Attorney Valerie Neita Robertson now PNP caretaker for West Portland
Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
Queens counsel Valerie Neita Robertson has now been presented as the People's National Party (PNP) standard bearer for West Portland for the next parliamentary elections.
Neita Robertson was installed by PNP president Dr Peter Phillips at a special meeting at the Buff Bay Primary School in Portland on Sunday afternoon in front of a large crowd.
"The time is right for a change and this time we are more prepared than ever, " said Phillips.
He also said Neita Robertson was committed to the task.
"She will make a great difference in this constituency," Phillips said.
"I hear talk about them coming for East Portland, but I have news for them: Not only will we be retaining the seat in the East, but we will be taking West Portland as well. The people are crying out for a change as their lives have worsened under this administration," Phillips said.
He said crime has got out of hand and the prolonged state of emergency in St James is not the answer.
"A state of emergency, according to our constitution, is a short term measure. Approximately 2,000 people have been detained under the state of emergency in Montego Bay with their rights violated. Clearly, they have no clue about governance and the continuous mismanagement on their part is creating hardships on everyone including coffee farmers, which have seen a reduction in coffee price from $12,000 a box down to $2,000, " Phillips said.
Meanwhile, Neita Robertson told party supporters that she is on a mission to smash the vase (pronounced Vaz) in creating the "well-needed" change in West Portland.
The Jamaica Labour Party’s Daryl Vaz is the sitting member of parliament for the constituency.
"State resources is to be used for its intended purpose that it is designed for, " Neita Robertson said.
"Everyone should have equal benefit as it relates to public resources. Under my leadership, the people of West Portland will know what it is like to be treated fairly without any form of victimization or intimidation. I will listen keenly to your advice and recommendation. Your pain will be mine, but together we will achieve, " she added.
Earlier, former MP, Errol 'Jiggs' Ennis, who won four consecutive elections in West Portland, told the gathering that it is a sad period in that constituency, as the level of victimization is extremely high.
"I never thought that I would live to see the day when the people of this constituency are depraved of government funds, " said Ennis.
"State funds are used indiscriminately to gain political advantage, while satisfying the needs of their followers. But today we have a competent candidate, who is for the people and with the people. You can effect that change in supporting a woman, who is committed to assuming that leadership role," he added.