JLP to interview three aspirants for NE St Catherine
Three political aspirants are today scheduled to be interviewed by the secretariat of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) as they seek to become its candidate in North East St Catherine.
Former South Central St Catherine Member of Parliament Sharon Hay-Webster; Dr Lennon Richardson, a former two-time candidate for the JLP; as well as the deputy treasurer, Leslie Campbell, have applied to become the party's standard-bearer for the constituency.
JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang said the party is treating the matter as urgent.
"The party's intention is to settle this very quickly," said Chang.
"It is a critical seat, and so we are going through the process as required by the [party's] constitution, and we should have a decision within the week," he added.
The Gleaner can report that three persons will be interviewed at the party's Belmont Road headquarters, starting at 4 o'clock this afternoon.
The candidacy slot was made vacant with the resignation of two-term Member of Parliament Gregory Mair as the party's standard-bearer just under two weeks ago.
Hay-Webster is poised to secure the candidacy despite being rejected and the endorsement of Campbell by a group calling itself an executive of the constituency.
It is understood that the secretariat is attempting to avoid a run-off but will determine the next course of action after today's interviews.
Chang told The Gleaner he was reserving his comments on a choice.
"I wouldn't want to say anything just yet, but they have served the party in different capacities satisfactorily in the last few years," he said.
Hay-Webster served four terms as a People's National Party (PNP) MP from 1997 to 2011.
Her resignation from the PNP made her the third independent politician in 19 years to sit in Parliament.
Hay-Webster joined the JLP in November 2011, ahead of the December 2011 polls when she lost.
Richards has, in the past, unsuccessfully contested the South East and Central St Mary seats for the JLP.
Campbell, who is from the constituency, represented the JLP in East Central St Catherine in the 2007 general election but lost to the PNP's Natalie Neita-Headley.