Jamaican PM still mulling election date

Portia Simpson Miller

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has not yet given a clear indication as to when a general election could be held.

Simpson Miller who is also president of the ruling People’s National Party (PNP), told a crowd of supporters in the city of Portmore on Sunday night that she will announce the date “when my master touches me” but promised Jamaicans that the campaign will be short.

Political observers say the PNP will later this year seek a fresh mandate from the electorate even though the general election is constitutionally due on December 29, 2016.

“As we continue the journey on behalf of the people I know we will achieve much more…and I am telling you no campaign will be long.

And I hear everybody guessing whether I am going to call elections early or not. You will be appropriately informed when my master touches me and say my daughter go now,” she said, adding “and as I go around I will feel the pulse and then at the right time I will give you the sound of the trumpet”.

The rally was the fourth in a series, in which the PNP has said it is trying to gauge the pulse of the nation for the election.

In her address, Prime Minister Simpson Miller described as “reckless and careless” statements made by former finance minister Audley Shaw that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had lowered Jamaica’s primary surplus target under the economic reform programme.

“The timing of this concession by the IMF curiously coincides with the eve of national elections here in Jamaica,” Shaw said, noting that while the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) welcomed the lowering of the primary surplus target, the relaxation could be interpreted as political interference on the part of the IMF.

But Prime Minister Simpson Miller dismissed Shaw’s assertion adding “go away with that.

“Go away with that, move away with that, foolishness and that one that said it was found wanting in the honest department this week. Don’t talk to use about honesty. We don’t need to get the IMF money to spend it to buy any election.”

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