Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Kari Douglas will embarrass herself, say former backers - Comrades pledge to stick with Robinson in St Andrew SE matchup

Published:Thursday | August 13, 2020 | 12:24 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
People’s National Party supporters Audria Chambers (left) and Blossom ‘Joy’ Edwards have vowed to remain with MP Julian Robinson despite Councillor Kari Douglas’ switch to the Jamaica Labour Party.
People’s National Party supporters Audria Chambers (left) and Blossom ‘Joy’ Edwards have vowed to remain with MP Julian Robinson despite Councillor Kari Douglas’ switch to the Jamaica Labour Party.

Despite admitting that Kari Douglas is a “good woman” who served them well as councillor, some of her staunchest supporters in St Andrew South Eastern say they will not side with the political turncoat as she mounts a challenge to incumbent People’s National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Julian Robinson on a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) ticket in the September 3 polls.

Douglas, whose father, Easton, was MP for the constituency from 1989 to 2002 when he retired, was twice elected as councillor for the Trafalgar Division in the constituency but switched allegiance to the JLP earlier this year in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation.

Some Comrades are still viewing it as an act of betrayal to Robinson, her former constituency boss, and have vowed not to follow behind her.

Blossom ‘Joy’ Edwards, the PNP’s cluster manager for polling divisions 12, 13, 14, and 15, believes that Douglas is now fighting a losing battle.

“A tru yuh nuh know how that girl upset me. Nobody nah go with Kari. God bless who a go with her,” she said. “You will have the licky-licky one weh she control and can tell fi jump, but a me sail my ship.”

Edwards said that she would not give Douglas a bad name as she is really a good person.

“From she cross the board, a she alone a cross it. Me is a PNP, and I am going to die a PNP,” Edwards said.

Audria Chambers, who said that she is the PNP leader for the Swallowfield community, said Robinson need not worry about Douglas canvassing the space.

“A him mek Kari name Kari, right now, same way and we the leaders weh in here,” she said. “Mi have my Kari shirt ina orange fi walk with same way, mek she see say a ya suh she a come from go deh suh … .”

Chambers told The Gleaner that Douglas’ switch to the JLP in February was a shock to her system.

“Kari mek me have [high blood] pressure fi two weeks straight. Me admit a hospital one week straight since she cross over because I was one of Kari’s lords,” she said. “Dem tell mi how me get paid fi go mash up meeting because me a Kari Jesus.”

‘Diss the party’

While they commended Douglas for her work as councillor, residents in another section of the constituency were clear that she would not get their votes as a member of the JLP.

“She is going to embarrass herself. I love her, but she can’t beat Julian, and she diss the party (PNP). Her father built this constituency, yes, but she come fi kill it,” one resident said.

As our news team moved along, the sentiments were the same.

“She is a good woman, but she can’t beat Julian yah suh. She, maybe, would stand a chance if she was running for councillor, but MP? No, Julian have that. All Labourite will vote for Julian because him deal with everybody,” a Rastafarian man told The Gleaner.

Several residents said they were also unaware of the impending Robinson-Douglas battle, telling our news team that they were just hearing that the councillor was set to challenge the MP.

Calls to Douglas’ phone yesterday proved futile as her phone rang without answer.

In the 2016 general election, the constituency had 21,082 eligible voters, 46.2 % of whom turned out to vote.

The PNP’s Robinson polled 5,881 votes (60.31%) to defeat the JLP’s Charlton Collie, who got 3,835 votes (39.33%), and Horace Mathews of the Marcus Garvey People’s Political Party, who got 35 nods(0.36%).

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com