Ecstasy & Agony – JLP celebrates Dunn victory with massive street rally
Jubilant Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters brought the main street in Annotto Bay to a standstill, forcing everyone and everything to a halt for several hours, as the party held a celebration meeting at the car park in the town yesterday.
The JLP's Dr Norman Dunn took 8,176 votes, to beat the People's National Party's (PNP) Dr Shane Alexis, who garnered 7,239 votes, turning the St Mary South East constituency over to the ruling party.
The win brings the balance of power in the House of Representatives to 33-30 seats in favour of the JLP.
The PNP's Dr Winston Green died in August, leaving the seat vacant, prompting yesterday's by-elections.
"Showa labourites! Showa labourites! When I say argument you say...?" And the people responded "Dunn", to the prompting of the victor.
"The PNP use a song say dem tiad fi si mi face. Well si mi yah now!" Dunn shouted.
With his voice almost gone, he thanked the people for their support and for his victory.
"Tonight is a night of celebrations for the people. We are just here to tell you thanks!" said Desmond McKenzie, chairman for JLP's area council three, at the celebration meeting.
The writing of a Dunn win was on the wall from early afternoon, as PNP supporters retreated within an hour after the polls closed, leaving the narrow roadways to the JLP supporters.
JLP member of parliament (MP), Shahine Robinson, was the first to lead a large throng through the town around 6:30 pm, saying the party's canvass confirmed that Dunn had won.
"Thank you to the hardworking people of the Belfield Division. Argument Dunn!" said Robinson.
However, an early motorcade with MP Daryl Vaz atop a SUV sent supporters into even earlier celebrations around 3:00 pm.
MP for St Elizabeth South Western, Floyd Green, said it was a great win for the party.
"It's a great win for the people of South Eastern St Mary. I am sure he will be an excellent representative for the people. Dr Dunn stuck with them," Green told The Gleaner.
Andrew Wheatley, JLP's deputy general secretary, told the hundreds of supporters that Jamaica wanted substance more than noise.
"The win sends a message that Jamaica believed in the work of the Prime Minister of Jamaica, and JLP leader Andrew Holness," Wheatley said.