Jamaica’s main opposition party cancels annual conference

JLP General Secretary, Dr. Horace Chang

The main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has decided to cancel its annual conference this year, to focus on preparing for an upcoming general election.

JLP General Secretary, Dr. Horace Chang, however stressed that the there should be no fall out as a result of the cancellation of the conference that was scheduled for November 22.

“We are in the middle of an intense campaigning period, so the election of officials will take place at area council meetings next month ….we are continuing the mobilization of our .We are basically on the road – we are going to the people, rather than taking the people to the (National) Arena

Meanwhile the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is on high alert as the nation awaits the announcement of a date for the general election. According to Director of Elections, Orrette Fisher, training is in progress and the recruitment of temporary personnel is underway.

 “If the election is announced, we will just move to the next phase. In terms of preparedness we are at the level where we would need to be, so nothing will change unless the election is announced.

Ahead of a general election the two major political parties on Wednesday agreed to the stating of three political debates.

The People’s National Party (PNP) and JLP signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Jamaica Debates Commission .

The commission says the debates would be staged between Nomination Day and Election Day.

The MOU states that the first debate will be on social issues; the second on economic issues and the third will be between the contenders for the office of Prime Minister.

However, the parties say a formal agreement would require further negotiations on a number of areas including structure, format, production guidelines and duration.

The next general election is constitutionally due between December 29, 2016 and April 16, 2017, but at a recent PNP rally, the party’s campaign manager Dr. Peter Phillips signaled that the election is near.

“You need to get yourself ready for the sounding of the trumpet because you know not the time nor the hour,” Phillips said.

 

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