Tufton calls for new political order
Former Government minister Dr Christopher Tufton has challenged other parliamentarians to start setting the groundwork for a new political order by dispensing with the hype, coarse behaviour and unrealistic promises which, he said, have for too long been the norm for Jamaican politicians.
Tufton, who served as a Cabinet minister in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration from 2007 to 2011, was the member of parliament for South West St Elizabeth. He lost the seat in the last general election.
"Jamaicans need reasoned and reasonable actions from our political leaders as a start to getting people to believe again in what is possible and their role in making their circumstances and communities better," he told labourites at the Point Hill All-Age School in West Central St Catherine, a constituency he is vying to represent.
With Dr Ken Baugh indicating that he is stepping away from representational politics, Tufton, who left St Elizabeth after being defeated by Hugh Buchanan, is now in a three-way tussle with Devon Wint and attorney-at-law Kent Gammon to be the JLP standard-bearer in the constituency.
Yesterday, as he addressed delegates and party supporters in political division in which Wint is the councillor, Tufton said the internal politics of the party is a good starting point for a renewed approach to politics.
"I am ready and willing to serve the people of West Central St Catherine and Jamaica on a JLP ticket, but it is important that the process that allows me that opportunity be fair and transparent and free from fear, otherwise, all of us, including the JLP, will suffer reputational damage," said Tufton.
"And we should not have to go to courthouse to get transparency and accountability because that would suggest that we can't manage our own affairs. So people will ask, 'How can we manage the country's affairs if we can't manage our own?'" Tufton argued.
The party's secretariat is yet to settle the voters' list that will be used for the selection of the candidate. Tufton told supporters to keep the faith even while they demand to be given a fair chance of choosing the candidate they want to represent them in the constituency.
In seeking to convince the residents that he is the best man for the constituency, Tufton said he has a track record of performance.
"I know what it is to produce the goods, and it can't move. I have worked in St Elizabeth and helped to change it, and it can happen here also," Tufton said.
"I have the experience and the drive to serve you. If given the chance, we will have to go through the proper process," he added.