Clarke promises to maximise on vast experience
With the full weight of a majority of his Cabinet, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Prime Minister Andrew Holness was on hand to witness the nomination of his candidate of choice, Nigel Clarke, to replace the retired Derrick Smith in St Andrew North Western, at the Pembroke Hall Community Centre yesterday. They arrived a minute after the scheduled 1 p.m. time allotted for the JLP candidate.
A studious-looking Clarke, accompanied by Smith's son, Duane, listened attentively to instructions from returning officer Cherry Cummings and Electoral Office of Jamaica officials.
With the proceedings over, party supporters broke out into the JLP anthem. Clarke stayed on message, telling journalists that he will leverage his vast experience for the benefit of the constituency, should he be elected.
"The campaign will be local and not on the scale of a South East St Mary - where another by-election was held last October - as the profile of this constituency is different. It has a good mix of working-class persons and communities, and it also has pockets of inner city areas. So we will be conducting a campaign focused on the three divisions in the constituency," JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang told The Gleaner.
According to him, knowledge of the constituency will be pivotal to its campaign operations going forward, but it was closely following advice given by the retired Smith, seven-time Member of Parliament, who wanted his son Duane to become the standard-bearer.
"Derrick is not divisive. So he presented his arguments in support of his son and the argument did not go his way. He left it. He is not someone who is going to add any fuel," Chang said.