Bartlett believes Jamaican snap election not necessary
Ever since the Jamaica Labor party (JLP) won the general earlier this year with a mere one seat majority in Parliament, there have been speculations that party leader and Prime Minister Andrew Holness will call the next general elections long before the Constitutional 5-year term.
However, in a recent interview with National Weekly during a visit to South Florida, veteran JLP MP and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, seemed not in favor of such a snap election. He believes such an election could disrupt the positive rhythm the government has developed since February.
Bartlett said, “There’s an increasing appreciation by the people of the administration and the vision we’ve put forward. I think they have bought into the prosperity agenda. There’s a high level of confidence from the private sector. I believe our biggest problem is dealing with the crime situation. Everybody is putting hands and heart together to deal with that because it is so critical.”
The tourism minister doesn’t think the JLP necessarily need to call any snap election. He said, “The problem with the snap election is it break the rhythm, and also cause a level of instability and uncertainty. I think our investors and partners need to know we are the government, that we are focused on governance and confident and strong enough to sustain over the period, than to have elections.”
However, early election speculation remains rife with the PNP in leadership transition, and, according to reports, woefully low on funds.
Most Jamaican political observers, tend to agree that with the PNP’s leadership unsettled, and the party in vulnerable financially, Holness will grasp the opportunity to call a snap election early in 2017. “I can’t see Holness satisfied with a one seat majority, and the PNP’s so shaky“ said JLP supporter Tamika Hue.
Hue said, “The one seat majority is very risky. It puts the government in a position to lose out on important legislation, whenever the party is outnumbered by the PNP in the House. Moreover, JLP member is sick and can’t attend Parliament, or worse if a member passes away the risk increases. Several supporters, like myself would rather the party have a more substantial parliamentary majority. I think It’s the right time to call an election and get that majority.”