Tue | Dec 18, 2018

Another JLP showdown

Published:Monday | March 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Pearnel Charles Jr
Robert Nesta Morgan

A mere month after the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) parachuted Dr Nigel Clarke into its stronghold of North West St Andrew triggering internal wrangling, another showdown is set to take place.

This time it is in Clarendon North Central, where Speaker of the House of Representatives Pearnel Charles, 82, is the sitting member of parliament.

The Gleaner understands that state minister in the Ministry of National Security, Pearnel Charles Jr, and communications director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Nesta Morgan, will square off to replace the senior Charles.

Morgan was born in Wood Hall in the constituency. Both men are said to be close allies of JLP leader Andrew Holness.

Sources in the constituency told The Gleaner yesterday that the campaign between the two is on in earnest and JLP delegates

have been meeting with both men as they organise their campaign for what could be a hotly contested internal run-off.

"Based on what I am seeing, both of them already have their teams.

"So it seems as if the election will be soon, but we are waiting to hear exactly what is going to happen," a JLP delegate, who did not want to be identified for this story, revealed.

The Gleaner has seen paraphernalia bearing the names and pictures of the contestants.

According to the delegate, there have been rumours circulating that the senior Charles is set to retire from representational politics in a matter of months, but he has given no clear indication to the constituency's executive.

Charles has made the constituency a JLP stronghold since 2002, polling 5,823 votes to beat George Lyn, who amassed 4,519 votes running on the People's National Party ticket.

While there have been no notable backers supporting Morgan just yet, the Charles family is strongly behind the younger Charles.