Tue | Oct 20, 2020

Don Foote steps into fray in Westmoreland Central

Published:Saturday | August 15, 2020 | 12:23 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Don Foote
Don Foote

WESTERN BUREAU:

Don Foote, who once ran on the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) ticket, will be contesting the upcoming general election in Westmoreland Central.

But he admits that he is not in it to win it.

“Winning is not primarily on my mind. I won’t have any indoor or outdoor agents,” Foote said, while indicating that the Jamaica Abolitionist Movement was a pressure group seeking to create a balance of power between the ruling JLP and the opposition PNP.

Foote represented the JLP in the 2011 general election in Westmoreland Eastern, where he lost to the PNP’s Luther Buchanan by 8,066 votes to 3,071.

The attorney-at-law was disbarred in 2019 but was granted a stay of that order while he appealed that decision.

Now Foote will be suiting up for the Jamaica Abolitionist Movement, a group he says was formed to hold the major political parties accountable. He said, however, that he is still a member of the JLP.

“This movement [Jam Abolitionists] is a pressure group; it’s a movement that was initiated on Emancipation Day (August 1, 2020),” Foote said on Friday.

“We want to rebrand the image of Westmoreland under the three principles of God, government, and Garvey. The Government part is that we want to move the monarchy to the American presidential system.”

If he is successfully nominated on August 18, Foote will face Dwayne Vaz, the incumbent prospective PNP candidate, who won the 2016 general election after polling 10,023 votes. Also in the race are the JLP’s George Wright, who polled 8,844 votes against Vaz, and independent candidate Toraino Beckford, who tallied 43 votes.

Foote said that his group wants the next administration to remove the Queen as head of state and to turn Jamaica into a republic. He is also advocating for United States President Donald Trump to exonerate national hero Marcus Garvey.

His decision to run for the Jamaica Abolitionist Movement centres, he said, on causes close to his heart.

“Whereas the other side might say it would not affect the vote one way or the other, it’s a constitutional right that the members of my movement have in order to focus attention on the issues that we regard as important,” said Foote.