Leader of the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Andrew Holness says his party is prepared for the upcoming general election, scheduled to be held on February 25.
Holness was responding to the announcement made late Sunday by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who told thousands of supporters of the governing People’s National Party (PNP) that she was prepared to “fly the gate”.
Holness, in an address to supporters in the old capital of Spanish Town in the neighbouring parish of St. Catherine, said Simpson Miller had to go to the polls ahead of the tabling of the budget.
“We always knew that she would use the shortest time possible, and we also knew that she would not want the campaign to extend into the budget debate period, when she would have to announce new measures arising from the current agreement with the International Monetary Fund.”
“The other issue was the next step in the IMF programme, which is the need to bring public sector wages within nine per cent of GDP, which we expect will lead to the Government taking some undesirable measures which could further affect her chances at the poll,” he added.
And JLP Chairman Robert “Bobby” Montague says all candidates from the opposition party will meet at the Corporate Area headquarters on Monday to put the final touches on plans ahead of the election date.
“We anticipated the date and we were on track, the organisation is in top shape.”
Montague expressed confidence that the JLP will win the next election and take the country from “poverty to prosperity”.
Meanwhile, a meeting will be held on Monday afternoon with representatives from both of the main political parties and the Jamaica Debates Commission to discuss the staging of debates between Nomination Day and the election.
The purpose of the meeting is to finalise discussions regarding the commission’s proposal to organize and stage three debates.
Nomination Day will be on February 9 and Parliament will be dissolved on Friday, February 5.
In the last general election, the PNP won 42 of the 63 seats with the remaining going to the JLP.