have to stay on the streets."

As she spoke, many other supporters around her waved their orange flags, balloons and fans. The supporters were decked out in shirts with the names of their candidates, the regions they belonged to and varying PNP messages.
"I am confident that the party will win again and I am going to vote for them. I see where they have made improvements for me and my children. When they win I want them to fix the inner roads, the ones for the farmers - that will make everything nice," said construction worker, Enos Collins.
Another supporter, Artnell Edwards, said that he had a lot of expectations for the PNP if they were to win another term.

"I want to see improvement in (reducing) crime and violence, improvements in education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. There must be improvement in the roads and community building," he said. "I don't want to just see people coming into the communities during elections asking what's happening and then we don't see them after. I would like improvements in the health sector, greater accountability, much less corruption and better standards."
For Shannette Wright, the government needed to build infrastructure such as roads and schools.
"They also need to target more foreign investments so that they can boost employment," she added.

Her sentiments were echoed by 40 year-old Scott, who declined to give his surname.
"Them set the format already so they just have to carry on the work now," he said.
Despite intermittent showers, the crowd kept growing as party supporters danced to entertainment from the Fabulous Five, Leroy Sibbles, Sandra Brooks, Oliver Gordon and Andrew Casanova.
As the representatives from the PNP Youth Organisation, the PNP's Women's Movement, the National Workers Union and the different region heads spoke, they all stressed the PNP's intentions to demolish the opposing Jamaica Labour Party.
"I smell victory in the air... the polls from one newspaper say that two out of every Jamaican want Seaga to go... PJ is going to send Seaga into political oblivion," said NWU vice president, Danny Roberts.
Equally strong words came from Arnold Bertram, representing Region 1, which covers North East, North West, South West and South East St Ann, North and South Trelawny.
"P J Patterson is the undisputed heavyweight political champion of Jamaica and the Caribbean. Region One is sending a message to Seaga: Eddie spit out the bait; six love is enough political backsiding for any political leader," he said while referring to the six elections that the PNP has won since the 1970s.
Region 3 chairman, Paul Burke also lashed out at Opposition Leader Edward Seaga.
"The JLP needs a leader . who will not pick on his own. The JLP needs to heal itself before it can think about leading this nation," he said. Region 3 represents all the constituencies in Kingston and St Andrew.
Burke boasted that the PNP was the strongest organisation in the island apart from the organised church.

In turn chairman of Region 4, KD Knight showed the crowd his 'rod' and told supporters that the JLP leadership was not fit for the Jamaican people. "This is about leadership and teamwork," he said.