KINGSTON, Jamaica – Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips says the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is prepared to “rescue” Jamaica after Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced September 3 as the date for fresh general elections in the country.
Nomination day is August 18.
“We know that Jamaica deserves a better government and we of the People’s National Party are prepared to rescue Jamaica,” Phillips said.
He said that the PNP government would rescue the island ‘from a declining economy that is leaving the majority of the people and the poorest people behind.
“We are prepared to rescue Jamaica from the clutches of murder and violence and from a government that does not know how to control crime. We are prepared to rescue Jamaica from a government that permits the thieving of your money …we are prepared to rescue Jamaica for it to have an economy that takes care of all businesses and micro businesses and set up life for the people of the country,” Phillips added.
Holness told Parliament on Tuesday night that he had asked the Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen, to dissolve Parliament on August 13, as he found it “necessary to seek another mandate from the people of Jamaica”.
He told legislators that his four and a half year administration had done much for the island, including its ongoing navigation through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has had a significant impact on the local economy.
“So I have no doubt in my mind that Jamaica will recover stronger. I have no doubt in my mind that we will build back stronger. I have no doubt in my mind that under this administration in partnership with the people of Jamaica we will achieve the prosperity in the new Jamaica that we all want to see,” Holness said.
But Phillips, who is leading the PNP into a general election for the first time since taking over the from former prime minister Portia Simpson Miller in 2017, said there were a number of issues confronting Jamaicans, including high schools fees, poverty and social displacement.
“We are prepared to rescue Jamaica with the minimum wage, we are prepared to rescue Jamaica on behalf of the farmers who have been suffering without any extension services, we are prepared to rescue Jamaica on behalf of the people of Jamaica,” he added.
In the last general election, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) won 33 of the 63 seats contested with the remainder going to the PNP. But the JLP has improved its majority by winning two by-elections during the period.
An estimated 1,913,410 persons are on the July 31 voters’ list, up from 1,824,410 in the February 2016 list when the polls were held.