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'Let not your heart be troubled' - Holness reassures Labourites concerned by poll

Published:Monday | February 1, 2016 | 12:38 AMLivern Barrett
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader Andrew Holness speaks with supporters during a JLP Area Council One meeting in Olympic Gardens, St Andrew, yesterday.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Andrew Holness turned to scripture yesterday as he sought to calm nervous party supporters hours before Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced February 25 as the date for the general election.

With the latest RJR-TVJ Don Anderson opinion poll showing the JLP trailing the governing People’s National Party (PNP) by four percentage points, Holness told Labourites: “Let not your heart be troubled.”

“Ye, believe in God, believe also in me,” declared Holness, quoting from the Bible as he addressed a JLP Area Council One meeting in St Andrew.

Daryl Vaz, the opposition member of parliament for West Portland, also tried to put a positive spin on some of the poll findings, while insisting that his party had a realistic chance of regaining state power.

“I don’t want anybody start to panic about any polls,” Vaz declared at the same meeting.

“The Labour Party is right there, and if it does what it needs to do and captures the imagination of those uncommitted people, we will win the election, hands down,” he insisted.

As an example, the West Portland MP noted that the poll shows that 50 per cent of all eligible voters remain uncommitted or have decided to remain mum on which party they will support.

TRANSFORMING JAMAICA

He expressed the view that the JLP could win over those voters, but acknowledged that they want to hear the plans and programmes the party has in place should it be elected to form the next government.

Holding up his West Central St Andrew constituency as an example, Holness emphasised that the JLP was ready to transform Jamaica from poverty to prosperity.

He gave the assurance that the JLP would not engage in “too much waste talk” during the election campaign, but instead focus on the things that will help to move Jamaicans out of poverty.

“Prosperity time now,” he declared to thunderous applause.

Holness, however, cautioned that prosperity did not mean that “you have a whole heapa money”.

“Prosperity can mean that you stop carry water pan you head and you now have water inna yuh house.

Prosperity can mean that you can now fix yuh roof that when yuh look up yuh nah see the sky, and when rain fall, yuh haffi tek all yuh mouth ketch water,” he explained.

“Prosperity means that you can sell the little bike and buy a little car. It mean you can send all a yuh pickney dem go school and yuh nuh haffi stop dem because yuh nuh have lunch money,” he said.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com