Tue | Aug 4, 2020

Election not on my mind, says Holness - PM says he is focusing on economic recovery

Published:Saturday | July 4, 2020 | 12:29 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) waves to residents in Annotto Bay, St Mary, on Thursday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre) waves to residents in Annotto Bay, St Mary, on Thursday.

Annotto Bay, St Mary

Brushing aside increased speculation in recent times that a general election could be on the horizon, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that restoring the economy and ensuring that people regain employment are high on his agenda at this time.

“There are people summoning the silly season,” commented Holness.

“The only season I know now is summer, and I see some people saying that some event is around the corner. Some people naming dates. You know when they look to me for the date, I look up: Father God, when?” the prime minister quipped.

A general election is constitutionally due in 2021.

The head of the Government charged that some people who are interested in gaining power have not been paying attention to the challenges facing the country.

“There are many Jamaicans who are out of work. It’s as if the economic crisis has not come home to them as yet. It has come home to me. I see the numbers, I get the telephone calls. I see people starting to get not just fatigued, but impatient,” he said.

According to Holness, many Jamaicans have depleted their savings, “so my mind is not on election. My mind is on the economic recovery to make sure we get back on the track that we were on”.

The prime minister’s remarks came during a ceremony in Annotto Bay, St Mary, on Thursday, where the keys to three housing units were handed over to three sisters, along with their 12 children, under the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment Programme.

Since the reopening of the country’s borders and various sectors, speculation has been mounting about the likelihood of an early election, especially among political pundits, political organisations, and party supporters across the political divide.

In the meantime, the country’s two major political parties – the ruling Jamaica Labour Party and the People’s National Party – have declared that their political representatives are in a state of readiness.