Jamaica PM agrees to stakeholders’ demands for commitments

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has agreed to commit to some key issues believed to be critical in the development of the nation.

Simpson Miller, who is also president of the ruling People’s National party (PNP) made the commitment based on demands recently made by a group of key stakeholders.

The members of the private sector and civil society, in a letter to Simpson Miller and leader of the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Andrew Holness pointed to five areas  –

fiscal responsibility, price stability, social safety net, public/private partnerships and ease of doing business.

Simpson Miller told party supporters at a rally in the eastern parish of St. Thomas on Sunday, that she views the request as a vote of confidence in her administration.

“the response from me , the PNP and the government is a resounding yes … I consider the request to be a vote of confidence in the policies of our government because our government has put these policies in place,” she said.

The stakeholder group of representatives of  the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) and the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), has expressed frustration with what they called frivolous platform promises and the tribal approach to governance that they say continue to set the country back.

At a press conference last week, co-executive director of CAPRI Damien King said the passage of fiscal accountability legislation is not enough for comfort.

It is expected that Jamaicans will head to the polls in a general election early next year.

Although it was widely speculated that a general election would have been held before year end, Simpson Miller recently told party supporters that she is waiting “for a touch from God” before announcing the date.

At a mass rally in the southern parish of St. Elizabeth last week, the Prime Minister said the nation would probably know the date for the polls only after the Voters List is published.

The number of persons added to the Voters’ List  – that will be used in the upcoming general election should be known by Monday  Once approved and signed by Director of Elections, Orrett Fisher, it will be published.

Meanwhile, despite an indication that there will be no general election this year, both major political parties continued to campaign on the weekend.

A general election is constitutionally due by December 28, 2016.

In the last general election, the PNP won 42 of the 63 seats.

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